Brad Berman is the President of American Skating Entertainment Centers (www.asecenters.com). ASEC is the largest independent owner/operator of ice rink facilities in the United States.
Berman recently answered the following questions from LAKings.com about the 80' x 80' outdoor ice skating rink located within Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE:
Q: Can you talk about the success Kings Holiday Ice has enjoyed the past few years?
A: During the past two seasons KHI has afforded 38,000 customers the experience of skating on the LA Live plaza. The majority are novice skaters enjoying a winter holiday experience in downtown Los Angeles. It is also nice to offer and hire our employees from the downtown area. The KHI Season of Giving, LA Kings Care, and Staples Foundation raise money for their community outreach groups while acknowledging, nightly at center ice, those that donate and support local community activities.
Q: Do you like that it is really, in essence, becoming a new tradition here in the Southland?
A: Going into our third season is very exciting for all of us. We have eleven local returning employees that have worked with us since the first year. Request for special events and group outings are higher than previous years. Everyone we hear from is excited and ready to skate KHI! I think a new holiday tradition has been created in a very special location.
Q: What goes into the actual creation of the ice rink?
A: Each year we learn from the previous year. This year the ice rink will be configured to be closer to the tree with a larger skate changing area. We ordered new skates and increased the amount. The rink is powered by a 200-ton air cooled chiller located several hundred feet away. The two three inch rubber cold fluid pipes are strapped to the ceiling of the parking garage. The pipes are funneled through holes in the Plaza deck to the ice rink header. The cold fluid then flows through a quarter mile of ice rink floor tubes to create the ice. Water is slowly sprayed over the cold fluid tubes to create the initial layer of ice. Once the tubes are covered and frozen heavy floods are then used to build two inches of ice. It is now time to skate!
Q: What is the biggest challenge in erecting a temporary sheet of ice like that?
A: The biggest challenge with installing KHI is the busy schedule at LA LIVE. With the many LA LIVE events the rink is installed and removed within 28 hours. Last year the rink was completely removed in 24 hours for the People’s Choice Awards load in. Weather is another challenge; steady hard rain forces us to close while bright sunny days cause the ice surface to melt. Hot days without direct sunlight are not a problem for maintaining the ice.
Q: Could you have a better downtown location than you do?
A: There is no better location to have a seasonal outdoor ice rink then LA LIVE! The dynamics of this location with the large screen displays, tower lights, STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre, the many fine restaurants and Regal Theater not to mention the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton. All the businesses make KHI a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
SOME KEY DATES AND INFORMATION:
The Los Angeles Kings Care Foundation’s next fundraiser -- the LA Kings Holiday Ice Skating Party in partnership with the STAPLES Center Foundation – takes place on Wednesday, November 30, at LA Kings Holiday Ice at LA Live presented by Coca-Cola.
Taking place from 6 – 9 p.m., the LA Kings Holiday Skating Party includes three hours of rink time, a special opportunity to skate with Kings players, Bailey and the Ice Crew, and there will be live music from Jessarae and Tailor Made Fable. Also everyone who purchases a ticket will receive one ticket to the Kings-Minnesota Wild game on December 8 at STAPLES Center.
Adult tickets are $80 and youth tickets (20 years and younger) are $45. For more details or to purchase visit LAKings.com/skatingparty.
On Friday, December 2, beginning at 7 p.m. the fourth annual Holiday Tree Lighting at L.A. LIVE takes place as part of the grand opening of the LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE.
Celebrities, television and film stars, and other performers will be part of a one-hour live, televised holiday celebration to “officially” launch Los Angeles’ holiday season.
The Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony will also kick off Season of Giving - AEG's annual holiday charitable program that will provide fundraising and awareness opportunities for charities, youth organizations, Foundations, schools and non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area. Throughout the month of December, a different charity or non-profit organization will be honored at the skating rink each night as part of AEG's Season of Giving initiative. In the last two years, over $10 million has been raised during AEG’s Season of Giving.
The centerpiece of Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE will be a 54-foot LED holiday tree with over 10,000 lights and designed by Brian Stonestreet, a Primetime Emmy Award winner for production design. The evening will also mark the season's first complete lighting of the festive holiday lights displayed along the streets throughout the L.A. LIVE district which is sure to sparkle during the holiday season with over 75,000 festive holiday lights along the streets that adorn 50 ten-foot angels along with over 265,000 snowfall LED lights covering 150 trees.
The LA Kings Holiday Ice presented by Coca Cola is nearly twice as big as in the past and is the perfect holiday outing! The rink will be open to the general public from November 26 - January 5, weekdays from 5:00-11:00 P.M. and on weekends from 3:00 P.M. - 11 P.M. For more information, visit www.lalive.com/holidayice.