After two years of trying to convince New London residents of the joys of ice skating, New London Main Street has decided to sell the ice rink that it hoped would attract people to Parade Plaza in the dead of winter.
"Main Street had a lot of trouble getting people to attend," said New London Main Street Executive Director Annah Perch. "We also didn't have the resources to bring it back a third year."
If the City Council gives approval at its meeting on Monday, New London Main Street plans to put the rink up for sale. The New London Council's Economic Development Committee voted in favor of allowing Main Street to terminate its license with the city upon execution of a sale or lease at a meeting earlier this week. Committee members suggested that Main Street consider a leasing option that would keep the rink downtown, if an interested party can be found to operate it.
"We will do whatever we have to do to make it as easy as possible," said Perch.
The organization put the initial word out about its plans to sell the rink in a email blast to its members. Perch said so far they have received one phone call from a broker who deals in used sporting equipment who might be interested in the inventory. Any sale or lease will follow a process involving requests for proposals, with the rink going to the highest bidder.
The city bought the rink in 2011 using a capital lease. New London Main Street contributed $10,000 toward the initial cost, with the stipulation that it make five annual payments of $25,000. New London Main Street budgeted $116,000 for the rink but added custom built sheds for concessions, tickets and skates. In addition to the rink, the sheds, skates, and promotional materials are included in the sale.
"We hope that will have added value," said Perch.