Kings, ASEC seal partnership with Pickwick Ice
The Los Angeles Kings made yet another commitment to nurturing the continued growth and success of the local amateur hockey scene recently – this time turning their attention towards Burbank.
The two-time Stanley Cup champions, along with American Sports Entertainment Company (ASEC), announced last month the acquisition of Pickwick Ice facility operations and a long-term partnership with Pickwick Gardens CEO Ron Stavert and his family.
The facility has been renamed LA Kings Ice at Pickwick Gardens with exterior and interior rebranding set to commence in June when the rink will temporarily shut down.
The news comes just a couple of months after the Kings and ASEC, along with the city of Los Angeles, mapped out plans to architect a $26 million facility located in Reseda. Construction on that project, which will include an NHL-sized ice sheet and roller hockey rink, is expected to begin this year with an anticipated opening in 2020.
“We’re excited to acquire the Pickwick Ice facility business as we continue to invest in growing the game of hockey in Southern California,” said Kings president Luc Robitaille. “We’re thrilled to partner with Ron and build upon Pickwick’s strong youth and adult hockey tradition, including being home to the successful California Golden Bears youth hockey club.”
During the summer shutdown at Pickwick, ASEC will help lead a three-phase alteration and improvement project that will cost around $1 million.
Founded in 2006, ASEC is the largest independent owner-operator of ice rinks in the United States overseeing 19 facilities across the nation, including El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center – the official training facility of the Kings and home of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and LA Lions.
Pickwick Ice has been home to the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, Golden Bears and countless skating enthusiasts for decades. In addition to ice rink, the campus sports a 24-lane state-of-the-art bowling center, six full-service conference and banquet rooms and a two-and-a-half acre garden for guests to enjoy.
“The team at Pickwick Gardens is looking forward to our relationship with the Kings and ASEC,” said Stavert, whose family has owned and operated the rink since 1961. “They are venerable organizations we trust to steward our ice facility and, more importantly, deliver world-class service to our customers.
“We’ll now be able to focus all of our energy and resources on continuing to invest in our other businesses to ensure Pickwick Gardens remains a premier recreation destination for future generations.”
Pickwick Gardens has been a thriving recreational and food service business for more than 60 years. The campus rests in the east end of the San Fernando Valley and is centrally located to the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys and downtown Los Angeles. A number of entertainment giants, including Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks and Universal, are headquartered in the area.
The rink will be privy to a number of upgrades, including the removal and replacement of the cold-floor pipes; a chiller rebuild with enhancements; the removal of heaved concrete and ice rink floor in an effort to meet NHL-acceptable tolerances; repair and renovation of the existing subfloor heat system; installation of cold-floor center-feed headers and pipes; upgrade of the board system and tempered glass; interior painting with Kings branding and graphics; and the installation of new exterior signage with Kings branding.
“I truly believe this is a great opportunity for our customers, coaches, employees and partners,” said ASEC president and COO Brad Berman. “Under the leadership of the Kings and ASEC and our best-in-class customer service and operating standards, we’re confident we can take the Pickwick Ice facility to the next level.
“We’ll work closely with Ron and all of Pickwick’s constituents to effectuate a seamless transition. We look forward to quickly making significant investments to upgrade its physical plant and enhance its customer-friendly environment for our figure skaters, hockey players and their families.”
— Brian McDonough
(Jan. 22, 2019)