Q: How come we aren't in Panorama City any more?
A: You probably noticed that we didn't return to Valley Ice Center in the fall like we've normally done in the past. This was for several reasons. Primarily, the ice conditions at the VIC were becoming completely unplayable on sheets A and B, due to a severe heave in one corner of the rink, which they were not able to improve for us. At the same time, the Olympic sheet in Valencia became available during the same Sunday night slot, and faced with a decision between 4 playable sheets in Valencia and 2 in Panorama City, with only 5 sets of stones we chose to play in Valencia for the Fall.
We have a great relationship with Lloyd, the general manager, who was always willing to help us out, as far as the owners would let him. We had planned to return to the VIC for a short league in January, but the owners decided to reallocate that slot for their own personal stick time instead. Additionally, last spring when we tried to work with the owners to do a set up in the parking lot for outreach during CicLAvia, they were unwilling to give us any space for our street curling set up, unwilling to let us park food trucks there that we were willing to coordinate, and not interested in renting out ice time during the day so we could get people on the ice.
Ultimately we have to vote with our wallets and it became clear that Valencia is the better investment for now. While the drive is farther for most of us, our league players have been much happier with the playability of the ice and the social aspect of sticking around to broomstack after a game. We've continued to foster healthy relationships with other rinks around town, and we are excited to be starting a new partnership with the rink in Pasadena in January and February. Our goal is to continue to expose new people to the sport of curling, while fostering curlers at the local, national and international level. We believe that expanding the sport to more rinks in Los Angeles benefits us all. This does not preclude us from returning to the VIC in the future. We will continue to monitor their ice and available ice times.
Thank you to all of you who have made the trek up to Valencia this year, and we hope to see you there and in Pasadena, not to mention our pop up events around the city in 2017 and beyond!