By Sue Botos
Although a green carpet for indoor soccer now covers the floor of the Hamilton Ice Arena, City Council is thinking ahead to the coming skating season and has approved legislation that will have skaters digging into their pockets for some extra change.
The move is in response to the city Parks and Recreation Commission’s proposal for slight increases to admission fees and the cost of registration for learn-to-skate classes. Adjustments are also planned for youth and beginning hockey programs.
Councilman at Large Chris Klym, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission representative, told council recently that the last fee hike for the rink was in 2011 and that all changes being proposed are relatively minor. “They are inflationary increases which are part of doing business,” Klym said, adding that the price boosts will make certain the city can keep up with costs for running the rink and will remain competitive with other area facilities.
According to the measure, general admission will rise 50 cents to $4 for students during afternoon and morning sessions and go from $4 to $5 for weekend and holiday skate sessions. Evening sessions will also be $5. Adults will pay $5 during the day and $6 in the evening, up from $5.50. The cost for seniors will remain $4 for all sessions.
Councilman Dave Furry pointed out that an ordinance recently approved by council changes the minimum eligible age for services at the city senior center to 50 ,and he asked if this would apply to the rink fees as well. Klym responded that while this issue did come up in discussion at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, the age of 60 is consistent with other recreation programs such as senior fees for joining the recreation center and for SilverSneakers. Therefore, 60 plus will define seniors for ice rink admission.
The new general admission will match the $4 resident admission at North Olmsted’s ice rink, and at Winterhurst in Lakewood, but both of those facilities charge more for nonresidents. When questioned as to why Rocky River charges the same for all skaters, Klym responded, “On a Friday night when you have 200 kids packed into the rink, it’s hard to check IDs.”
Learn-to-skate resident registration will jump from $48 to $50 for a six-week session, while the nonresident cost will go up from $59 to $61. That number still keeps the city program lower in cost than Winterhurst ($57 residents, $63 nonresidents) and North Olmsted ($55 residents, $65 nonresidents).
There will be no change to figure skating session costs, which will run between $6 and $15 each ($7.50 and $20 nonresidents).
Travel team youth hockey members will pay $490 for the upcoming season, but for the 2014-2015 year, the cost will jump to $515 for the first child and $405 for an additional player. Beginning hockey fees will rise from $250 to $270 for residents and from $370 to $395 for nonresidents.
Admission to events such as high school hockey games and the biannual ice show will remain the same, ranging from $3 to $10 for students and $5 to $12 for adults. Seniors can attend high school hockey regular season games at no cost.
Rental costs for the ice rink and for the Pavilion meeting room will also go up $5.