Tag Archives: skating

UPDATED: LA Kings Acquire Pickwick Ice, Plans for $1 Million Renovation

Correction: We earlier reported that all of Pickwick Gardens was sold.  Updated reports say only the Pickwick Ice Center has been purchased.

After many rumors regarding the future of Pickwick Ice, the Los Angeles Kings and American Sports Entertainment Co. announced on Thursday, December 20, that they have acquired ownership of the ice rink, with plans for a $1 million renovation.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The deal involves a long-term partnership with Ron Stavert, CEO of Pickwick Gardens, who has owned the popular ice rink with his family for over 60 years, starting in 1961.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, who is also a part of the Rancho community, believes the planned upgrades will secure Pickwick’s future.

“I am thrilled to hear about a new partnership between the Stavert Family and the LA Kings, our world class professional hockey team. Pickwick will remain a significant commercial recreational venue,” said Mayor Gabel-Luddy.

“Luc Robitaille (former player for the LA Kings, current president), whom I recently heard speak about the Kings South Bay Training Facility, is making a strategic and welcome investment in the San Fernando Valley and right here in Burbank. I am ready to put on my Golden Bears jersey!”

Today’s announcement of the acquisition included that the rink will be renamed “LA Kings Ice,” with remodeling causing the facility to temporarily close its doors in June.

Pickwick Ice Center (Photo By Ross A. Benson

During the closure, ASEC will be in charge of a three part renovation project, costing $1 million to improve equipment and conduct maintenance.

ASEC is the largest owner and operator of ice rinks and other indoor athletic facilities throughout the country. They currently operate 21 facilities throughout North Carolina, New York, Texas, Arizona, and in California, where they own the Toyota Sports Center in Los Angeles.

In October 2016, the fate of Pickwick Gardens was uncertain as rumors circulated that the facilities were in jeopardy since the maintenance costs for the property increased, causing profits to rapidly decline. Although the Stavert family was not interested in selling Pickwick Gardens, which also includes a bowling alley and a banquet hall, they turned to the city for suggestions.

In September 2017, a plan to demolish the buildings to be turned into housing was brought before residents at a City Council meeting, which was met with controversy in an eruption of “boos.”

Over the years, Pickwick Ice has been a staple in the Burbank community, serving as a home to the California Golden Bears youth hockey club, Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, several hockey teams, and countless birthday parties.

Old aerial picture of the full Pickwick complex. The old drive-in is now home to Pavilions (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Downtown Burbank’s “The Rink” Officially Opens at Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, December 14, the City of Burbank hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the popular seasonal ice rink known as “The Rink,” located behind City Hall at 275 E. Olive Ave.

(Photo Courtesy Scott Talamantes)

The outdoor ice skating rink is 4,100 square-foot and can hold up to 165 skaters per session. For the next six weeks, it will be open for everyone to enjoy, with fundraising events, scheduled performances, and public skating.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy cut the ribbon after giving a short speech, stating that she hopes Burbank residents skate into the new year.

During the ceremony, young talented figure skaters from Pickwick Ice performed on the rink, skating to songs such as Christmastime, It’s Not Christmas, Winter Dreams, and a track from The Adams Family.

Among the skaters was Aubrey Ignaco who recently competed in the Pacific Coast Sectionals and won first place for the novice level. She will be advancing to compete in nationals this January.

“Hopefully she’ll go from there to the Olympics. At this point she can be invited to compete internationally,” said her father proudly.

(Photo by Tim Mably)

Shoko Tokuda, whose son skated as a part of an “Adams Family themed” trio, is excited to return to The Rink throughout the rest of December.

Conveniently located near the recently remodeled Burbank Town Center, locals have a festive activity to look forward to after buying presents.

For interested skaters, costs include $12 unlimited skating with no re-entry. Skate rentals are also provided for $5, and skating aids are $8.

The Rink is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. It will continue to stay open to the public until Sunday, January 6, 2019.