The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 28, 2010

Company’s ‘cool’ machine fits niche at small rinks

SALIX — Everything Ice’s growing business of installing small and seasonal skating rinks in cities around the world led company President John Burley to discover something most of those facilities needed: A Zamboni.

In fact, traditional ice-grooming machines, including those manufactured by Frank J. Zamboni & Co., are too big for the smaller rinks that have grown in popularity in recent years, especially around the holidays.

The realization inspired Burley to introduce Sport Ice, a fully automated ice resurfacer being manufactured at the Everything Ice plant at 115 School St. in Salix.

“It’s a cool little machine,” Burley said. “It does everything the big machines do in one operation. It scrapes the ice, gathers the snow and stores it a holding tank, and it puts water down to smooth the ice.”

Renewed popularity of ice skating has created a surge in temporary rink installations in malls and other locations, Burley said.

Everything Ice has put in rinks in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Florida.

The international market also is picking up, with a number of installations going to cities in the Middle East.

Maneuvering a full-sized Zamboni or Olympia ice resurfacer on the small rinks can be impossible, and there are often weight issues, Burley said.

“It was a niche market that was not being accommodated,” Burley said. “This machine is the answer to that.”

Promotional videos are being shot at Planet Ice.

“We are glad to have a great complex like Planet Ice in our community where new technologies can be tested and improved to benefit the overall skating community,” Burley said.

“Over 700 ice rinks worldwide have come from Johnstown and we hope to keep this count continually growing,” he said.

The company expects to sell up to

40 Sport Ice machines a year, adding at least a few new jobs to the current staff of 17 workers.

 

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