Ice rink innovation: New product boosting local
John Burley denies rumors that he was conceived at an
ice skating rink.
There’s no question, however, that ice remains in his
“It’s a passion,” Burley, president of Everything
Ice, said in an interview at the company’s plant at 701
Main St. in Johnstown.
“For me, it’s really not work.”
Burley, 45, who began working with his father in the ice
rink business right out of high school, is working to
develop and grow Everything Ice.
Everything Ice, incorporated in April 2007, and its
predecessor, Burley Rink Supply, have been responsible
for installing more than 700 ice rinks throughout the
world. About five years ago the family sold the Burley
Rink business along with Planet Ice in Richland, which
the Burleys built in 1998.
Everything Ice produces a variety of rink products out
of its two–story manufacturing facility. There are a
couple of offices in Salix.
Burley said buildingg Everything Ice was like starting
over. His “office” initially was at Starbucks, where he
took calls on his cell phone.
He counts the money spent on coffee as part of his
The good news is that despite a sluggish economy,
Everything Ice has hired a couple of employees during
the last week or so, is looking to add a few more and
predicts it will add another 20 in the next two to three
Burley said he’s looking for people with backgrounds
in construction, fabrication and refrigeration. The
company will provide additional training.
The pay range is $10 to $30 an hour depending on the
position. As of now, no benefits are being paid.
The employment growth is coming about because of a new
product, Instant-Ice, along with other growth sectors in
That’s good economic news for two other reasons –
because the Burley business is in the manufacturing
sector of the goods-producing sector and because it is
located in the city.
Late last month, KDH Defense Systems, another
goods-producing business in the city, announced that an
$88.7 million Marine Corps contract could result in as
many as 100 new jobs at its Cambria City facility. KDH
produces body armor.
The latest state employment numbers, which are for
August, put the number of local manufacturing jobs at
4,500, a number that has held steady during the past
several months. But that was down 500 from August 2008.
The number of overall goods-producing jobs remained
unchanged at 6,800, just a fraction of what it once was
in the heyday of the steel industry.
Burley says he is optimistic about the future of
Instant-Ice, an innovative type of piping system that
can be set up in one-third the time of others.
“You don’t have to use any sand, and no ice painting is
involved,” he said.
Everything Ice has applied for a patent on the process.
A prototype of the system was installed 11/2 years ago
in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Burley said customers are
raving about it.
Rich Cubin, vice president of Rink Specialists of
Chesapeake, Va., describes Instant-Ice as user friendly
and competitively priced along with having good
“Everything Ice has once again proved that they are an
industry leader in forward thinking in the ice sports
arena,” he wrote on Everything Ice’s Web site.
Rink Specialists provides a variety of products and
services for ice rinks.
“We’re always looking for ways to revamp our ideas to
give us a competitive advantage,” said Jon Knobloch,
general manager of sales and marketing for Everything
Burley estimates he has 20 potential orders for the new
system and that it could be responsible for 40 rinks a
year. A patent for the process has been applied for.
Estimates are that Everything Ice’s overall sales this
year will total $3 million to $4 million, which would be
an increase of 20 percent to 30 percent over last
year.Sales are predicted to grow another 30 percent next
“We are growing at the right rate,” Knobloch said.
He and Burley say controlled growth is important so that
quality is not sacrificed.
Burley pointed out that the industry is a relatively
small one, and “if you do anything wrong it will catch
up to you.”
Now that the business is growing and adding employees,
Knobloch said they hope to be able to work with the city
to fund some capital improvements. Especially needed is
a loading dock.
Burley says the cooler weather of fall already is
producing more calls and e-mails.
“I don’t see anything that can hold us back,” he said.
CLICK FOR - Installation Pictures Of
Ice Rink Industry Bailout?
Only Now - The One Million Dollar Enclosed Ice Rink
In today's tougher economy those of us who love
skating and hockey may have found themselves asking when
the government will give our sports a bailout. We
do not know if we will ever see such government
financial aid but when times are tough and many still
hold the dream of building and operating their own
indoor skating complex, we may have developed the
closest thing to a bailout - at least a bailout to still
make your dream reality in these hard times.
Everything Ice has worked with a team of innovative
designers to assemble what may be the best buy on the
market today. You provide the land, and they
provide everything else including the highest quality
ice rink equipment and truss supported fabric structure
which is capable of operating in any climate, for any
length of season, and fully supportive of all normally
The Truss/Fabric Structure was developed specifically for the harsh environmental demands of an
ice rink application. The structure can be
provided with a durable single skin, or
insulated dual skin liner for year-round ice rink
applications. While affordable, it is designed to provided decades of
use for skating or other multi-purpose applications.
Anything one can do in a conventional steel
pre-engineered building can be done in these new
structures. This is a rugged building engineered
for the cold environment demands of a skating rink. They
install fast, and provide a low cost installation
without compromising energy efficiency, durability or
For a full size rink, the building is well under $
200,000. Depending on the length of season,
required support structures, and other development
costs, the entire turn-key complex could be well
under $ 1 Million dollars complete with the finest
hockey boards and ice rink refrigeration system.
Contact John Burley at 814-244-1407 or write
Building, Designing, or Planning A Rink Or Arena?
ArenaWatch.org is your resource. Our site
features an endless amount of photos, videos, design,
business planning, and operational information to make
your job faster and easier. Use our pull down menus
above to find the following information:
- Endless Photo Albums Showing Products, Installations
- On-Line Construction Videos showing the full
installation of an ice rink from ground breaking to
- Videos for training and other rink products.
- On-Line Financial Planning & Proformas
- Construction Documents and Methods
- Ice Rink Construction Drawings, Schedules & Methods
- Numerous Ice Rink Design help such as sample ice rink
floor plans, lighting layouts, and building design
If you need something which you cannot find on
ArenaWatch.org, we likely have the information and can
Who Is ArenaWatch.org?
ArenaWatch.org is the effort of John Burley who has
been in the ice rink industry for over 25 years. During
this tenure of installing almost 700 ice rinks around
the world, we have found that information in the design
and planning aspects of ice rinks was hard for most
people to come upon. Further, what information was in
the industry much was riddled with misguided
information. ArenaWatch.org aims to provide the
builder, architect, engineer, entrepreneur or rink
manager with a resource for information. We hope our
effort with this web site and the information it
contains can serve as our contribution back to the ice
rink industry, a business which has supported our family
for years and we trust for many years into the future.