|The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau subsidized the ice rink operation annually in amounts ranging from $75,000 to $165,000. The subsidy was directly related to the annual cost to set-up and take down the tent and related equipment necessary to house the ice rink. Now that The Woodlands Township has partnered with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion to build a permanent structure, operational cost savings will be realized that will offset the long-term capital investment in the permanent facility.
The proposal submitted by Spectrum, Catering, Concessions and Events is projected to net the Township approximately $150,000 - $200,000 annually. The net amount will be dependent on the length of the ice rink season and if and what type of any dry-floor activities are produced.
|The Township Board of Directors approved the release of a Request for Services (RFP) for Ice Rink Production Services at the March 23, 2016 Board of Directors meeting (Attachment A). The RFP was advertised in The Villager newspaper, on the Township web site and sent directly to three known ice rink production services operators. A mandatory pre-proposal meeting was conducted on April 14 and three firms attended. Proposals were due May 6. Ice Rink Events declined to respond to the RFP citing concerns with the facility and length of term for the operating agreement (Attachment B); Rink Management Services Corporation (RMSC) submitted a non-conforming proposal, citing "the Township will get the best return on investment and realize the most money by hiring our company on a management contract basis" (Attachment C). Spectrum Catering, Concessions and Events submitted the only qualified proposal conforming to the format and terms approved by the Board (Attachment D). Spectrum has been the ice rink operator of the ice rink for the CVB since 1997 and is well suited to the operation. In addition, Spectrum is the selected vendor for services to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion House of Blues which, if selected by the Township as the ice rink operator, provide great efficiency and effectiveness in performing the services and programs directed by the Township.
Even though only one qualified proposal was received, a review committee consisting of five Township staff members reviewed and scored all of the proposals (Attachment E. In addition, staff discussed the proposal by RMSC to better understand the concept of their proposal to manage the facility on a contract basis.
Instead of RMSC operating on a model based upon the specifications in the Request for Proposals (RFP) which prescribes the operator to directly pay for all expenses and share in the revenue per allocation percentages, RMSC proposes:
The recommended operating model for the facility as presented to the Board of Directors in the Request for Proposal was to select an operator that would provide a "turn-key" operation with no Township capital cost required for the purchase or leasing of equipment. In addition, as the facility presents options to the Township for conducting "dry floor" programs such as recreational day camps and using the facility for the annual Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance and Public Safety Awards Banquet, the recommended operating model and scope of the RFP included supplemental services for the operator to provide those types of alternate services. The Township could realize as much as $30,000 in savings per year by using the facility just for the banquets instead of using the hotels. Spectrum provided the only supplemental services proposal. The RMSC proposed model would limit the use of the facility to ice rink operations only.
- RMSC would be paid a $50,000 per year Management Fee;
- Township would pay all expenses of the operation including the cost of actual wages of RMSC employees assigned to the operation (RMSC does not offer benefits to their staff), purchase required equipment and/or make lease payments to RMSC for the equipment required to operate the facility including the concession equipment, ice resurfacer and either purchase skates or rent/lease skates from RMSC capitalized over three years;
- Township would receive 100% of all revenues including admissions, lessons, sponsorships, merchandise sales, concessions;
- Township & RMSC would mutually agree upon a base annual operating expense and revenue budget;
- RMSC would be paid a Performance Fee &/or Incentive Fees for exceeding revenue projections, exceeding skate rentals/number of skaters, and/or additional sponsorship sales - an example of such Performance/Incentive Fee is 20% of net revenue over the base budget
- Proposal is based upon operating as an ice rink for the maximum amount of time the Township has use of the facility - no “dry floor” programming / use is desired by RMSC.
Based upon the proposals received and related review, analysis and discussion with the potential vendors, it is recommended to select Spectrum Catering, Concession and Events for Ice Rink Production Services for a term of three years.