Ice Den Scottsdale undergoing sparkling refurbishment
Expect the howl coming from the Jr. Coyotes next fall to be just a tad louder.
That’s because with the massive project the organization is seeing happen at the Ice Den Scottsdale, not only will the rinks be stronger, but so will the hockey programs.
The old sand floor (under the ice and refrigeration unit) is being removed from both rinks (one this year, one in 2017) to be replaced with new concrete floors. It’s a multi-year project that will also see the rink’s entire ice plant replaced, as well as the boards around the rink.
A brand-new, state of the art Tier I Elite locker room is also part of the blueprints, as is reverse osmosis for the water, which will make the ice glisten. Ice Den Chandler already utilizes reverse osmosis.
Matt Mendelsohn, who serves as the Ice Den’s senior director of operations and procurement, explained that aside from the change, feel and look of the floor, ammonia and a new glycol system will be used as the primary refrigerant, not the soon-to-be-shelved R22.
“R22 will be banned in 2020 and you will no longer be able to purchase it,” said Mendelsohn. “That was one of the driving factors that led to this project happening, in addition to having issues with our sub-floor. We were seeing movement in our sand and we knew that we wanted to make this change at some point. The great thing about working here is that we have such a great ownership team that really gives you the capabilities to do what you need to do and they trust you in your decisions. I can say, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on. We’re having an issue.’ And they will support improvements and enhancements that are best for hockey and for the building.
“For hockey in Arizona, it’s great that we have that type of backing. Our operations team will be working directly with the construction company and sub-contractors here in the building. With any construction, you anticipate some hiccups, but we’re here to make sure everything runs smooth and that there’s a seamless transition.”
Mendelsohn added that the lobby at Ice Den Scottsdale will also be upgraded with new rubber flooring throughout the lobby and washrooms, as well as new LED lighting in the lobby, hallways and locker rooms.
“This is a huge project and we are operating in a tight window,” added Mendelsohn. “We have big excavators in the building right now, digging up the dirt and getting the frost out from under the sand. They’ll move the sand out to melt any frost and then a core drilling company will come in to confirm all the frost has been removed and we’ve done all we need to do to proceed with the rink renovation.”
Ice Den president Mike O’Hearn has been with the organization since its inception and can’t wait to see the finished product.
“Obviously, we are extremely fortunate to have the ownership that we have with the Burke family behind us,” said O’Hearn. “They’ve continued to invest back into our facilities and programs to keep improving them, continually raising the bar. In this day and age, that’s almost unheard of in a business that is so energy- and cost-intensive. The employees see the commitment of ownership to make our Scottsdale and Chandler buildings long-term properties and truly appreciate that. They see the interest starts with ownership on down and they get a greater sense of pride for what they do. That pride, I believe, translates to an even greater level of customer service.”
In the immediate future, once the first rink is completed with the concrete slab addition, it will be converted to turf before being changed to ice in the late summer.
“A concrete floor allows so much more flexibility to the business model,” noted O’Hearn.
— Matt Mackinder