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AMHERST TIMES: The Town of Amherst Must Find Ways to Show a Profit

By Jim Tricoli
AMHERST TIMES


Our Northtown Center, where the ice rinks are, has been around for 20 years. We haven't finished paying for these ice rinks yet. The ice rinks have never made a profit in all that time.

The town is in the red more than $500,000 a year on the ice rinks so the taxpayers have been paying to keep it afloat. The main reason we are losing money is because of the low rates we charge for ice time. Since most of the ice time is used by Amherst leagues, raising the ice time charge would drive these families to take their children to a different ice center.

We don't have enough tournaments to make up the huge loss of our ice rinks.

Now there is talk to build a 5th rink. Fine, if the people whose children are in the leagues pay for it.  It will cost millions to build the proposed rink.

Next is the hotel which Uniland wants to build near the rink. The hotel would have 105 rooms. When a tournament comes to the Northtown Center most families look for a place nearby which offers good discount and can house the entire team.  105 rooms would most likely not be large enough.

Uniland will make a tidy penny renting out these rooms when Amherst doesn't have enough tournaments. They will be giving the town $50,000 a month. This number should be much higher if the town agrees to have this hotel built on our prime land. It seems that a ton of pressure is being put on some group to make this happen.

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.