Renovations give Lakewood rink a needed facelift
Though hockey in Southern California had been around for a number of years prior to his arrival, it can be argued that Wayne Gretzky’s trade to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 was when it truly established itself locally.
Since that time, California has added two NHL franchises in the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks), and the state has combined to win three Stanley Cups.
As the sport has grown over the last few decades, the need for new and updated facilities has always existed.
This past summer, The Rinks took the initiative to provide Southern California something it desperately needed: a newly renovated, regulation-sized sheet of ice.
Under direction of general manager Phil Zamora, The Rinks-Lakewood Ice took on the project of completely renovating its Rink C. Previously known for being small and dark, the sheet was one few enjoyed playing on.
However, it’s now one that’ll host adult and youth games, along with the Ducks free introductory hockey program – Learn to Play.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to improve our facility and create a better atmosphere for our customers,” said Zamora. “When we evaluated what the building needed, I really think it was unanimous that Rink C could use a facelift.
“Everything that’s there now is completely new. We took the entire surface out and did work to remove and replace the cooling coils under the ice, along with our refrigeration system, in order to better maintain ice temperatures.
“We replaced all of the boards and glass and even did work to create new benches, penalty boxes and scorekeepers box. It really is a brand-new rink and we’re extremely proud to have the project completed and the rink in use.”
Though the new sheet occupies the same space as the previously existing one, for all intents and purposes The Rinks gave the Southern California community a brand-new sheet of ice.
It’s now large enough to host league games and gives The Rinks-Lakewood Ice the ability to truly operate as a three-sheet facility.
“Southern California has always struggled to keep up with the demand for ice time, but this will – at least for the time being – help to alleviate some of that crunch,” Zamora added.
The Rinks organization has taken the mission of growing the sport of hockey to heart. Its investment in the renovation is a testament to the mentality The Rinks management possesses and the direction they see the sport heading in Southern California.
“I don’t think that anyone who’s around the game and in our facilities would disagree with the fact that the game has grown exponentially over the past several years,” said Jesse Chatfield, marketing manager for The Rinks.
“Now growth is great, but you need to have the infrastructure to support it; otherwise you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure. This is where we – as an organization – really decided to invest in the future of Southern California hockey by making the necessary upgrades to our facility.”
Hockey in Orange County is here to stay, and The Rinks is doing everything in its power to create a top-notch experience for all those who visit one of its locations.
“It’s been great to hear all the positive feedback from our customers,” Chatfield added. “You can tell they appreciate the fact we’re making an effort to give them a better experience.”
For more information on The Rinks and all of its program offerings, visit The-Rinks.com.