The Senate Ways and Means Budget contains a provision (scroll down to section 48) allowing two of the twelve public skating rinks in Greater Boston to be put out for long-term leases. That’s down from the twelve that the Governor’s budget (to his credit) allowed, but up from the zero allowed in the House budget.
We looked at the effect of long-term leasing on the public skating rinks outside of Greater Boston and what did we find?
– Increased Availability: Rinks operated under competitive contracting are now available an average of 43 weeks per year in fiscal year 2005, versus 34 weeks per year under the previous management system in fiscal year 1991.
– Continued Affordability: The average hourly cost of ice time at rinks under competitive contract has grown from $110 in 1991 to $160 in 2005, a growth rate of 2.7% per year. However, state-owned rinks operated by a private contractor remain the least
expensive of any rinks in the state.
– Increased Attendance: Rink usage has grown from 2.3 million in 1991 to almost 4.9 million in 2005
– Renewed Capital Investment: Private contractors invested $2.28 million in state-owned rinks in 2005.