ICE: The popular Downtown ice skating rink opened on Dec. 16. ICE will remain open for the next two months. Grace Inez Adams

Just weeks after Santa Monica’s annual temporary winter ice rink closed and was reverted back into a parking lot, planning for next season has already begun.

Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM) currently owns the equipment used to bring the ice rink into existence every year and relies on multiple vendors to construct and operate it. However, DTSM Director of Operations Richard Mongarro said they are considering selling it and hiring just one contractor to take charge of the whole process.

“We’re looking at whether or not it’s beneficial for us to own our own ice rink and the parts that go along with it, or would it be better to send out with a company that has all of that and can update it, and keep it fresh, and bring it in, store it themselves and put it together,” he said at a Feb. 2 DTSM meeting. “We’re looking at kind of like a one stop shop, potentially, that can do everything.”

He said this would save DTSM the trouble of putting the equipment in storage which can be costly and results in damage.

“We pay for the storage of all of that equipment, everything – the boards, the rink, the zamboni – all of that stuff was purchased several years ago and hadn’t been used over the past three years, obviously, because of the pandemic,” Mongarro said. “So, a lot of it was left in storage in our location in Riverside County, so some of it was damaged just by heat, and cold and things along those lines.”

While he said some of the equipment is “beyond repair,” DTSM has identified several prospective buyers interested in purchasing the rest. He said he has also been in communication with vendors to determine whether this new approach would make sense financially.

“This is very much in the preliminary stages at this point,” Mongarro said. “I’ve reached out to vendors, we’re going to be getting their proposals and then we’ll be comparing it to the numbers that we had this year to see how they compare.”

If DTSM does decide to proceed with the consolidated, single vendor route, the next step in the process is to put out an official Request for Proposals (RFP) – which Mongarro said they hope to do by the end of March with the goal of choosing a vendor by April.

DTSM is also in the process of identifying a new vendor for the corner of Ocean Avenue and Colorado Boulevard (across from the pier bridge) which was previously occupied by The Lobby food truck. Mongarro said DTSM plans to work with the City to make a decision for that site by March 1.

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Grace Adams

Grace Adams is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she studied Spanish and journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in investigative journalism from City, University of London. She has experience...