Friday, March 4, 2016

Arena Looking Good Although Snack Bar and Naming Rights Issue Linger

       When I got a peek at the Fairgrounds Arena today, I could see potential for many events big and small. The lobby alone is large enough to host events in winter without upsetting the ice activities and in the warmer months, much can happen.
       There needs to be vision and leadership on all of this, not just  a replication of the former Arena with more bathrooms and fresh paint.
       I was there to look at the snack bar to see if I want to bid on the franchise. I got the quote on insurance today and it was reasonable. As I look at what's there, the question I have is can a profit be made to justify the risk and investment.
     For an established operation like a Jreck or Subway, there's the advantage of access to a reservoir of staffing, oversight, equipment and inventory. For a small time operator, that's a challenge. In either instance, I don't see a bidder  ponying up even the $6K  a year the City made running the old snack bar which was smaller and in a less attractive location.
      The possible naming rights to the Arena may result in the city dictating things like soda products and that's an issue as any vendor will need to quickly contract with Coke or Pepsi for fountain equipment. It's an attractive high visibility venue for either. I've dealt with Coke for years and have been very satisfied with the product and service.
     With the opening looming, getting something up and running right away won't be easy, and I don't think the City will operate it in the interim. It's important the initial public impression is good.
      But, regardless of this, the building is an improvement and Saturday ice will be made. I am sure the media will be there, so maybe you'll get a glimpse.
       For what it's worth, I am not keen on the naming matter. The people have paid for this and I don't think someone should take ownership in the public eye for the few thousand dollars likely to be offered or negotiated.


Anonymous said...

Concession stand looks good enough, but are those plastic outlet covers I see? Stainless would be the better choice.

Anonymous said...

well didn't you actively campaign for this project,and now you are retired from public service,we can name it after you.Let's see,what do they call ice capade events,oh yeah,ice follies! We can name it Graham's Folly!

Anonymous said...

mmmmm. I can see the hotdogs on the warming rollers and the crock pots filled with melted cheese and spiced meat. YUM! And maybe a couple of ice coolers with canned soft drinks. All laden with infectious bacteria. Nice!!! Rename the arena "Gateway to Samaritan Emergency Department". The CoW would do well to lease some space to urgent care.

Parks and Rec girl - "Are you Serious????"

Anonymous said...

Is that the real size of the front? It doesn't look as big as the old one! However, I see as back room which means leaving the counter unattended or a 2 person operation while open. Not very well thought out. Is there a table outside for napkins, mustard, ketchup and etc? Again poor planning. Good luck if you bid on it.

Anonymous said...

I love the fee schedule for vendors for craft fairs. Listen, we all know this is a fundraising facility. That's how it is being sold. I can't think of anywhere I have lived for over my 50 years where it is published so much in the public as to how much it is to rent this debacle. How about we have a facility that we can be proud of...but no, alas, it is there to make money for the City. The rates over time will drive the customers away as will the staff. The whole reason for the "door" to the city is to have a place used often with QUALITY events and programs. I have never seen such an act of desperation to validate something. I wish I could be more optimistic and proud, but, it's not in the cards.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. The city spends over $10mil on this and can't have a decent concession stand!!

The city failed when they approved the drawings minus the required equipment hookup to operate as a decent food vendor.

Any vendor who agrees to run the concession should bring a "chuck-wagon" trailer to park outside the back door to cook the burgers, fries etc that people are going to want

Danny M. Francis (Eyepublius) said...

As I said, my nomination is

Graham Cracker Box

Anonymous said...

Lets be creative and come up with some items for the menu. I will start; COW Pie flaky council crust with brain dead Dept. head filling, COW tongue smothered with lies, COW tails long drawn excuses for incompetence. Hope tou post this Jeff it should be fun!