Try as we did tonight, we don’t know where the hell the Leader newspaper got this information today about the supposedly wonderful success of that private, city-subsidized “Holiday” ice rink. You’ve gotta read the whole thing — it’s a total puff piece. You’d think by its tone that Jesus Christ had been down there helping fit the skates.
Here’s what’s interesting:
Last year we wrote about what a financial disaster the 2013 event was, being that the city (through its downtown P-BID) spent well over $200,000 to sponsor this ridiculously inane attraction. That was money down the drain.
Even worse, when we tried to find out how much the final gate revenue was we were completely rebuffed, let alone informed about who had gotten to keep it all. And when we then asked Dr. Gordon if he could find out how much was received by the rink (and where it went), he told us that staff was refusing to tell him both where the money went and what the total receipts were.
Naturally then, it shouldn’t surprise us this year that the Leader would help promote this outfit with some blatant and quite contrary PR about this so-called “skating rink.”
They obviously don’t like us here — especially now that we’ve successfully confronted them about the way they’re facilitating the Rizzotti campaign by refusing to criticize this clown about that anti-gay youth group of his — and so if we said that the Pope was Catholic they’d find some snide reason to write a contrary piece or accuse us of ridiculing religion. That’s how Evans rolls.
Report: Temporary ice rink sees uptick in revenue
Rain may have kept some visitors away from downtown facility, city official says.
Rainy winter weather may have been a welcome visitor to deal with the state’s ongoing drought in recent months, but it also may have kept some other visitors away from a temporary ice rink in downtown Burbank.
However, revenues at the holiday attraction were up more than $20,000 this year compared to its inaugural season last year, but the first year the rink wasn’t open as long.
That’s according to a staff report published on the city’s website last week. The rink, which was located in the parking lot behind Burbank City Hall from Nov. 28 to Jan. 19, saw a modest bump in traffic over the holidays — about 18,000 people came out during the eight-week season, compared to roughly 17,700 for last winter’s six-week season.
Hold on. The only relevant thing we can find right now on the city’s Web site is the CM’s Management Report from last week. Interestingly enough, unlike last year’s report on the 2013 rink, this year’s information appears to completely omit the budget breakdown. More on this in a bit.
Here’s the blatant PR bit in their article:
Attendance was lower than expected, said Mary Hamzoian, the city’s economic development manager. She said 10 days of rain — including one day during the rink’s opening weekend — kept some would-be skaters at bay.
But she said downtown businesses were still thrilled with the attraction, part of an effort by the Business Improvement District, also known as the Downtown Burbank Partnership, to draw shoppers and diners to the area. In feedback to the partnership, several business owners raved.
“Opening night was great,” said Brian Slaught, owner of Story Tavern. “We saw about 40 people in the restaurant because of the rink.”
OK, now where was the specific financial information for this year? In column form?
Funded by businesses in the downtown area, the partnership paid Los Angeles-based Ice America about $95,000 to set up the rink. The company then ran it for a share of the revenue, and the partnership paid for water, electricity, decorations and other expenses.
What share? How much? (And again, why did Burbank pay them anything just to set up? Hey, we want that kind of deal…!)
The first year, the rink cost about $221,000 to operate, Hamzoian said, but this year’s costs were 30% lower because some infrastructure improvements that were one-time expenses paid for in the first year.
Here’s what we found last year in the relevant Management Report:
It’s a complete (and we think, quite culpable) breakdown. All that thrown-away money just to subsidize a private rink.
Here’s what we found on this year’s Management Report:
That’s it. Just the summary. Unlike last year’s Report, there was no budget breakdown attached directly afterwards.
Instead, all you get is this:
A blanked-out page.
If anyone has better luck in finding this new information we’d sure love to see it. Right now it appears to be mostly anecdotal. And quite agreeably so, natch.
1. Last year the Management Report about the rink attached the budget breakdown to the summary.
2. We nailed their ass on the absurd expenses in the breakdown.
3. This year, they only run the summary, and keep off the $$$ breakdown.
4. The Leader sees the Report summary, calls about the rink for a story, and is given lots of fun anecdotal facts about what a glorious success this year’s was.
Is it our browser tonight? Is it not working properly? Where’s this year’s ice-rink budget breakdown in the Report?