Letter to the Editor

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To whom it may concern:

I am the operator of the Hyde Park Pavilion Ice Rinks having entered into an agreement with the City in 20http://southbuffalonews.com2.

I am writing to correct recent articles in your newspaper.

First, there was an article which indicated that the operator of the rinks, my company, was paying $200.00 per year rent, clearly a typographical error. In fact, we pay   almost

$250,000 for rent and fees to the City, and as well as make substantial investments into equipment and operations out of our own pocket.

The second article dealt with transparency which I do not believe is an issue.

 The rinks were clearly in need of an update and renovation for continued use, having been built in the early                              ‘70’s. All that has been done are the basics: new rinks and boards, new locker rooms, new stands, new lobby, new bathrooms and an update of the stone room. These improvements have been done over a period of time and in phases; and we now have a facility where the rinks are on par or better then the Harbor Center recently built by the Pegulas.

 The rinks and facilities needed improvement not only because of their deterioration, but because of the increased competition from Niagara University  (2 rinks), Lockport  (2 rinks), Harbor Center (2 rinks) and plans for other municipalities to add more rinks.

Thus the improvements were needed to keep the property useable and competitive.

We have daily skating by various agencies, individuals, teams and leagues. The number of people skating and using the rinks are in the thousands. Unlike Sal Maglie , the rinks provide everyday use by the citizens of Niagara Falls. In addition, ten (http://southbuffalonews.com0) major tournaments are conducted at the facility and a number of minor tournaments. As a result of these tournaments , there is an infusion in excess of $7,000,000.00 into the community for hotel rooms (in excess of 23,000 room nights are booked) , food , wages , goods, expenses , etc. generating over $800,000.00 a year in taxes : We receive numerous compliments from the hotels and restaurants for the amount of business we bring in, and from the users as to the quality and cleanliness of the facility . I might add that this all brought in with our own monies , web-pages , and without any help from an outside agency . We employ in excess of 20 people .

Thus , the rinks provide an economic stimulus for the City, especially in the slow time , the winter , and as well a service to many citizens of the City. As I was present for most of the  meeting with builders, contractors and subcontractors ; and was on the job site daily I can assure you the City’s actions were up  front and transparent.

I hope this sets the record straight. Thank you.

Gene Carella President of
Niagara Sports Tournament , Inc.

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