By Kelly Nicholaides
for Montclair Local
The township will get a small increase this year, from 5 to 6 percent, in gross revenue collection from Clary Anderson Arena, in accordance with a new contract awarded on Aug. 28.
The mayor and council unanimously approved the agreement to continue using Clary Anderson LLC for the management and operations of the ice rink.
During the run of the contract, Clary Anderson LLC will continue to handle the concessions, skate and ice rentals, upkeep of the ice during the winter season and administrative jobs, which keep the arena functioning on a daily basis. The company will also maintain the upkeep of the arena in terms of small repairs and general maintenance.
Under the terms, there will be a one-half percent increase for each year after the the first, for up to five years. By the fifth year, Montclair gets eight percent of gross revenue. The company submitted a Request for Proposal to the town in May.
The company provided details on a business operating plan. It agrees to install 30 LED rink lights to reduce energy consumption and enhance rink lighting, install six new Electro-Voice sound system speakers, replace rubber matting in locker rooms and player bench, and maintain programs. Additionally, it will increase advertising and marketing, promote to school groups and give students the opportunity to take part in morning skate sessions.
“These times are the most difficult to rent and we feel that we have tremendous opportunity in this area. Currently we have figure skating programs, group lessons, private lessons, synchro figure skating, private ice rentals, hockey leagues, high school practices and hockey games, and public sessions,” writes CEO Joseph Gauweiler. “Clary Anderson Arena, LLC will make this facility available to all individuals and feel we have a program for anyone wishing to learn to skate or just spend time at the facility participating or watching our different events.”
The company has been managing and operating the arena since 2011. Gauweiler previously managed the rink in 2010 under the Ohio-based United Skates of America before forming his own company. Around the same time, a citizen’s group, Montclair Community Ice Arena (MCIA) unsuccessfully lobbied to take over operations of the arena, complaining that the ice rink conditions had deteriorated.
The township owns the arena. Elected officials had previously said the township plans to focus on capital improvements like a new roof and dehumidifier.
Officials from Clary Anderson LLC described some of the upgrades that have been made to the building over the past six years. The building upgrades included painting the lobby, rink walls, ceiling beams, locker rooms, concession and storage area; upgrading the bathrooms, compressors and heaters; and replacing ceiling panels. The arena also purchased new concession equipment, including fryers, sinks and freezers; new office equipment; two 60-inch TVs; new rink netting; skate rental racks; 18 security cameras; lobby tables and 650 new pairs of hockey and figure skates.