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Oct. 14—The Edge Ice Center has a large economic impact on the community through hosting hockey and figure skating tournaments, city parks recreation superintendent Kerry Bodenheimer told city commissioners Tuesday.
Bodenheimer said Wednesday that the ice skating rink doesn't make a profit through admission fees and rentals. However, she said tournaments held there have a direct economic effect through hotel room rentals, restaurant visits and other purchases visitors make, as well as an indirect effect of creating jobs.
The 12-year-old rink had a direct economic impact of $193,904 in 2020, primarily through hockey tournaments, said Bodenheimer, who noted that the Edge's indirect impact last year was $310,246.
"Because we have tournaments and events, people have jobs in the hospitality industry" and restaurants," Bodenheimer said.
The Edge hosts the Kentucky High School Hockey League championship on a rotating basis with the state's other ice arenas. The rink hosted the state hockey tournament in March.
There are only four ice arenas in Kentucky, and The Edge is the only city-owned rink in the state, Bodenheimer said.
The Edge's figure staking competition also generates a direct community economic impact of $146,000. The competition, which draws competitors from several surrounding states, attracts several figure staking teams and up to 150 competitors, Bodenheimer said.
The event was last held in 2019, but is planned for March of next year. The 2020 and 2021 competitions were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When everything shut down (in 2020), it was one week prior to the competition," Bodenheimer said.
During the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended in June, The Edge had $588,759 in expenses and generated $342,423 in revenue. In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the rink had $589,000 in expenses and generated $439,343 in revenue.
"The facility is subsidized, and expenses exceed revenue," Bodenheimer said.
Attendance for public skating was impacted last year by the pandemic. Although staking season accelerates in November, attendance in September and October is comparable with pre-pandemic levels, Bodenheimer said.
"We are right where we typically would be this time of year," she said.
The ice rink holds special events and regular open skates during the season.
"We do an awful lot of (programming) to make sure the general public can use it frequently," Bodenheimer said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse