Zoldan ‘Sad’ at Losing Ice Zone He Subsidized

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Businessman Bruce Zoldan “personally underwrote” annual losses of “approximately $400,000 at the Ice Zone here,” says a statement released late Friday by his company, Phantom Fireworks. And before he “is vilified by the new owners of the building or the community,” the statement continues, “consideration should be given to the millions of dollars Mr. Zoldan paid out over 20 years to support the operations of the Ice Zone for the community.”

Earlier Friday the 75,000-square-foot- building at McClurg Road was purchased by the owners of Extreme Air Trampoline Park, which was leasing space inside. The company is operated by partners Jesse MacGregor, Matt MacGregor and Richard Kaszowsi and had an option to purchase the building.

Ice Zone Ltd., which operated the rink, is co-owned by Zoldan, who also owns B.J. Alan and Phantom Fireworks. Over the last 20 years, Zoldan had partners in the Ice Zone operation, “but he was the only one to consistently subsidize the operation and keep the facility operational,” according to the statement.

When skaters arrived at the Ice Zone Wednesday, they found that the rink was closed, the ice was being melted, and equipment was being moved out. When asked why, personnel on site said they were ordered to do so by their supervisors, Jesse MacGregor said.

“The ice rink is staying. It’s not going anywhere,” he told The Business Journal. “The Deep Freeze Ice Arena will be opening a quickly as possible.”

“This is a sad day for Bruce Zoldan and the management team at the Ice Zone in Boardman,” the statement from Phantom Fireworks begins. “This was not the way Mr. Zoldan envisioned welcoming in New Year’s 2018. Mr. Zoldan and the operating team had every reason to believe that they would continue to operate the Ice Zone under a lease with the new building owners. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

“The new owners bought the building, but did not purchase the ongoing Ice Zone Ltd. business, nor any of the equipment, Zamboni, ice skates, refrigerant or other items owned by and used in the Ice Zone Ltd. business operation.”

The statement says the new owners “made commercially unreasonable demands in the lease negotiations and negotiated in bad faith. … All of the Ice Zone Ltd.’s ice skating property and equipment was offered to the new owners of the building. It is now available in the open market.”

It concludes by thanking the community for its support and “wish[ing] the new owners luck in their operations of the skating facility.”

If Extreme Air Trampoline Park hadn’t bought the building, the trampoline park would have had to move, MacGregor said. The trampoline park occupies about 25,000 square feet o with the remaining space occupied by the ice rink and common areas.

The company’s partners have met with representatives of the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team and other organizations that use the rink to make sure they will be able to continue to do so, he added.

“We are going to make the ice rink as nice as it was 20 years ago and make everyone extremely happy.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.