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SF 2002 proposes 5 million dollars from the General Fund to be used to help support ice arenas.  The Senate has money in their budget for the bill and now we need to get the Governor and House to do the same.

Posted by on in Announcements

by Jon Jackson


With winter finally letting up, it is the sign that the Hockey Season has finally come to an end. Hopefully everyone had a successful season!

This year’s MIAMA Spring Workshop is going to be held on Tuesday May 12th at the recently renovated Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.

Our workshop brings some new excitement as we have a fantastic guest speaker, updates and an update from the health department.

You may recognize our Keynote Speaker from his stints on numerous KFAN radio programs. His name is SSG John Kriesel. When SSG Kriesel lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion, no one expected him to survive. He died three times on the operating table. Listen as John discusses the challenges and rewards after such an event and how it changed his life forever.

The update on will be held by Travis Larson. Travis will present the updated features on the website including a newer and easier way to upload ice for sale and an overview of future changes that will be coming.

As Indoor Air Quality continues to be an important issue within the industry, John Olson from the MN Department of Health will be onsite updating our membership on how inspections and rule compliance has gone over the past two years since the new rules took effect.

Can’t wait to see everyone in St. Cloud for the Spring Conference!


Jon Jackson
Board Member - Vendor Representative

Posted by on in Announcements

March Madness.

Let the madness begin!

We have all heard the college basketball slogan for NCAA play-offs called March Madness! But, what does that mean to us in the rink industry. For many it’s a great time of the year. A time to begin and unwind, be home a few more nights, watch or attend the state tournament or come to the MIAMA/Wild game social or many other things.

For many in the ice arena industry, March is a pivotal time of the year. You may have ice going out and are beginning soccer or lacrosse on a dry floor, planning for 2015-16 or starting much needed maintenance. I think March Madness is the “official” wake up call that we are all headed toward a time of transition. During this transitional time frame, March – September, customers are consistently shopping for their best deal that fits their “off-season” group, whether it be cost or availability of time.

For arena staff getting enough business during this time frame can make or break your facility and its ability to reach budget. Or be of influence as to whether you have enough money on reserve to replace an aging set of boards and glass or one of the many needed items for your facility.

We are fairly dependent on an outside market to help drive our business during this time frame and it’s certainly not as predictable as the peak hockey season where the majority of the business comes from local youth and high school groups. Needless to say, all the renters at this time have the ability to go somewhere else and it may take a bit more time dealing with a large number of different renters at once, but it’s worth it come budget review.

March is always a great time of the year to reward your staff for the long hours and efforts they have put in. A small season end party can go a long ways to your recruitment for next year. We sometimes forget just how much we influence younger staff and quite frankly how much we need them in years to come. There’s certainly nothing more rewarding to a younger staffer who has done great work then to watch their face light up when you ask if they’d be interested in being a driver. We can receive great return on investment with our younger staff and many will work through college and beyond with dedication. All we need to do is spend just a few short moments letting them know how much we value their commitment.

So as the madness begins, take a breather from the high paced regular season mode. And even if for just one day, let the budget sit and embrace the “madness” of the season. Once you’ve taken a break you will reflect back properly on the 2014-15 season. Then it’s time to get back to work, ready to plan and prepare for the spring and summer ahead. And don’t forget to celebrate the 2014-15 season with your staff.


And don't forget to send or post articles to share with our group. I can be reached via telepohne at 651-714-3742 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enjoy the State Tournament!

Dave Black MIAMA Newsblast Editor

Posted by on in Announcements

Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration Inc. started as Carlson Sales & Service in 1935. As business grew, so did Carlson's knowledge of refrigeration, and he soon expanded the business to include mechanical refrigeration for dairy farms, local shops and grocery stores. in 1948 Bud Stewart joined and eventually incorporated into Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration in 1958. With four employees, they served customers within a 100 mile radius of Marshell MN.


Today, Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration inc. is a design-build contractor specializing in commercial and industrial refrigeration systems for clients in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Wisconsin. In late 2011 Carlson & Stewart aquired Central minnesota Refrigeration Inc. in Sauk Rapids MN. In january 2015, we purchased and moved into a new building in Sauk Rapids, doubling our warehouse and fabrication facilities. Today, we lead the way in innovation, design and workmanship, backing a long standing tradition of service on which our clients rely. Our refrigeration expertise extends from large industrial, ammonia based systems, to Freon based commercial applicationssuch as grocery and retail stores to community ice rinks. We serve clients from three locations: Marshall MN,  Sauk Rapids MN, and Sioux Falls SD. Current customers include the Runestone Community center in Alexandria MN, Lockwood motors Ice Arena marshall MN and Larson Ice Center in Brookings SD. 


At Carlson & Stewart we can advise you on concrens about changing out your existing Freon systems for the most cost-effective alternative and help you decide if that is of a concern now or as an structured plan for the future.  We regularly install dehumidification systesms, retrofit or upgrade existing rink refrigeration systems and provide scheduled periodic preventative maintenance service as a part of a discounted, prefuerred Service agreements.


and we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays, for emergency service. we have large and small system design capabilities with engineers and project managers experienced in all facets of refrigeration system planning, immplementation and operator training.


Please consider Carlson & stewart RefrgierationInc. for your ice arena's refrigeration needs. For additional information or to contract us, please refer to or call our main office at (507) 532-2576.


Gary Sheppard

Regional Sales

Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration inc.

Posted by on in Announcements

February Monthly Board Report, by Dean Mulso

Does your arena/organization have a Mission Statement or a philosophy that you want your employees to follow and adhere too? Does each of your programs have mission statements as well? Providing your staff these simple, yet effective statements can help your staff to understand what you as a facility and staff, want to accomplish and provide to your customers. Below I have included my facilities Mission Statements and Philosophy.


Mission Statement – The Burnsville Ice Center is a customer service organization dedicated to creating and maintaining a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. Our staff is devoted to delivering unparalleled customer service, value, and program opportunities to all our guests. We strive to build a lifelong commitment in the community to individual and family entertainment through ice related activities.

Philosophy – TheBurnsville Ice Center must provide the highest quality service that is possible to insure that our customers’ needs are met. The following areas will provide guidance and make sure expectations are clear.

Safety – Be Alert! Most on and off ice accidents can be prevented if we insure that all building rules and regulations are followed. Report all potential hazards to the Maintenance Supervisor.

Courtesy – Smile! Treat our customers like they pay our paychecks…because THEY DO! Make sure that all customers and staff get the best you have to offer.

Cleanliness – Cleanliness is everyone’s job at the Burnsville Ice Center. Make it a habit! Notice the little things and make sure the facility stays spotless!

Service – This is the only product we have to offer. Good ice, quality instruction, clean surroundings and an attentive staff make a successful operation. Notice the people around you. Help them out. Take personal responsibility for customer’s happenings at the Ice Center.

  • The Burnsville Ice Center is an equal opportunity employer that realizes that our employees are our number one asset. As a customer service organization, we must be devoted to bringing the best and brightest into our facility to serve our customers’ needs. Through this philosophy, we are better able to offer unparalleled service, value and program opportunities to our customers.
  • Customer service at the Burnsville Ice Center means delivering the highest quality product, demonstrating a strong sense of community, and providing clear and accurate information about our programs while maintaining a willingness to listen to our patrons.
  • We hold our staff and their skills in the highest regard. We believe that acquiring and training an exceptional staff is the first step in meeting and exceeding our collective goals. We take better care of ourselves in order to deliver the best product to our customers.

Burnsville Ice Center Department Mission Statements:

Programming – The Burnsville Ice Center will continually strive to increase profitability and entertainment value of the Facility by working to improve and maximize existing programs and revenues, by seeking out new public and developing new programs, and by enhancing the experience of all patrons through a tireless customer service philosophy.

Learn to Skate – The Burnsville Ice Center is dedicated to providing quality instruction for all levels and ages of skaters. Our staff will use the most successful curriculum and methods to teach classes and private lessons. We will provide a fun and entertaining atmosphere to all that are participating in our Learn to Skate Program.

Promotions/Public Relations – The Burnsville Ice Center staff will promote the Ice Center to the public at large, as well as specifically defined target markets. We are committed to informing the people of the Twin Cities area about our facility and the programs and events that we offer. We strive to create “top of the mind” awareness that will drive new traffic through our facility and secure return business. We achieve these objectives through a variety of mediums including, but not limited to, advertising, public relations, media relations, promotional events, new programs, direct mail, and other print promotional materials.

Facilities/Maintenance – The Burnsville Ice Center staff is dedicated to providing the cleanest, safest and most efficient environment possible for customers and staff. Our staff is committed to maintaining quality levels far beyond the industry standards. Through continuing education and networking with industry leaders, the Ice Center staff is and will continue to be recognized as leaders and innovators in facility maintenance.


Do you share with your staff a Credo or some basics you want your staff to follow and use on a daily basis. Having these basics again help to install in your staff continuity and accountability. Below I have included my facilities Credo and Employee Basics.


The Burnsville Ice Center Credo

Welcome home to the Burnsville Ice Center! We are dedicated to providing top quality service to you and your family. Our facility is clean, our staff members are friendly and helpful, the answers are “yes”, and troubles are parked outside. The Burnsville Ice Center is the place for cool times with a warm touch.

Burnsville Ice Center Employee Basics:

  1. The mission statement and credo must be known and energized by all employees.
  2. Employees will be an ambassador of the facility in and outside of the work place. Always talk positively – no negative comments.
  3. Greet each guest with a warm sincere greeting. Use their name whenever possible.
  4. “Smile” – we are on stage. Always maintain positive eye contact. Make your enthusiasm contagious.
  5. Escort guests rather than pointing out directions to other areas of the facility.
  6. Use proper telephone etiquette. Answer within three rings and with a smile.
  7. 7.Be knowledgeable of facility information (programs, etc.) to answer customer inquiries. Anticipate their questions and needs.
  8. 8.Welcome all challenges. Any employee who receives a customer complaint “owns” the complaint and is responsible for resolving it tosatisfy the customer for the moment. Management may need to get involved for more resolution, if necessary.
  9. Take ownership and pride in protecting the assets of the Burnsville Ice Center. Treat the Burnsville Ice Center like it is your home.
  10. Uncompromising levels of cleanliness are the responsibility of every employee.
  11. Practice energy conservation and proper maintenance and repair of property and equipment.
  12. Employees must know their roles during emergency situations and are aware of procedures (fire, tornado, robbery, etc.).
  13. Uniforms are to be neat, clean and all shirts tucked in.
  14. Create a positive work environment. Practice teamwork and help develop a sense of camaraderie.
  15. Give each guest a warm good-bye. Use their name whenever possible.

Hopefully, this article will give you time to reflect on your operation and your staff and are you letting them know what you expect of them and what service level do you want to provide to your customers.

Becoming a facility that treats the operation as a business, but keeps its relationships personal with your customers is a good model to follow. With more and more arenas having to move into the enterprise funds (or break even or a profit) and not just a community asset, we all need to make sure we follow good business practices. Simple things like signed contracts, payment for ice time before they skate, collecting for skate sharpening when they drop off the skates and more, will make our industry much more respected.

My analogy has always been this, with my staff – if I go to McDonald’s and order my food, do they give the food and I go eat and then when I’m done I decide if I want to pay today or tomorrow or just wait until McDonald’s chases me down to collect. No they make me pay before I get my food. Why can’t we do the same thing at every rink, every time we get a customer. We as industry professionals need to make it the standard and the customers meet our standards and let the customers set our standards for us.

Our industry is our own worst enemy when it comes to business practices, by not demanding that customers meet our procedures and policies. We are always afraid, that they will take their business to another rink that has lax rules, etc… If we all start to practice the basics of business practices, we can stop worrying about our customers leaving and concentrate on giving them a great facility and customer service.