Ganim signs Wonderland’s skating lease
BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Joe Ganim has signaled his confidence there is room in the city for multiple ice skating rinks.
Even as his administration works to help a new skating facility break ground downtown, Ganim, finally signed a new 20-year-lease between the city and Wonderland of Ice Associates.
Wonderland, operated for nearly three decades by Lisa Fedick, manages Bridgeport’s ice skating rinks at 123 Glenwood Ave.
Fedick’s attorney, Ray Rizio, on Thursday said that on Wednesday he received a copy of the new lease signed by the mayor — nearly two months after it was approved by the City Council.
The Bridgeport City Attorney’s office also confirmed it was forwarded a signed copy of the lease.
The Ganim administration on Sept. 20 announced its support for a $12 million proposal from a to-be-formed limited liability corporation, Park City Ice Palace, to redevelop city-owned land at 1269 Main St. into a “premiere hockey and ice skating training facility” with a fitness center, juice bar, coffee and sandwich shops.
As previously reported, Park City Ice Palace’s plans caught Wonderland of Ice, Rizio and the City Council by surprise and raised concerns about competition. Fedick and her team had just agreed as part of Wonderland’s new lease to spend $500,000 on numerous upgrades to the city’s aged Glenwood Avenue rinks.
“Do we need another ice rink?” City Councilwoman Jeanette Herron, a co-chairman of the council’s contracts committee, said last week. “We went through months of getting clarity on that contract.”
The city and an attorney for Wonderland countered there is room for both Wonderland of Ice and for Park City Ice Palace’s development.
Rizio on Thursday said he and Wonderland executives recently met with Ganim’s economic development staff to discuss their concerns with having more rinks come to town.
Asked if he and Wonderland were now more comfortable with Park City Ice Palace’s proposal, Rizio said, “We believe the city really needs to study this in depth. We’re a tenant of the city and I would think the council would want to make sure a study is done.”
“It’s in the city council’s hands,” Rizio added.