Ice Princess: Government Skate Rink “Sucked”

ONCE AGAIN, THE PRIVATE SECTOR KNOWS BEST Last month this website was rebuked by one of our fairest readers for criticizing a government-funded ice skating rink in downtown Columbia, S.C.  In fact we may have even been accused of attempting to steal some holiday joy. The rink – dubbed “Main…


Last month this website was rebuked by one of our fairest readers for criticizing a government-funded ice skating rink in downtown Columbia, S.C.  In fact we may have even been accused of attempting to steal some holiday joy.

The rink – dubbed “Main Street Ice” by city mayor Steve Benjamin – is located on the plaza in front of the taxpayer-funded Columbia Museum of Art.  It opened this Thanksgiving and will remain open through the first week of 2013 – with city taxpayers shelling out at least $158,000 to subsidize the project.

Of course taxpayers aren’t just paying for the rink to be there – they also have to pay to skate on it.  In fact it’s actually costlier to skate on this small. bumpy government rink than it is to skate at “The Plex” – a larger, privately owned rink just a few miles away in Irmo, S.C.

So … is “Main Street Ice” worth its $10 price of admission?

Not even a little bit …

In fact our fair critic – who also happens to be a regular “Ice Princess” – texted us this week to offer her assessment on the rink.

“I’m sure you NEVER hear this but … ‘you were right,'” she wrote.  “Ice rink on Main Street = bad idea.”

So … what was wrong with the government rink?

“It just sucked,” she told us.  “Small, no music, ice was horribly bumpy.  No concessions.  For $2.00 less you can go to The Plex – which is much nicer.”

Should we heed her assessment?  You tell us …

Mmmmmmm …

“I told myself I needed to stay at least an hour but after forty-five minutes I figured it wasn’t worth ruining my blade edges for,” she told us.

Our princess didn’t wade into the debate over where government ice skating rinks rank on the list of core government functions, saying only that the presence of the rink was a mixed bag for the nearby private sector rink.

“Hopefully the Main Street rink will create interest in ice skating and ultimately benefit The Plex, but right now I’m sure this has taken business away from them,” she said.  However she added, “I highly doubt Main Street will have many repeat visitors.”

Once again, government in South Carolina is doing something it has no business doing .. and doing it poorly.  Unlike our ice princess, who in the words of LL Cool J is “doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.”

Anyway, if you want to support the private sector (and spend a few bucks less on a better skating experience) check out The Plex by clicking on the link below.



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Soxinsc December 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Both times I’ve been by it there was music, and at least one of those times there was a small concession stand. But from what I could see of the ice, it did not appear to have been scraped and cleaned in days. A sprained ankle is not worth the price of the skate rental.

However, if the rink draws people downtown who might not otherwise go, and they spend money in the restaurants and shops down there, then the rink has accomplished its purpose.

shifty henry December 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Fits: Let me be the first to acknowledge the artistic value of the girl in the two small pictures. Truly a “work of art!”

? December 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I love that you linked to the Plex.

Cotton Boll Conspiracy December 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm

The quality of the ice in the photos is terrible. It doesn’t take long for ruts to form on a rink, especially if no one is keeping it up. And I’d imagine the city would be liable were a skater to break his or her ankle or crack their head on the ice because no one bothered to run the zamboni every once in a while.

jimlewis,owb December 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

They ain’t got no damn zamboni.

Mayor T-Bone didn’t want to fork over the money so he had Senator Jackson and Congressman Clyburn set up a Commission to hire an ice cleaning expert using State and Federal Funds.

Word is the expert is from Chicago, learned his trade cleaning ice off windshields, is related to the McBride’s, will be paid $90,000+ and will report to work early in 2013 right after the rink closes.

Of course if anyone breaks a leg in the interim, it will be a consequence of system failure, not incompetence on anyone’s behalf.

Consequences are non-discriminatory, incompetence is racist.

SparkleCity December 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm


Tuesday is Soylent Green day!!!

RAS December 17, 2012 at 4:43 am

Give it up Sparkle. You’re better than this.

toyota kawaski December 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

remeber you still suck

Smirks December 17, 2012 at 7:14 am

Way to go, FITS. Complain about how much it sucks, go right ahead. Next year they’ll piss away three times as much money on this shit to “improve the quality of the ice” just because you said something.

? December 17, 2012 at 7:27 am

lmao @ Smirks!

That’s a really good point.

Jeffy01 December 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

FBI will be looking into this!

toyota kawaski December 17, 2012 at 8:29 am

keep the South Clean put the yankee ice-smoking princess on a bus

james the foot soldier December 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

This is what happens when southern heritage loving in-breds attempt to make ice.

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

You should be careful with that sort of talk. You might find yourself with an “ass-icle” up yours.

james the foot soldier December 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

Speaking of inbreds…
Since the ice-making skills of our beloved southern in-breds are as skilled as their marksmanship the ass-icle is not exactly stirring fear in the hearts of those enhancing the suthern gene pool.

p.s.we won
you lost
live it
love it
get over it

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

Now I know who you are!

You’re the Yankee soldier who got lost in the swamp and when they found you your buddies wouldn’t let you ride in the wagon. That’s when you got the nickname “james the fungus-foot soldier.”

They thought the snakes got you.

You’ve been mentioned in a few history books – also a couple of medical journals.

james the foot soldier December 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

Speaking of history….

The only army that waved more white-flags is the French army, thus esplainin’ henri’s foot fetish.

we won you lost
burn baby burn

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

…… “more white flags?” – ours were easier to see than yours because we didn’t have to wipe the shit off our asses when we engaged opposing forces – like your guys did!

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

….. while we are a forgiving people we do not forget – so welcome to the South (if you are really living down here)

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

….. no winners or losers – just survivors

james the foot soldier December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

“engaged opposing forces”????


I see history along with the recipe to making ice is not in the suthern curriculum as our dear little henri is not well versed in Sherman’s march to the sea, and then, having met no opposition, marched north towards Richmond.

First, Sherman had a little side business to finish, i.e., destory Columbia. After only 7 shots found their mark, the Mayor of Columbia hightailed it with as many white flags as his trusty carriage could hold to surrender.

7 shots

oh the horror

The torching of Columbia was necessitated to rid the air of the stench from the drawers of the Army of the Confederacy, well, the part that didn’t turn tail and had stayed to “fight”.

The stench from the encampment of the Army of Illinois was more along the lines of a fish market as those fine southern ladies delivered their delicous brand of southern hospitality and eagerly welcomed entirely new strains of DNA to family trees in desparate need of branches.

shifty henry December 17, 2012 at 9:06 am

to jimlewis 9:46 pm – that’s good!

bill December 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I see many people are complaining about the ice quality. We manufacture a small compact full service ice resurfacer that gives great ice quality. the Sport Ice 124. It is aprox 1/2 the size of a full size machine and would fit in great at this rink. Available gas / electric / sale / lease. see


Scooter December 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Scrooge. The rink was a wonderful departure from the tired old Capital City. Good for the Mayor. We went a number of times to watch the people having fun. And they did. All smiles everywhere. Sure, there are better rinks, but at least something new was tried and it gave a lot of people from the downtown area something fun and new to do. I am sure folks from all over enjoyed the rink as well. But, some of those who were there can not get all the way out to Irmo.

Natalie Elizabeth January 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

In essence.. It didnt really “suck” you need to be grateful for what you have. I have been to the Plex many times and truley, it is nicer but you have to condiser the facts. Its outdorrs, many people skate on it a day, there is no real machine to clean it, and it is a temporary thing. And actually MANY people go there each day. And the government was giving you a fun holiday treat. I do understand it is bumby, but atleast its fun. Don’t “hate on it” it never did anything to you. (:


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