New ice rink chief says city could support expansion

August 14, 2000

New ice rink chief says city could support expansion

By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer

The new executive director of the Hagerstown ice rink is so enthusiastic about his job he's thinking about expanding the rink at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.


Gavin Regan said he thinks the rink is losing possible revenue. Regan, who visited the rink during his May job interview, said Hagerstown looks like a growing city that could meet the demand for a second sheet of ice.

"That's a great goal, but that's not our goal right now. We need to touch base," Washington County Sports Foundation Chairwoman Beverly Kornides said when she learned Monday about the new executive director's goal.

While a second sheet of ice would be nice down the road, Kornides said she doesn't even want to think about that for four to six years.


"We're city subsidized. We have to be accountable for our expenses. The city officials have to be accountable for expenses and tax monies. I think people would like to see some more profitability come out of the rink before there are more expenses," Kornides said.

Regan, who owned a stock brokerage and is a national hockey official, said the rink at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds is "at about peak usage levels" and losing possible revenue. He said he wants to spearhead an effort to add a second sheet of ice, which would require expanding the back of the facility.

Based on the size of the community, he thinks he can get more people to use the rink for activities such as figure skating, he said during a telephone interview Monday from Potsdam, N.Y.

Regan said he had an idea of how much an expansion would cost, but didn't want to say publicly.

"It's not a big process to add another surface," Regan said.

Regan said he has no timeline for gathering support for and building an expansion. He could not say which programs have the demand to warrant a second sheet of ice.

Kornides said she appreciates Regan's enthusiasm, but the foundation can't afford to take a "major plunge to add more to our expenses" without justifying the need.

Kornides said the board's immediate goal was to develop programs and a realistic budget. Board officials are to meet with Hagerstown's Mayor and City Council today to discuss the rink's budget.

Regan said he is aware the ice rink is being subsidized by the City of Hagerstown and wants to decrease the subsidy, eventually making the rink self-sufficient.

There are lots of other things he wants to do with the rink as well, including have fun, said Regan, 38, of Potsdam.

Regan was the sports foundation board's unanimous first choice to replace Executive Director Jamie Shyda, who resigned on March 23, said Kornides.

"He has an extensive background in just not hockey and ice rinks, but accounting, business management and marketing. He comes with a lot of financial background," Kornides said.

She said Regan also has experience with community relations, parental relations and program development.

Regan has a bachelor's degree in business accounting from Norwich University in Vermont, where he said he played hockey for the college team.

He was co-owner of a stock brokerage after graduating from college in 1984, recently selling his share to his partners so he could take the job in Washington County, Regan said.

Regan said he handled retirement programs, including supplemental retirement programs for the New York State United Teachers Union.

For the past six years he has been a national director for USA Hockey, overseeing all hockey operations in New York, he said. USA Hockey is the national governing body for ice hockey, ranging from youth programs to the Olympic teams.

He will remain a national director for USA Hockey, but resigned his post as vice president of the northern zone for the New York State Amateur Hockey Association since he's moving to Maryland.

His fiancee is from the Maryland area, he said.

The foundation had 25 applicants and interviewed six candidates for the job, Kornides said. In addition to advertising locally, the foundation publicized its search for an executive director through the Internet, ice hockey associations and figure skating associations.

Kornides said it took five months to replace Shyda because it takes time to advertise and interview candidates, and once selected, Regan had to provide 45 days notice to his private clients.

Regan will make $34,000 a year running the rink, which has 12 other employees. Kornides said the foundation has a verbal agreement with Regan, not a written contract.

Regan is the sixth person to serve as executive director or interim manager of the rink since it opened in August 1997.

Shyda resigned last March to become college activities specialist at Hagerstown Community College. General Manager Carl F. Langford has been overseeing rink operations during the interim.

The rink closed Aug. 6 for maintenance and will reopen Sept. 1.

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