Not a good investment
I reviewed the Highlands Ranch Metro District feasibility study for a $10 million ice arena partnership with South Suburban and I recommend a "no" vote for these reasons.
• Spending $10 million on a multi-sheet ice arena that serves other communities, such as Lone Tree, Parker, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Columbine and Cherry Hills, is not the best investment for Highland Ranch taxpayers.
• The proposed HRMD ice rink facility location is outside the geographic boundaries of Highlands Ranch.
• If Highlands Ranch ever incorporates, the ice arena will generate zero sales tax and property tax revenue for the City of Highlands Ranch.
• I requested 3-5 previous years South Suburban ice arena profit/loss summary and these data points are not known by HRMD the week of July 9, 2018. How do we know if South Suburban is a suitable ice arena operating partner that can generate a positive cash flow for HRMD?
• Other study highlights are: "another rink will create a 'buyer’s' market and increased competition to sell ice"; "it is clear that there is not a great deal of growth occurring in ice hockey.” Study also mentions Castle Rock may also build an ice arena. Study mentions, "There is no guarantee that the expenses and revenue projections outlined will be met." Finally, the report states, "tax support is needed as the facility ages."
My final assessment: A "no" vote to spend any Highlands Ranch taxpayer money on an ice arena because it is not a good investment of taxpayer funds.
Suggested Investments HRMD Can Make in Highlands Ranch With $10 million.
• Stick with the core HRMD competencies to make the current infrastructure even better. Such as roads, street lights, parks and trails.
• Erect e-bike rental stations located on HRMD paths or at high traffic retail centers. Costs can be deferred with sponsorships.
• Accelerate the fence-replacement program.
Steve TaraborelliHighlands Ranch
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