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Posted by on in Announcements

February Monthly Board Report, by Dean Mulso

Does your arena/organization have a Mission Statement or a philosophy that you want your employees to follow and adhere too? Does each of your programs have mission statements as well? Providing your staff these simple, yet effective statements can help your staff to understand what you as a facility and staff, want to accomplish and provide to your customers. Below I have included my facilities Mission Statements and Philosophy.


Mission Statement – The Burnsville Ice Center is a customer service organization dedicated to creating and maintaining a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. Our staff is devoted to delivering unparalleled customer service, value, and program opportunities to all our guests. We strive to build a lifelong commitment in the community to individual and family entertainment through ice related activities.

Philosophy – TheBurnsville Ice Center must provide the highest quality service that is possible to insure that our customers’ needs are met. The following areas will provide guidance and make sure expectations are clear.

Safety – Be Alert! Most on and off ice accidents can be prevented if we insure that all building rules and regulations are followed. Report all potential hazards to the Maintenance Supervisor.

Courtesy – Smile! Treat our customers like they pay our paychecks…because THEY DO! Make sure that all customers and staff get the best you have to offer.

Cleanliness – Cleanliness is everyone’s job at the Burnsville Ice Center. Make it a habit! Notice the little things and make sure the facility stays spotless!

Service – This is the only product we have to offer. Good ice, quality instruction, clean surroundings and an attentive staff make a successful operation. Notice the people around you. Help them out. Take personal responsibility for customer’s happenings at the Ice Center.

  • The Burnsville Ice Center is an equal opportunity employer that realizes that our employees are our number one asset. As a customer service organization, we must be devoted to bringing the best and brightest into our facility to serve our customers’ needs. Through this philosophy, we are better able to offer unparalleled service, value and program opportunities to our customers.
  • Customer service at the Burnsville Ice Center means delivering the highest quality product, demonstrating a strong sense of community, and providing clear and accurate information about our programs while maintaining a willingness to listen to our patrons.
  • We hold our staff and their skills in the highest regard. We believe that acquiring and training an exceptional staff is the first step in meeting and exceeding our collective goals. We take better care of ourselves in order to deliver the best product to our customers.

Burnsville Ice Center Department Mission Statements:

Programming – The Burnsville Ice Center will continually strive to increase profitability and entertainment value of the Facility by working to improve and maximize existing programs and revenues, by seeking out new public and developing new programs, and by enhancing the experience of all patrons through a tireless customer service philosophy.

Learn to Skate – The Burnsville Ice Center is dedicated to providing quality instruction for all levels and ages of skaters. Our staff will use the most successful curriculum and methods to teach classes and private lessons. We will provide a fun and entertaining atmosphere to all that are participating in our Learn to Skate Program.

Promotions/Public Relations – The Burnsville Ice Center staff will promote the Ice Center to the public at large, as well as specifically defined target markets. We are committed to informing the people of the Twin Cities area about our facility and the programs and events that we offer. We strive to create “top of the mind” awareness that will drive new traffic through our facility and secure return business. We achieve these objectives through a variety of mediums including, but not limited to, advertising, public relations, media relations, promotional events, new programs, direct mail, and other print promotional materials.

Facilities/Maintenance – The Burnsville Ice Center staff is dedicated to providing the cleanest, safest and most efficient environment possible for customers and staff. Our staff is committed to maintaining quality levels far beyond the industry standards. Through continuing education and networking with industry leaders, the Ice Center staff is and will continue to be recognized as leaders and innovators in facility maintenance.


Do you share with your staff a Credo or some basics you want your staff to follow and use on a daily basis. Having these basics again help to install in your staff continuity and accountability. Below I have included my facilities Credo and Employee Basics.


The Burnsville Ice Center Credo

Welcome home to the Burnsville Ice Center! We are dedicated to providing top quality service to you and your family. Our facility is clean, our staff members are friendly and helpful, the answers are “yes”, and troubles are parked outside. The Burnsville Ice Center is the place for cool times with a warm touch.

Burnsville Ice Center Employee Basics:

  1. The mission statement and credo must be known and energized by all employees.
  2. Employees will be an ambassador of the facility in and outside of the work place. Always talk positively – no negative comments.
  3. Greet each guest with a warm sincere greeting. Use their name whenever possible.
  4. “Smile” – we are on stage. Always maintain positive eye contact. Make your enthusiasm contagious.
  5. Escort guests rather than pointing out directions to other areas of the facility.
  6. Use proper telephone etiquette. Answer within three rings and with a smile.
  7. 7.Be knowledgeable of facility information (programs, etc.) to answer customer inquiries. Anticipate their questions and needs.
  8. 8.Welcome all challenges. Any employee who receives a customer complaint “owns” the complaint and is responsible for resolving it tosatisfy the customer for the moment. Management may need to get involved for more resolution, if necessary.
  9. Take ownership and pride in protecting the assets of the Burnsville Ice Center. Treat the Burnsville Ice Center like it is your home.
  10. Uncompromising levels of cleanliness are the responsibility of every employee.
  11. Practice energy conservation and proper maintenance and repair of property and equipment.
  12. Employees must know their roles during emergency situations and are aware of procedures (fire, tornado, robbery, etc.).
  13. Uniforms are to be neat, clean and all shirts tucked in.
  14. Create a positive work environment. Practice teamwork and help develop a sense of camaraderie.
  15. Give each guest a warm good-bye. Use their name whenever possible.

Hopefully, this article will give you time to reflect on your operation and your staff and are you letting them know what you expect of them and what service level do you want to provide to your customers.

Becoming a facility that treats the operation as a business, but keeps its relationships personal with your customers is a good model to follow. With more and more arenas having to move into the enterprise funds (or break even or a profit) and not just a community asset, we all need to make sure we follow good business practices. Simple things like signed contracts, payment for ice time before they skate, collecting for skate sharpening when they drop off the skates and more, will make our industry much more respected.

My analogy has always been this, with my staff – if I go to McDonald’s and order my food, do they give the food and I go eat and then when I’m done I decide if I want to pay today or tomorrow or just wait until McDonald’s chases me down to collect. No they make me pay before I get my food. Why can’t we do the same thing at every rink, every time we get a customer. We as industry professionals need to make it the standard and the customers meet our standards and let the customers set our standards for us.

Our industry is our own worst enemy when it comes to business practices, by not demanding that customers meet our procedures and policies. We are always afraid, that they will take their business to another rink that has lax rules, etc… If we all start to practice the basics of business practices, we can stop worrying about our customers leaving and concentrate on giving them a great facility and customer service.

Posted by on in Announcements




Arena Warehouse of Alexandria, MN is excited to join the membership of MIAMA. Arena Warehouse was founded on October 1st, 2014 by Jeff Horstman. The vision of Arena Warehouse is to connect buyers and sellers of pre-owned arena equipment while eliminating the risk and hassle for both sides.    The company website, has the full listing of used equipment that is available.

As with any new company, Arena Warehouse has been responding to its customers and has also brought on many new product lines as well. Items such as acrylic or tempered glass shielding, poly facing for the boards, rink divider pads, post pads, goals net and pads, ice resurfacer parts, turf, rubber flooring, and the list goes on.

On the recent addition of new products, Arena Warehouse Founder Jeff Horstman had to say: “We never in our wildest imagination expected the warm welcome and support we have received from our customers and vendors alike! It is truly a great marketplace to be involved and we are thankful every day for the people we get to work with. We pride ourselves on serving our customers as all companies do, and to best do that we need to be responsive to their needs. Many of those needs have come in the form of new equipment, which has enabled us to expand our offerings and fulfill customer requests.”

Arena Warehouse is based in Alexandria, MN where Jeff resides with his wife Jana and three children. Jeff has been in the recreation industry for over 20 years. His career started at Shattuck St. Mary’s working in the ice rink for his father. From there he has worked in three different ice arenas, coached at many levels, and spent most his time working for one of the industry leaders in the US for twelve years. Jeff was the vendor representative for MIAMA for six years and is excited to get back in touch with the MIAMA membership.

You can reach Arena Warehouse by phone: 320-815-2369 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or online at

By Louie St. George Today at 4:48 p.m.

From Duluth News Tribune

For young rink-rats growing up in West Duluth in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Tony Burns was the guy to emulate. A big defenseman with a booming slap shot, Burns was a catalyst on some of the best hockey teams in Duluth Denfeld history.

Born into a hockey family, Burns had a knack for the sport. He polished his game on the outdoor rink at Merritt Park, eventually blossoming into a star for the Hunters. Despite his stature, Burns was more workmanlike than flashy. His teammates loved him, loved being around him — until he was ready to crank one up from the blue line.

Then they scattered.

“From what I hear, at practice a lot of guys didn’t like to be in front of the net when he had the puck back there,” current Denfeld coach Kevin Smalley said. “The shot that he had back there, just a phenomenal slap shot.”

Burns, a 1990 Denfeld graduate living in Forest Lake, Minn., died in his sleep last week. He was 43.

A father of two, Burns worked at R & R Specialties, which, fittingly, services ice arenas and resurfacers. His funeral was Tuesday in White Bear Lake, Minn.

Burns helped the Hunters reach the state tournament in 1988 and 1989. After Burns’ passing Thursday, a video from the 1989 third-place game against International Falls surfaced on Facebook. In it, Burns scores twice, both goals coming on blasts from the right circle. The Broncos goalie hardly flinched as the second one ripped past him.

“He didn’t even move and the puck was in the back of the net,” said 1991 Denfeld graduate Brett Larson, an associate head coach at Ohio State who attended Tuesday’s funeral before driving to Duluth for the Hunters’ game against Hibbing-Chisholm at Heritage Center, where a moment of silence was observed in Burns’ honor.

Larson, who went on to play at Minnesota Duluth, boosted his assist total by constantly looking for Burns on the ice.

“All the guys used to joke, ‘Hey, thank Tony for your scholarship because all you did was pass the puck over to him,’ ” Larson recalled.

Burns was a senior captain during the 1989-90 season for first-year coach Mark Krysiak. Denfeld again had a strong team, losing a heartbreaker to Cloquet in the section playoffs. Krysiak said Burns captained the way he played.

“He wasn’t the most vocal captain I ever had by any means, but when Tony spoke everyone listened,” said Krysiak, who coached the Hunters through 1996.

Krysiak described Burns as laidback and thoughtful off the ice, and “probably the best player I coached” on it.

Regardless of talent, Larson said his friend “never had an air about him.” He underscored that humility with a story about Burns being selected for the world junior team.

“Outside of the Olympics, it’s pretty much the biggest thing you can play in internationally,” Larson said. “You know that a lot of people didn’t even know he played on that. He came home, and most of those kids wear that USA hockey stuff everywhere, but I think he gave all his to his buddies. That’s how he was. He was really, really humble about how good he was.”

After high school, Burns prolonged his playing career, first at St. Cloud State and then professionally, most notably in the East Coast Hockey League. His career ultimately was cut short by injury.

Smalley, himself a 1980 graduate of Denfeld, learned of Burns’ death while the Hunters were headed to Proctor for a game against the Rails. The coach was stunned.

“Tony was an outgoing guy that everybody got along with,” Smalley said. “You just felt good being around him — he made everybody feel good. He was a joy to have as a friend.

“He certainly liked to have fun and enjoy life.”

Posted by on in Announcements


( the photo is how I remember Tony – always smiling)!!!!


With heavy heart I have to share that we lost a friend/colleague/vendor Wednesday.  Tony Burns from R and R specialties passed away at home. 

Keep Tony’s wife and two kids in your thoughts and prayers.



Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Visitation - Monday 1/12 from 5-8pm

Mattson's Funeral Home

343 North Shore Drive

Forest Lake, MN 55025

Funeral - Visitation starts at 10:00am Service at 11:00am

Eagle Brook Church

2401 East Buffalo St

White Bear Lake, MN 55110

A fund has been set up for his family ( wife and two young children) at:

The fund is set up under:

Amanda Klinker-Burns benefit fund

US Bank

320 West Broadway

Forest Lake, MN 55025

It can be sent or go to any USBANK


Mark Vaughn

Posted by on in Uncategorized

January 2015 MIAMA Newsletter Article

Happy New Year to each of you!We are all in the thick of another busy winter skating season at our facilities. Now is a great time to be updating your opening & closing checklists, game operation checklists, open skating, open freestyle & open hockey procedures. Take time to review these documents. Are all of the items still applicable? What can be added? Do not be afraid to ask your staff for suggestions. Managers are not always around and a Saturday night close may have changed since the last time we have worked that shift. I regularly ask my staff “What am I missing?” By asking your staff, you are giving them an opportunity for input along with ownership of those documents.With the unfortunate incident with an ice resurfacer in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, now is also a great time to review your air quality procedures.  Ensure all of your staff are trained in how to test for air quality and what to do when there is a problem. If you have a non-electric machine, when is the last time it had the exhaust checked for CO/NO2? Where is that documentation and did the tester do any adjustments? Is your air quality testing equipment still working? Does it need a calibration? Do you have current tubes for your dragger or similar testing unit? These are all easy things that take a little time to make sure you have in place. Emergencies can be prevented with proper maintenance and procedures for testing the air quality.This spring we will head back to the St. Cloud area for the 2015 MIAMA Spring Workshop. We will be at the National Hockey Center on the campus of St. Cloud State University on Wednesday, May 6th. More information will be sent out in the 1st quarter of 2015. This is always a fun event with great attendance by our MIAMA membership. It is an excellent opportunity to learn valuable information and see the updates at the National Hockey Center. This year’s Spring Workshop co-chairs are Shayne Radcliff from Lakeville Arenas and Jon Jackson of Becker Arena Products. If you have any ideas for breakout sessions at this event, please let either one of them know.The MIAMA Retiree alumni group is looking for new members. This is an excellent opportunity for you to share your experience with another group of arena managers, while continuing those relationships you developed over your years of service. Please contact Walt Bruley at 218-340-0532 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested.

Have a safe holiday season!

Jon Balvance

MIAMA Board Representative