Steel Ice Center still has no buyer

Dozens of investors from across North America have shown interest in buying the Steel Ice Center in south Bethlehem, but none wants to pay nearly $7.5 million to get it. Full Story
Oh Canada

Oaklyn, NJ

#25 Jul 5, 2008
Please, The SIC was on a course to the bottom from day one when the FLYERS promised the Farmer the world. Its not all his fault. He was duped by the King Pat promise. How could this place cost 8 million. Who made all the fees upfront? The Flyers, The Farmer, who?

The SIC is going to close. They have made no money and the auction company put out income and expense numbers that are fiction. I work in the banking industry in the valley. This was a bank ordered sale. The SIC is one step from closing.

My son played at the Comet and then the Blast. Now he is somewhere else thanks to JF. Hockey and all the rinks in the Valley are in disaray

The LV rink already looks better maybe if ER had looked out for the interest of the complex rather than trying to Ref every game in the Valley the place would have been in better shape. Remember ER is not certifyed to ref at those levels. Good Luck RP.

ps : on the QT ZM was a nice guy but maybe the GM found out about all the BS in the PM from ZM.
Ex-Ref

Allentown, PA

#26 Jul 5, 2008
To Oh Canada, you are right on many fronts. I would like to meet you and structure a rink plan that is solid. The biz plan never included the FSZ. King Pat did very little but collect his $100K fee each year. What they did do by their involvement was to drive up the cost of the facility by requiring certain design features that were unrequired. This also drove up the monthly operating cost as well.

I feel your conclusions are true. If someone buys the rink for $5.5MM there is a chance for them to break even and make some money. And as to the popular thought that the casino will help the rink, the answer is not quite. During the regular season the same local people will populate it. The only hope is that in the spring / summer months tournaments can be lured to the rink by the additional attraction of the casino.

I would love to see the fantasy number that were put out by the auction company. All of the hype by owners, was just that, hype. It was not rooted in fact.
famof4

Bath, PA

#27 Jul 5, 2008
"Oh Canada"] You should not talk about things you do not know this was not a bank ordered sale. This was merely another tactic by the owners to try to sell the rink. The rink has been for sale since the get go so until you know about the real facts maybe you should zip it.
As for the rink there are still a few people who really care and are trying to hang in there in hopes of a turn around. The ice was better when Zamboni Mike was there this is a fact, but daily the current zam drivers who are there now are working very diligently to try to get it back. It is not nearly as bad as people have stated.
There are many people that call this rink home and are happy to. Yes like any business it has its problems there is not contest.
Ice Skates

Kingston, PA

#28 Jul 5, 2008
If Steel Ice Center gets converted to some typical sin-city casino related business, it will be a disaster for local ice hockey teams, and we'll all have to personally thank our five card stud mayor for that. Thanks for bringing Las Vegas to our wonderful city of Bethlehem.
Ex-Ref

Allentown, PA

#29 Jul 5, 2008
Famof4, the current ice people know nothing of what ZM / Jack did either early in the morning or late at night to keep the ice flat, level and of consistant thickness. The figure skaters will never again get "test ice" at the rink unless something really changes. If a zam driver does not skate they know nothing of the conditions. Are the new guys keeping the rinks at differnt temperatures and thicknesses like ZM did to satisfy figure skating and high level hockey? I really doubt that. So until that changes you will be paying top dollar for poor service.

The rink is closed this weekend! Why, because the current operators can't book the ice for tournaments or other uses. This is a result of not enough time on the part of the GM to do this.

In another post mention was made that the GM and Ops Guy were not there on the weekends. Friday night through Sunday are the days where the money is made and management MUST be at the rink. If this is not happening then all thoses involved in running the rink don't knoe the business at all.

The skating communty must get going if they want to skate at a good rink. The present cast of owners and operators can't do it and have proved it with the poor, unsafe conditions.

Many of the employees have a sense of entitlement when if comes to their jobs. This must change. ZM protected some of the people who worked for him that did not give a fair days effort.
The Coach

Allentown, PA

#31 Jul 6, 2008
It's amazing the the blunder twins Jack (Ex-Ref) & not an imposter (Jim Galley) show their true colors. Jack who sued a youth hockey team and his partner, why would you put your correct name on a blog - Galley. Don't you work for a pretty respectable cleaning company in the Valley. Hopefully nobody will let Tony I. Know of your mistake!

The place never ran tournaments, why because no one marketed them. Members of the Blast asked, were hired and let go before they could start working on tournaments.

We will see the Schantzs' and Trainor's true collors if they do in fact keep the place open. There are thousands of people who use your building, the youth players of the Blast, Penquin Skaing Club, East Penn Speed Skating Club, Learn to Skate, Men's League, Gheezer Hockey League, show them you mean what is in print.

Mike the Zamboni man worked his ass off. The current GM alienates people. Go back to Cooperburg or Pittsfield and take Mrs. Clyde with you.

If the owners want to be succesful, hire Zamboni Man back before he's your competition's GM and you loose everything. Sometimes the best business decisions you make are the ones you correct. Put ZM in place with a free hand and two years to make it work. You need tournaments and it's time to start on the Christmas City (Dec- Jan) and the spring "Sands and Us - Ice Tournament". It's time to get creative and Monday July 7th, when you open back up, would be a GREAT day to start.
Ex-Ref

Allentown, PA

#32 Jul 6, 2008
Mens league, its true that ZM is working for Arrogant Ed H. Why, who knows, Arrogant Ed has real deep problems. I'm not sure what they are but I would NEVER let him run anything that would involve contac with the public. This guy is a mess. He is one of the groups looking to buy the rink. So you could go from the farmer to worse!

ZM never wanted to be the GM / Ops guy in any form. He was good doing what he was doing - making ice. As Jimmy Galley would tell you the job of the GM and Ops Mgr is a lot deeper than the public would see on the surface. As for him at Reading - I heard he was doing some ice work - not a total Ops Mgr thing.As for the party thing, I feel your observation is correct.

I hope you mens league guys can meet with the owners, not Clyde, and get him removed as the GM and get ZM back as much as it may hurt their "know it all egos".
Blunder twin

Milton, PA

#33 Jul 6, 2008
Hey coach I have nothing to hid here. I am very proud of what we accomplished. I assume you know me since you continue to insult me.Thanks for bringing up the Cleaning business.......it is going great, I would tell Tony you said hi but I am sure you will continue to hide behind the "coach".
The Other Blunder Twin

Allentown, PA

#35 Jul 6, 2008
Hey Coach - how are we the Blunder Twins? We did what was near impossible for two regular guys to do, build a twin sheet ice rink.

Since you mentioned about the logo first, no one was sued. Just a determination and consideration of who designed and held the original rights, nothing more.

And Mike, your time as GM was very short so your knowledge of the history is fuzzy, understadable. For all your biz experience even you were not able to best the farmer. It was sad that your son had a short time at hockey director but it was not a problem his ability but the rink managements lack of direction.

On, the plus side, we all have very good ideas, the coupling of the casino with the rink is a natural one, but not a slam dunk. The Atlantic City SZ tried to do what you're talking about and did not get much from it.

The real problem in all of this is the staggering cost of an arena both in terms of captal cost and operational cost. The "Blunder Twins" as you put us were able to navigate the many roadblocks both in the conception, design, construction and operation, how able you and the others? We were not able to keep the project as simple as we designed it.
travelgirl21

Allentown, PA

#36 Jul 6, 2008
Hi Jim Galley - miss ya buddy!
Ryan the sniper

Whitehall, PA

#37 Jul 6, 2008
The rink was great when Jack and Jimmy ran it and more importantly they are top notch guys. When they were relieved is when the whole thing started to tank.
Ex Ref - Rink Guy

Allentown, PA

#39 Jul 6, 2008
The speed skaters are great, thanks. I had a lot of fun learning the sport and watching this exciting skating. I have my picture with Apollo right next to my computer screen. It was one of the bright moments at the rink.
Its time for the owners to take a "haircut" and sell the rink at a reasonabble price to someone who cares. Additionally the Blast needs to grown up and understand that they are not the only ones who rent the ice. The skating community as a whole must get together and support the rink so it remains vital and does not fall into disrepair as it has done.
The rinks can thrive a social hub for skaters and their families but only if all concerned recognize that it is community assest that needs the correct management to grow and continue as a top flight facility.
I've talked to all the groups and they want the same things as they've always wanted: great ice, good lighting, clean locker rooms / bathrooms and good coffee. This was the basic approach we took.
Mayor

Kingston, PA

#40 Jul 6, 2008
How did Callahan get elected? I'll bet casino employees will be required to live in Bethlehem, and required to vote for the incumbent. Bethlehem will be converted from Bedford Falls to Pottersville, just like in the movie It's A Wonderful Life.
GeezerLeague2

Allentown, PA

#41 Jul 7, 2008
"Wake up little Suzzie, wake up!" Remember the lyrics? What is needed is a fresh start. Perhaps the Blast buying the place is the best idea yet. The owners sell to a non-profit a realize a HUGE tax right off. The Blast run the place and ask Mr. Keefe stated save $100,000 off of taxes (Now that ought to make the mayor do some cartwheels!!!)

Then they need to put a real management team in place. Not has beens or want a bees! Someone that is not an engineer, salesman, camp councelor, BS artist (sorry ML), or Mr. personality (Ed H.).

I came just after the SIC or FSZ opened, call it what you want, and watched the decline. While the manager's resumes improved, the perfomance still lacked.

Jack & Jim should be praised along with Mr. Fyrer for getting the ball rolling, but could they could not play in the big leagues.

New owners, new name, fresh paint and a clean slate. Sounds like a winning combination. Hope the Blast buys the place.

Let's start a name the rink contest for the new owners!!!

How about the Blast Furnace?
Rink Visitor

Grand Rapids, MI

#42 Jul 7, 2008
For the past 4 years, my family has been visiting the Lehigh Valley while taking breaks from our home in Indiana. We love figure skating and hockey, and enjoyed (notice the past tense) visiting this ice rink in Bethlehem. On our most recent visit, we were stunned at the piss-poor condition of the facility and most unprofessional, impolite behavior of the rink staff. Our children were excited prior to each past visit to see Mr. Mike, whom we are assuming is the zamboni driver referenced in numerous comments on this forum. We were impressed every time we visited Steel Ice Center because Mike was so pleasant to be around - both for the kids and adults. He kept everyone in line during public sessions and even heard from other parents about activities Mike organized at the rink. Also, we found Mike to be quite knowledgeable in the operation of the rink, especially the facility equipment. We are engineers who enjoyed talking "shop" with Mike while our kids skated on the best ice ever. We were quite disappointed to hear Mike had left, and the ass-wipe who seemed more than happy to report this to us clearly had no idea how to communicate with the public; this manager said many derogatory things about Mike that we assumed to be absolutely false. Has this manager bothered to look at his ice? The current state of this rink is shit, and we will never go back. We have begun our search to find where Mike is now, and we hope it's a rink we can visit on our trips to PA. By the way, I wonder if the rink staff ever heard the phrase "Defamation of Character?" I hope people are reporting the falsities to Mike and he sues the shit out of these people!

We will keep up with the status of this facility, and we hope the next group of owners aren't a bunch of morons who care so little about quality and reputation.

Farmers should stick to farming, and assholes should see if the farmers have any openings on the farm.

Good luck to the new owners, and, PLEASE, someone find Mike the Zamboni guy. My kids would love to see him.
Ex Ref - Rink Guy

Allentown, PA

#43 Jul 9, 2008
I'm a little shocked that the SIC management has not responded to any of the issues listed in this blog, or maybe that just the problem - no responce.

If anyone is skating there this summer please let us know what, if anything, is happening to the facility, programs or personnel at the rink.
Another view

Allentown, PA

#45 Jul 10, 2008
After reading all of these blog comment the basic conclusions would be:

1. The owners needs to get real, take the hit and get out, ASAP.

2. The GM Clyde should write his resume and look for a non people type job soon. The lazy staff needs to look for new jobs too.

3. Get Mike, the Zamboni guy, back and have people run the rink who know the job.

Hope the 2008 - 2009 season exists.
figuresk8er

Allentown, PA

#46 Jul 10, 2008
Well I was just at SIC this morning...each week it seems to get worse. At 11am...NO CLYDE (what a surprise); 2 rude, young girls working the front desk (anyone ever hear of greeting the customers?); the start of the Lehigh Valley HILL along the player benches on the West Rink; AND LARGE RED/WHITE EXIT ONLY,NO FOOD/DRINK (please, like anyone would drink the coffee in the SB), NO PET SIGNS covering the front doors(Rob still brings his dog in)(glad CLYDE can waste money on signs and nothing else) oh and lets not forget Kirk(i think thats his name) walking around with some schmuck who seriously looked like it was his first time in an ice rink & it seemed like he will be taking over as Ops Manager by the way they were acting :(
And lets not also forget the sign on Clyde's office door that says something along the lines of KEEP OUT (what kind of GM has a closed door policy?)
A lot of us went through this crap with LV, and were thrilled when we had a nice place to skate when SIC opened. what a shame we have to go through it again. Hopefully Clyde leaves NOW, and the owners take a loss and get out so all of the skating programs can be saved.
*Jack and Jimmy you guys did a great job when you were at SIC! And no one took care of the ice, the skaters, the customers and the facility like ZAMBONIE MIKE!
figuresk8er

Allentown, PA

#47 Jul 10, 2008
Ex Ref - Rink Guy wrote:
If anyone is skating there this summer please let us know what, if anything, is happening to the facility, programs or personnel at the rink.
I was just there this morning....11am -NO CLYDE (surprise surprise), RED/WHITE SIGNS CLUTTERING THE FRONT DOORS WITH NO FOOD/DRINK (who wants to drink their coffee?), NO PETS (funny rob still brings his dog in), and EXIT ONLY! Oh yes and the sign on Clyde's office door that basically says KEEP OUT (what good is a GM with a closed door policy?) And lets not forget the Lehigh Valley Hill that has been starting in the West Rink. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE LEARN HOW TO DRIVE THE ZAM, EDGE AND FLOOD AT THE PROPER TIMES! Also, Kirk ( i think that is his name--the pretend Ops Manager) was walking around with some schmuck who my guess is the next Ops manager--honestly it looked like it was his first time in an ice rink.
*jack and jimmy you guys were great. and no one can compare to ZAMBONI MIKE.
A lot of us went through this crap with LV...what a shame we are starting to go through it again. All we can do is hope CLYDE LEAVES NOW and the owners take a loss on the facility---it would be best for everyone.
Ex-LVIA

East Greenville, PA

#48 Jul 10, 2008
Ex Ref - Rink Guy wrote:
If anyone is skating there this summer please let us know what, if anything, is happening to the facility, programs or personnel at the rink.
Well, I was just there this morning and here is the run down.....
- RUDE FRONT DESK GIRLS! would it kill someone to say hello to the customers or at least acknowledge that someone walked through 1 of the 2 doors?
- 11AM...DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR GM IS?
- FRONT DOORS LITTERED WITH RED/WHITE SIGNS....NO OUTSIDE FOOD/DRINK (who is going to drink the coffee they serve?)NO PETS (rob still brings his dog in every shift he works and he was supposed to get fired months ago for that)EXIT ONLY (on 4 of the 6 doors...BOY IS CLYDE TRYING TO GET EVERYONE OUT OF THERE QUICK!)
- Kirk walking around with a SCHMUCK who my guess is going to be taking over as Ops Manager :((the SCHMUCK looked as if it was his first time stepping foot in an ice arena)
- The LEHIGH VALLEY HILL starting in the West Rink
- KEEP OUT SIGN ON CLYDES OFFICE DOOR (what good is a GM with a closed door policy?)
This is all too familiar. Steve and Sandy could not care less about LVIA before they finally sold to Phil the moron. SIC owners do not care anymore and the place is falling apart. Hopefully SIC gets saved before it looks like LVIA.
*Jack and Jimmy you guys did a great job when you were at SIC. and no one can ever compare to ZM.

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