Letter: Mismanged arena to blame for figure skating club's woes

September 8, 2013 

As a former competitive figure skater, it's disappointing that the Kennewick Public Facilities District, the Three Rivers Campus management, and Venu Works can't manage to support a figure skating program.

Corey Pearson, executive director of the Three Rivers Campus, described the Tri-Cities Figure Skating Club's inability to increase membership because of a lack of ice time, and it's corresponding inability to pay for ice time because of inadequate membership, as a "chicken and egg" problem. Looks more like a mismanagement of a publicly funded asset.

Outsourcing management of the arena has resulted in a failure to pursue a potential revenue stream that might be available from an active and thriving figure skating program. The blank spaces on the rink's on-line calendar demonstrate that Venu Works, rather than a nonprofit skating club, should be on thin ice.

As a competitive skater, I skated 15 hours a week on club time and an additional 20 hours a week on time sold directly by my home rink in Pennsylvania. It was expensive and the ice was crowded. Skating recently, I was reminded that wanting to land a jump isn't enough, all the elements must be performed correctly. Venu Works has fallen through. Perhaps Kennewick Mayor Steve Young and Mr. Pearson should lace up.


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