Ice rink up to taxpayers

Fri, 07/18/2008 - 3:16pm
By: The Citizen

It will be up to Peachtree City voters to determine whether to spend $941,000 a year for 20 years to build an ice rink and fitness center, which would be leased by two private companies.

The City Council approved a request to put the item on the ballot in November.

The projections for the facilities show the city would get $436,000 in annual rent for the facilities but would still have to pay an additional $505,000 a year. Both the ice center and fitness center would be signing long-term leases in that regard, representatives said.

The 76,000 square foot rink building, which would have two separate rink surfaces, and 10,000 square foot fitness center would be located on undeveloped property at the north end of the city's Baseball and Soccer Complex on Ga. Highway 74 south.

It would cost the city just under $10 million to construct the building.

For a residence valued at $250,000, it would cost the owner approximately $25 a year to pay for the facility, officials said.

Rick Halbert of Group VI said one way to subsidize development of phase two or three would be to allow a small retail component such as a restaurant or coffee shop that would compliment the complex.

The second phase would include a possible 20,000 square foot addition to the fitness center and two large meeting rooms that could be used by civic clubs and the like. There's also room for a 425-seat auditorium in a third phase.

There will also be an indoor multi-purpose field for indoor soccer or similar events, and it might perhaps be converted into a third ice rink if the facility proves popular, organizers said.

The site plan for the property includes space for a future fire station.

Local gym owner Dar Thompson has said the ice rink will host several large tournaments a year, bringing an economic impact that would help the city increase tax revenue. Thompson said the facility would also attract people to move to Peachtree City who might otherwise have to move elsewhere in the metro Atlanta area to be near ice rinks for their children.

Thompson also said Thursday night that the Atlanta Thrashers will do minicamps in summer for our kids, hold some practices here, possibly some prospect camps for them here, and visiting NHL teams staying here in PTC using facility for pre-game warmups.

Possible exhibition events and camps from Gwinnett Gladiators.

The proposal is expected to go on the ballot for the November general election.

Because one of the city's precincts is split, requiring voters to go to two different locations to vote in the city and county elections, Logsdon said it would be a hardship to offer it on a vote in November.

Also, Logsdon said, an ice rink has not ever been in the city's recreation master plan.

"People need to know if we go down this route, it's chaning the thought process of our master plan for recreation," Logsdon said.

Councilman Don Haddix said he'd like to see the public get a chance to vote on it.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett said she didn't want the city to pay for putting the issue on the ballot, but City Clerk Betsy Tyler said there wouldn't be an additional cost.

Thompson offered to pay up to $1,500 for the city's costs to advertise the proposal ahead of the election as required by Georgia law.

Thompson's proposal has been pared down from his initial suggestion of a $19.5 million facility that included multi-use field, basketball courts and meeting rooms in addition to the ice rink and fitness center. That facility was 180,000 square feet.

Council directed Thompson to pare the project down significantly to lower the cost.

Lynda Wojcik said she didn't like the fact the city would be going into the ice rink and fitness center business, though she liked the idea of having an ice rink here.

Thompson said the fitness center would be funded 100 percent by the business, but the "little bit of help" the citizens are giving toward the project would go toward the ice rink because of the estimated economic impact it will have.

She suggested locating the facility in the county so the entire county could use the facility.

Resident Juan Matute said the city has been "stung" in the past by operating a sports complex. He was referring to the tennis center.

"A lot of us have a sour taste in our mouth about what's over in Planterra Ridge," Matute said.

"If it is not successful, we'll still be stuck with that debt," said resident Phyllis Aguayo.

A member of the city's youth council asked the city to "hold off" on considering the process because they are preparing a plan for a community center.

"This equates to about half a gallon of gas per month per person," Halbert said.

The vote to put the issue on the ballot was unanimous.

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Submitted by cdl305 on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 1:44pm.

I am late chiming in on this but.... It seems that the council was a bit irresponsible putting this on the ballot at this time. Inflation is up thanks to oil and food; economy is depressed thanks to housing and the weak dollar; taxes will climb thanks to decreased revenue collections and now the city proposes more tax dollars for recreation, which is already lavish by all accounts. It is probably a good idea to keep private enterprise and city government separate - we have had to swallow (pay) that last bitter pill (tennis center). While this is an interesting idea (the "master plan" is a flexible document and should change with time,/population/economy), it should also be taken into consideration with the requirements of the seniors (Gathering Place) and the youth (teen center). If we have a need for all of these things (I am not sold on that fact yet), let's put them all into one complex that serves all, instead of serving each special interest group. We have already voted down two recreation requests and this one is likely to head down that same path. If there is a need, put something together everyone can buy into.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 4:23pm.

In this project or benefit in any way? Will you in any way be involved with the gym or any other part of this project? Is your only interest an altruistic one: providing for our youth?

Do you have firm commitments from these teams that you say will hold camps for youngsters, hold their own camps here, play here etc., or are these only assumptions on your part.

You mention that there is no ice rink within 50 miles. Wouldn't tht indicate that there has not been a great need. Don't you feel that with all the smart business people we have in the Greater Atlanta area that we would have had ice if there was a need and it was a money-making proposition. Also, as we all know, franchises come and go--what guarantee do we have that the Atlanta Thrashers or any other ice hockey team will be here in the next 5-10-20 years?

If Peachtree City was flush with cash, this might be doable. But when we are using 'slush fund' money to just keep going-when we have cut services, when taxes are going up constantly and we have so many things that are in existence that needs repairs and upkeep, I just cannot see how we can jump into this--too may variables-no guarantees. We need WELL PAID police and fire personnel, we need well maintained infrastructure, we need the facilities already in existence to be well-maintained. The money is just not there and the gamble is too great for something that is not essential.

Submitted by dar thompson on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:28pm.

first of all you mention..."no ice rink within 50 miles, wouldn't that indicate there is not a great need." tell me the closet city that has a golf cart paths system like ptc. the closest i know of is about 2000 miles. does that mean there is no need?

secondly, there is currently a waiting list for the hockey leagues in ptc.

on another note,take the nhl team, the dallas stars. several years ago there was only one ice rink in the metro dallas area, now there is 23 and more going up...can't seem to build them fast enough for the demand. oh yea, dallas is in the south.

no assumptions with the thrashers and the gladiators. they have committed to some practice time, working with our kids in camps, nhl prospect camps with required accomadations, and will recommend visiting teams stay in ptc and use the facility.

as for as me, yes the fitness center is mine but that portion of the project is 100% funded by me not the taxpayer. regarding the ice, i currently have zero ownership and have no interest in running the ice portion of the project. for the purpose of disclosure, i have been asked to invest in the ice portion of the project. to this point i have declined. i'm in a catch 22, if i invest, i'm involved, if i don't, then i must not think it's a good investment. i didn't want to answer your question, as there is no perfect answer other than an honest one and i want to be as honest with you as possible. you did ask the question, thus you deserve an answer.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:19pm.



Oh By Jingo

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:43pm.

A Southern California success story - Iceland Rink Paramount, California. Those were the days!!!!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 6:57pm.

If Dar is involved or not, why would you care and why would you think it is an issue? Vote on the damn thing based upon the merits (or detriments) of the project. Be a citizen - don't be a pinhead.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:31pm.

To talk in a calm civilized manner. The double posting was an error. I am sure you have made them. No one is perfect, there was only one perfect person and they crucified him. If I wish to use all capitals in my heading that is my prerogative. Why does it make you so hot under the collar?

Why shouldn't I care if someone is asking me as a taxpaying citizen of the community to foot the bill for his project? Why shouldn't it be an issue? Anything that has an effect on my community is an issue with me. If you don't like my posts, don't read them. That is your right, just as it is mine to question whatever I choose to question. And that my dear MUDCAT is what makes this country so great. I think anyone who does not question is the pinhead.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:56pm.

"When they lack intelligence to talk in a calm civilized manner."

"Why shouldn't I care ..."

"I think anyone who does not question is the pinhead."

Perhaps your stronger point is civility and not intelligence, friend.

A sense of style might help, too:

For what it's worth, I believe it is the Constitution and not blogging that makes this country great.


Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:21pm.

I did not say that blogging made this country great. What I said was that it was great that we had the right to express our opinions--most people would realize I meant because of our Constitution, Bill of Rights and form of government, we have the right to express our opinions openly, with no fear of reprisal from others with dissimilar views. And, please don't point out that those are not my exact words, as I am paraphrasing.

I would like to know what you find to your dissatifaction in my grammar, sentence structure or whatever it was that offended you. I just wish you had been around years ago to point out my deficiencies; then I would probably have chosen another occupation and not made a very nice salary writing speeches for others, as well as other free-lance writing, while holding down still another job. Alas, it is too late, as I am retired. But if you feel it is necessary I could probably take a remedial writing course if you deem it necessary. Of course, I would want to check out your credentials first.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:46pm.

Did you often begin two sentences with I and casually speak for "most people" when writing speeches for others? Maybe you can fool some of the people some of the time.

My point was that you combined intelligence and civility in an utterly unintelligible way. A civilized person need not necessarily be intelligent. Your argument had more merit on those grounds than when you brought intelligence into the mix in such a poorly expressed manner. Rather than acknowledging that your reach clearly exceeded your grasp, you chose instead to dig in deeper by labeling yourself a professional.

Well done.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 5:35am.

from time to time. I've been snagged in them too and I question their constitutionality. Now, I can understand if you were an anti-grammar repeat offender, but obviously you are not a habitual violator. I might suggest a few good grammatical lawyers to defend you against the comming legal actions, and I wish you luck in constructing a solid defense.

Oh yeah. Take Mudcat with a grain of salt. Mud tends to give emotional opinions without supporting evidence, but there is a good heart in there. Cheers,

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by MYTMITE on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 9:13am.

When I started posting here. During that time I have seen many grammatical errors. Some I realize are typos, as some of mine are, some are caused by people's thoughts over running their typing skills and then there are those that are consistent. For instance: constant use of there for their, your for you're, etc. In those cases I feel it is a helpless situation. Unless the person means harm to another I just ignore it. I have seen what you mean about Mudcat in past posts. My feelings are that if someone has nothing better to do than to sit and criticize what someone types without justification-then they have too much time and need to find something worthwhile to do--like visiting shut-ins in nursing homes, mailing packages to our service personel, helping at the animal shelter-anything to make them realize there are more important things in life. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 10:21pm.

But simply replying to a blogger, a nit-picking one at that. I did not 'casually speak for others' but simply explained that most people would get the gist of my post. If you did not, I am sorry. I have no intention of trying to fool any of the people any of the time. Someone can be intelligent and not be civil, just as someone can be civil and not be intelligent. You have shown that it is also possible to not possess intelligence or civility. I did not realize when I posted on here that I was being graded and critiqued by you. I notice you did not proffer your credentials. In the past I have read your posts and seen misspelled words, incorrect usage etc., but did not find it necessary to point these facts out to you since you were blogging and not writing a thesis. One other fact, my first post that brought this on was directed to Dar Thompson, not you or Mudcat. Mudcat decided to slam me and you jumped in after my reply to her. Did you have a bad day at home? Did you kick the cat on your way to your computer? If it makes you feel better to try to tear me down, have at it. I am still waiting for the credentials you surely must have that would give you the ability to dissect my posts. Bless your heart.

Submitted by susieq on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:43pm.

Have you ever been called an "all caps liberal" before? Mudcat is usually nicer; I guess she has had a bad day. First time for everything! McJerkin called me "miss low IQ."

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:05pm.

It is kind of hard to take seriously anything said from anyone who proudly displays a bottom feeder with their posts. Guess I didn't get the memo that said we should not question someone wanting to use our money to build something that we didn't know we needed. And in spite of MUDCAT'S ranting it is our money and our right. I guess I would be more offended to be called a bottom feeder.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 4:15pm.

In this project or benefit in any way? Will you in any way be involved with the gym or any other part of this project? Is your only interest an altruistic one: providing for our youth?

Do you have firm commitments from these teams that you say will hold camps for youngsters, hold their own camps here, play here etc., or are these only assumptions on your part.

You mention that there is no ice rink within 50 miles. Wouldn't that indicate that there has not been a great need? Don't you feel that with all the smart business people we have in the Greater Atlanta area that we would have had ice if there was a need and it was a money-making proposition. Also, as we all know, franchises come and go--what guarantee do we have that the Atlanta Thrashers or any other ice hockey team will be here in the next 5-10-20 years?

If Peachtree City was flush with cash, this might be doable. But when we are using 'emergency' money to just keep going-when we have cut services, when taxes are going up constantly and we have so many things that are in existence that needs repairs and upkeep, I just cannot see how we can jump into this--too may variables-no guarantees. We can live without an ice rink and the other amenities, we cannot live without sufficient WELL-PAID police and fire personnel,and well maintained infrastructure. Again, get a group of backers, build the facility yourself, be successful and we will applaud you and your efforts. We are not in a position to take on this at this time.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 12:09pm.

"Secondly, and more importantly, if you are a Peachtree City citizen, you are paying for the amphitheatre with your tax dollars. As a mayoral candidate I simply cannot and will not promote my campaign on the taxpayer's dollar, so that is why you will not see me politicking on the grounds of a taxpayer-supported facility. It would be difficult to claim that I am conservative on fiscal issues then let the taxpayers of Peachtree City throw my party, by supporting my campaign through their tax-dollars."
Dar answering mayorial questions 9/14/05

Here's another good one...
Your "Real Estate Transfer Fee" program was intended to improve existing parks and golf cart paths. As you stated; "This plan could raise an additional $300,000.00 to $400,000.00 a year into our revenue without costing you, the current resident, one penny."

So, have you changed you stance or did you "mispeak"?

“Every time you vote Democrat God kills a kitten.”

Submitted by dar thompson on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 2:51pm.

not at all.

as i have already stated, i will not own the company that controls the ice rink, nor will i run the ice rink. i am a advocate of having ice in ptc. i am an advocate for the hundreds of kids who play hockey, that they will have a place to go. i am an advocate for the hundreds of little girls that would love to figure skate but don't have a place to go. i am an advocate of making ptc better and better.

many have gone on to say we have the tennis center...where's all the people and companies that was supposed to bring, etc. people this is ice, there is not another rink within 50 miles any direction..this makes us even more unique and's important to always raise the bar.

go onto the thrashers's already creating waves. the tharashers will hold some practices here, camps for our kids, nhl teams may even be staying here when they come to atlanta.

don't understand your logic on the "real estate transfer issue". this is a perfect example of that arguement. if the city would have adopted my plan, this money could have been used for this project. on another note, complain about the ruby tuesday parcel (selling to another drug store). the city could have allocated transfer fees to purchase that property and do whatever they would be in their control. same goes for the original kohl's project on hwy 54.

thank you for bringing this issue up.

JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 4:08pm.

After reading your bio and all you have done in the gym business, you should have no problem with privately funding this project. You could sell ad space and banners around the place, as well as consessions. T-shirts? Parking? You could make a killing.

As for taxing me, my family, my neighbors and fellow PTC Citizens to pay for it while you make a profit, well...
Keep your hands off of my wallet and you won't draw back a stump.

P.S. Try locating the shift key on your keyboard. It's located in two spots. One on the left under the Caps Lock, and the other on the right under the Enter key. Keep looking for that elusive "Any" key while you're at it.

“Every time you vote Democrat God kills a kitten.”

Submitted by MYTMITE on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 11:16am.

Only Phase One or the whole thing? As to the "just under---", I have never known anything to come in at the estimated cost. I am afraid this cost would ecalate just as the cost of the half gallon of gas Mr. Halbert equated our cost to. I need that half gallon of gas-- I don't need an ice rink.

Submitted by FayetteFlyer on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:09am.

But I would utilize the ice rink. As one who has/had played ice hockey in my youth, I'd participate in any adult league that was formed there and would do what is necessary to help make it successful. I don't blame the residents for being apprehensive considering what they've endured with the tennis center, but I truly believe this multi-purpose facilty will offer more choices, not only Fayette County but the surrounding south metro counties as well.

Submitted by 1bighammer on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:39pm.

somewhere in the county and seek assistance from the County, and State in the form of tax breaks, rather than having the City foot the entire bill up front.

If its such a great investment and will provide great economic impact, then get the hotel and restaurant owners to invest since it is them that will be reaping the economic benefits of all those tournaments and such.

Submitted by dar thompson on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:02pm.

the county is too busy building a 22 million dollar park in north fayette county. oh by the way, you didn't have a chance to vote for it. the finished product will be 22 million dollars.

over twice the cost of this project...with no real assets. at least with the ice arena there is a large building that has a value.

note that ptc offers much of the recreation for the county, if the monies were given out based on services offered, ptc should receive over $800,000.00 annually...they get $150,000.00. wouldn't make much sense to go to the county.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:44pm.

You've nailed it, 1bighammer (pun intended).

Dar Thompson is, by all accounts, a very wealthy businessman. He didn't get that way from making poor business decisions. The fact that he wants the government to pony up the funds to build ice rinks that he will then run doesn't give me a whole heckuva lot of confidence in the viability of the proposal.

And yes, I'm still smarting over the White Elephant Tennis Center over there at Planterra. Seems they were touting tournaments and such as an economic boon. Have they ever had a tourney there since 2002?

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 10:05pm.

Why don't you get financing and do the whole thing yourself? Peachtree City residents are still paying for the debacle at the Tennis Center. This was supposed to be a win-win situation also--and look where that got us. We are not in a position to fund such an undertaking. Besides that, nothing ever ends up costing what is projected before construction. I feel strongly that if we take part in this undertaking that we will be stung badly once again. Especially with the economy what it is these days we do not need to be paying taxes on non-necessities.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 11:51pm.

Everyone needs to remember this is the same clown that tried to tell us that a Kohl's would contribute over $100,000 annually to PTC in sales tax.

Least I forget, he was the candidate who said "TDK Boulevard will be one of my top priorities"

Any questions as to his motives?

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 8:57pm.

If this was a financially good idea, the banks would be giving Dar a loan.

This has all of the earmarks of a complete failure, just like the white elephant tennis center. Remember how we got sucked into that one? "It will drawn lots of people from out of town" Riiiightttt!

This will be a complete failure, that is why Dar doesn't want the loan in his name.

Nice try Dar.

Submitted by intheknow on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 2:46pm.

The city is considering closing a city pool that costs by their estimate about $22,000 a year to operate, this in an older neighborhood, where I'm sure the children living there need something to do during their summers. There had been previous talk of not putting the bubble up on Kedron Aquatics center in the winter "to save money", thus taking away the facility that all the high school swim teams use. Residents, mind you not many (that citizen apathy factor comes to play on these things), but some vocal ones, especially bloggers here, with not much else to do, complaining about their taxes on a regular basis. Requests to obtain additional and appropriate levels of Public Safety personnel being pushed back, due to the budget, and in avoidance of any tax increases, often it seems just to appease those "few" vocal opponents.
Now we have this Ice Rink / Fitness Center to go before the voters, many of whom probably won't even understand the tax ramifications if it passes. $941,000 a year for the next 20 years according to the article, oh yes the private corporation would pay $436,000 a year in rent on a long term lease, leaving the citizens with a $505,000 a year balance to cover. - Of coarse this plan only IF they remain soluble and in business for the next 20 years! The article further states this would impact a residence valued at $250k, an additional $25 a year. Previous proposed increases of even less money to increase Public Safety Staffing levels (Police & Fire for those whom might not know) have been met with much resistance. Ultimately - WHAT ARE WE THINKING? When I moved to the south, I sold my ice skates and snow ski's - I knew I wouldn't have any need for them. So many people complained for so many years about the Tennis Center, this doesn't seem to be much different.
I do see it mentioned that the "site plan for the property includes space for a future fire station" - that was nice of them. But that would be kind of silly to build a fire station at the north entrance to the Baseball / Soccer complex on Hwy 74, as the city already has a fire station (#85) planned one block south, at the south entrance to that same complex.
I just hope that Dar and his supporters, in conjunction with uninformed or unknowing voters don't get this crazy thing passed come November. Cal and a hand full of bloggers will have a field day and will overwhelm "The Citizen" website and newsprint for years to come about this debacle.

Submitted by mag4ga2 on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 4:53pm.

Let's start the "VOTE NO" campaign now! Dar Thompson owns several gyms in the area and is apparently a successful business owner. If he wants to open an ice rink let him do it without the "little bit of help" from the citizens. Oh by the way, that "little bit of help" is half a million dollars a year in taxpayers money! There isn't enough space in this blog to list all the more useful ways PTC could spend that money. Besides I don't want any of my hard earned money going to help fill Mr. Thompson's bank account. If he wants to make money off of my family he can build an ice rink himself and if I like it, I'll bring the kids to skate there. That's how it works.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 5:56pm.

Gyms cost lots of money. Spect he owes tons to banks on those. Hope they aren't in foreclosure. He may need a job in running an ice rink, I don't know!

Why would PTC even consider being a financier anyway? Through the Tourism Authority, huh? But we would owe that as proved by the Tennis Center----not the Authority!

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 1:07am.

i continue to find it intresting that there are those who seem to hide behind the vaneer of self doubt and lack of commitment to their cause by not using their real name. maybe it's the fact that once people found out their identity, no one would pay attention, as they would consider the source.

bonkers, get your facts straight...i do not own the company associated with the ice rink nor will i be running the ice rink.

furthermore, you speak of things you abviously know nothing about. it is irresponsible for you to make assumptions about other people and in this case their business without having the first clue to what you are talking about.

for your information, the gyms are paid for and have no debt associated with them. the clubs here rank in the top 5% of clubs across the country and were recently voted as one of the top 5 clubs in the metro atlanta area by the atlanta business chronicle.

i will be happy to meet with you and show you financials so that you may see for yourself. please feel free to contact me.

please, in the future, get your facts straight.

dar thompson

Submitted by Bonkers on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 6:24am.

Why would you pay for the advertising to sell the ice rink to the public? You said you would, knowing that was not legal!

What happened to your near $20,000,000 proposal for a bigger complex?

How are you connected to the "developer?"

I simply do not believe that all of your
"gym" holding are free and clear and that you have deeds in hand!
That would not be good business.

Submitted by glfrgurl on Sat, 07/19/2008 - 4:43pm.

Having lived here since the early 70s I can tell you there have been 2 ice rinks opened and closed in the area, one in Newnan and the other was in Morrow I believe. Both were miserable failures. The population of children is declining in Fayette. I'm sure the limited number of people who would use the facility would truly enjoy having an ice rink but at what cost to the rest of us who wouldn't ever step foot in it? $505,000 operating cost to the taxpayers per year is the figure only as long as the ice rink stays in business. 20 years is a long time for any business to remain open, unfortunately, in today's economy.

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 9:00am.

there has never been an ice rink to fail in peachtree city. yes, there was a rink that was in newnan in the the late 70's..that's when there where more cows than people in the area.

ice rinks require several important factors; (1) population and (2) two rinks with enough seating for tournaments (one sheet of ice cannot generate enough revenue),the two rinks you refer to had neither.

i would offer that the increase in your home value would more than offset the additional $25.00 a year it would cost. More amenities simply equate to higher property values.

ptc spends between 4 and 5 million dollars a year on recreation and personally i use very little of what is offered. however, i have no problem with the investment i pay in my taxes because it helps maintain and increase my property value and along the way it is of great benefit to the kids in the community.

if you don't agree, get rid of all the recreation and watch your house plumett by 20%.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:27am.

but I lived here when the ice rink was in Newnan. Did you? I give you that there was not as many homes nor as much shopping but we were not the bucolic setting you indicate. In fact, I took my 5 year old granddaughter to skating lessons there. As to increasing the value of my home, I doubt that sincerely. The Tennis Center has done nothing to increase the value, yet I am stuck paying off that loan. The recreation that is in place now-the pools, the playing fields etc are used by many. I do not see the ice rinks bringing in the money you indicate. Peachtree City is not in a financial position to pay for such a venue at this time and if it were I do not know if I would be behind it then. If this is such a good investment and since your other endeavors are paid off, why don't you do this on your own? You could probably be successful as your gyms are successful. Peachtree City needs many other things before an ice skating rink. IF PTC funded this we would be responsible for 20 years if it failed or did not make the money you forsee. And businesses do fail. I, too, pay taxes and do not use the facilities for children (way past that stage of life. ) but do not begrudge the sports fields etc. I think this is too big and expensive a project for Peachtree City to undertake at any time and especially with the economy in the state it is in now. But free enterprise is wonderful and I wish you, as a successful businessman all the luck in the world if you do decide to undertake this on your own dime. But I would certainly do anything I could to prevent PTC paying for it.

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:57am.

yes, i lived here and was at that rink almost every day of the week.

your logic doesn't make sense in regards to cost....the aquatic center cost twice as much annually and contributes no economic impact. also, it should be stated that the vast majority of th usage for that facility is only three months out of the year. From a business prespective i could easily argue that the cost for the aquatic center is 6 to 8 times higher than the cost of ice rinks. you are stuck with this cost forever, unless it is either closed or becomes private.

i will also state that the overall usage for ice will be at lease 20 times greater than the usage at the aquatic center.

Submitted by Bonkers on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 3:30pm.

If we are to spend millions on recreation, it should be for a teenage center. Not a dance barn, but a comprehensive center.
Gym, bowling, IT center, library of school requirements, chaperoned party area, walking circle, health checks, and on...

Sports aren't everything---especially one with about 10% interest.

Submitted by glfrgurl on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:07am.

Just don't think tax dollars should fund this.
There are too many uncertainties about such a large
outlay of taxpayer dollars.

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:17am.

i understand and respect your opinion.

just know that twice this amount goes to the kedron aquatic center every year. the aquatic center offers no economic impact to ptc and many who use the facility don't even live here.

the ice rinks will bring in approx. 18,000 day stays (heads-n-beds) annually with an economic impact of over 2.5 million for our community and local business owners.

this does not take into account increased home values as well as other tax revenues from businesses locating here because of this amenity.

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:53pm.

I live in Fayetteville so I have no dog in this fight, but, if this is such a win win situation why not use your money to build it? Why should the city get involved?

I yam what I yam....Popeye

Submitted by fluffybear on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 2:40pm.

My thoughts exactly!

If Mr. Thompson really believes what he says then he should not have any problem using his own money, finding investors/partners, or getting a loan from Bank of America.
There is no guarantee anything Mr. Thompson has promised will. Unless he is willing to put up some form of security - Skate away as fast as you can!!!

I have an idea - Mr. Thompson deposits $10 million dollars in a secured account held by the city and if after 20 years his ice rink has delivered on ALL of his promises then he can have his $10 million back. The first time it doesn't, the city keeps the money...

JGF9148's picture
Submitted by JGF9148 on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:16pm.

Dar, your assumptions reflect a best case sunny day economy where people have disposable income and it's the best of times. That doesn't appear to be the case now or in our immediate future.I have grave concerns as to what the impact will be on City services in a complex such as this.I am not a big fan of the use of public funds to front this type of endeavour. I don't think our city should take on another tennis center type project. I understand as a business man your desire to get yourself positioned for the best deal, but I do not like to have the city reaching further into my pocket then they already do to get you there. Bottom line, wrong deal, wrong time,wrong place.

Submitted by Spyglass on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:02pm.

You state the Kedron Aquatic Center has NO economic impact on the area. How do you know this? I personally know of many people, myself included, who moved to PTC because of the Amenities the City offers. The parks, cart paths, pools, parades, concerts, etc. Not just one, but all of them. They certainly had an impact on my decision to move here. I could have bought more house for the money in an area without all these things, but I chose PTC.

These same people who moved here for the City Amenities, may just choose to join your health club.

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:25pm.


that is exactly my point "added value". i was arguing the fact that there are those who don't won't to spend the whole $2.17 per month on added recreation...added value.

my position is for those who think it's a waste or that the cost is too much, there are other venues which cost alot more with less usage. you can't have it both ways.

the economic impact i was referring to is that the aquatic facility does not bring in any tournaments or overnight stays. team sports such as ice hockey will generate 1500 people for three days, thus revenue for our hotels, stores, shops, restaurants, etc.

Submitted by Spyglass on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 1:30pm.

enough is enough in regards to Amenities. Where do we stop?

I lived in the Stockbridge area when the ice rink was in Morrow. I went a time or two. It failed miserable due to lack of interest. It was a fairly nice facility in my opinion. Throw in twice as many people in Clayton/Henry as there are in Fayette/Coweta and you have to wonder if our area would support such a venture.

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 9:11pm.

it didn't fail due to lack of interest, it failed for two main reasons and then some.

#1 only one sheet of ice. you cannot generate enough revenue from only one sheet of ice...the numbers will not just won't pencil. a minimum of two sheets are a must.

many facilities across the country are going to three sheets of ice. by the way, look in the suburbs of the denver colorado area, many rinks are fully funded by the city recreation department...not a private entity.

#2 bad business plan / model. this facility was not ran like those who have been structure and poorly managed. this is simply the reason why many businesses fail.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 1:45pm.

Dar Thompson is definitely right that the management was horrendous and the place went from near-capacity the first few months to minimal business in a hurry. Poor equipment, apathetic and lousy staff, feeble attempt at a pro shop, weird hours, scheduling done on a back of a napkin, etc. etc.

He's also right that one sheet of ice only isn't feasible when you are talking about having youth and adult hockey, big regional tournaments, figure skating, casual use,etc. etc. One sheet of ice won't cut it.

The demographics of where that ice rink was located didn't lend themselves at all to ice anything. I have no idea about why they thought a location in CLAYTON COUNTY is going to draw an activity that is generally considered to be on the higher end side. Duh!!!

While I do think Dar's projections are pretty solid based on what I have observed elsewhere in Alpharetta as well as the base of support already in PTC, the big question is whether this public-private venture and the cost+length of obligation with those costs is going to fly with the voters. Even during "good" economic times and even without a tennis center fiasco, this would be a very hard one to sell. Fayette county voters took a ton of convincing to pass increased school funding and defeated it twice before deciding to OK using bonds(though I think at that point they would have approved it in the form of local option sales tax too). Without a lot of PR and some serious advocacy, Dar's plan has about as much chance as ice does of not melting outside right now.

This is the kind of project that screams of a large private enterprise undertaking it and the taxpayer portion being elements like long-term tax breaks, use of the hotel-motel tax(they would benefit from this quite nicely too), or even land purchase+donation. Putting the taxpayer on the line for a couple of decades of operating costs is the wrong way to go about this, IMHO.

JGF9148's picture
Submitted by JGF9148 on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 12:22pm.

Actually in the presentation to the city council Mr. Thompson had wondered how my new citizens we had lost due to a lack of skating facilities. One finger or two?

Submitted by dar thompson on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 9:27pm.

again, i would advise you do your homework.

there have been companies from the northeast, mid-west, and recently canada that have or had ptc on their radar of potential headquarters. the question has been asked "does ptc have ice?"

when it comes to these values, additional taxes to our digest, etc, here or not here, you decide which is better, either way, you are either putting money on the pile or you are taking it off.

fingers won't work, you'll need a calculator to count the gains or the losses.

JGF9148's picture
Submitted by JGF9148 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 11:52am.

I don't need to do my homework when I have you to tell me how great this is going to be for us all! Now back to reality.Thru the years I've seen this type of venture here and in other parts of the country where I lived fail to lower my taxes, nor did they add to my quality of life. And did I mention the added traffic and stress on exisitng city services? Your correct though about people not moving here cause we don't have ice, because I heard tell of a group from Buffalo who passed on PTC and moved to Newnan beacuse we didn't have bowling pins either. Enough with the hard sell.Roll your dice and we'll see in November.

zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:15am.

For future assistance to those that need to answer the question, "does ptc have ice?", here is the answer:

No, we do not 'have ice'. We seldom even have ice in the middle of winter, as this is the South. Take it or Leave it. It is what it is.

What we DO have is...... (begin list here of the wonderful beauty and offerings of Georgia and South Metro Atlanta).

I hope that helps.


hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 1:23pm.

Every convenience store I pass has ice, so I guess PTC has plenty of ice.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 1:37pm.

You got me there. PTC does have ice. Although Mr. Dar would certainly disagree!

"Never love anything that can't love you back."

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:13am.

Which companies have asked that question? More than one? What are the actual NAMES of these companies? How many jobs are we talking about? How will this help our current citizens other than bringing in more new residents and more development? And please do not give us the old "A rising tide floats all boats" in specifics. Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 4:23am.

I think maybe those dudes up north are just trying to get away from the ice!!!

They won't need to winter hibernate here in an ice rink!

They could build their own here if they want one.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 5:31am.

They voted to put it on the ballot in November. Vote yes or no if you live here. Your reasons don't matter to me because not one you appears to understand how the entire project is put together - except Dar - he understands but most of you are taking potshots at him. That's hardly fair. I wish there were more people like him trying to do something positive for the city rather than all the others sitting back and complaining.

What the city or the developers need to do is make all the information on this project to the public - not only at city hall, but at informational seminars throughout the city with Q & A and people who know the answers. The auditorium is probably the best part of this, but it is being overlooked.

And $25 per year actual cost for the average family? And you all are arguing about it? The real beauty of this is that the complex has several different uses and if one component fails (say the ice rink) it is very easy to convert it to another of the uses that is successful and needs expansion - I mean its not like a tennis center that only has one possible use.

Learn about this project -really learn - then make up your mind and vote.

Submitted by dar thompson on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 3:04pm.

thank you robert.

couldn't agree with you more.

ice will make us very unique. you can find tennis courts almost anywhere, pools..almost every neighborhood has them, soccer fields...not hard to find in most city's, baseball fields...plenty of those. not downplaying thier importance, they are, but ice makes us unique in the fact that there is no ice for fifty miles in any direction.

the thrashers will get involved at a variety of levels ranging from some practices here, instructional camps fopr our kids, possible nhl mini-camps, and nhl teams staying in our community and using the facility. could you imagine the detroit red wings in ptc. i think this is great for our community.

again, thanks...and i couldn't agree more with your position.

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 3:35pm.

Suddenly someone showed up at town council and proposed that they raise several million dollars for a Cricket field in PTC. Only one field will be needed with a stadium, since the game goes on for several days for about six hours per day. Charges are made each day to get in.
It will amaze everyone as to just how many Australians and Paks will come to PTC and stay for days!
Talking about being the talk of the North, wait until they hear about this!
The Paks will agree to have spring training here, I'm pretty sure, and the Aussies will play them. We will need some pak and aussie food to serve.
It will be a sticky wicket, I want you to know! I can't wait. I will be the commissioner.

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 5:01pm.

I should have mentioned that I want in the contract the rights to the camel stall and the elephant field storage. Inside concessions I plan to farm out since I know nothing about dip-crickets, singed rice, or ginger roots.

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:29am.

we actually agree on something Smiling...not the ice rink, but the point about making the information available to the voters and allowing them to make up their minds. That would be a truly novel approach given our current "cult of secrecy" that seems to have inhabited the various city halls/courthouses/school boards in this county. Let's lay the info out there for all to see. Keep the faith

Even a dead fish can go with the flow.

zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:20am.

If the taxpayers are going to put up $25 more dollars per year, I feel certain they would rather that money go to funding police and fire and other public services. There isn't a bottomless pit of income in PTC and what is asked for should first and foremost be used to better the quality of life for the existing citizens; not strive to bring in more residents and more development.


Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:06pm.

Let's make sure those protecting us are well taken care of. Heaven forbid we skate around on a frozen man made lake while our officers struggle to make ends meet.

Cops tied to the city by being able to afford to buy homes here. Heck of an idea.

Submitted by glfrgurl on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:52am.

Thank you, no one in my family has had a raise in years. I would be more willing for an extra $25 in taxes to go towards maintaining the standards we are accustomed to. Come November the economy is going to be much worse and people will register their vote accordingly.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:54am.

You make good points. I agree, we need more information before it is dismissed off-hand.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 9:55am.

I think most folks hesitation with this project can be attributed to our memory of how the tennis center came to be. The last thing we need is a cash cow in reverse. If we had black ink flowing throuout our budget I would understand, but as Skyspy points out, that definitely is not the case.


Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 7:46am.

It would probably be more than that. For the last 2yrs harold has dipped into the city slush fund just to balance the budget. This happened even though our taxes went up. Soooo....we can't even afford the amenities that we have right now.

The only person who would make money out of this would be Dar.

The story about attracting more people to our city is the same one we heard with the white elephant tennis center, that is still draining the budget. Unless we annex more land, where will all of these mystery companies and people go?

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:55pm.

conservative Republicans were against, as in not for, governments being in private enterprise? If so, consider me a conservative on this one. Additionally, this is not really a "green" idea, since I know that it takes a lot of electricity to make ice, and it is not getting any cheaper, so there is that shade of green to consider also.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 8:10pm.

"Municipal VC" is bad bad bad.

Simpsons fans might wonder why Dar didn't think of bringing us a monorail.

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