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Sweetland updates DDA on revenue

During Tuesdays meeting the Downtown Development Authority of the City of LaGrange (DDA) approved a resolution to open a cash account at Colony Bank through the City of LaGrange’s account.  

According to Chairperson Edward Smith, the DDAL will close its account at Renasant Bank and move any existing funds to the new account at Colony Bank. 

“The funds that will fund the DDAL and Sweetland [Amphitheatre] will flow in and out of the city’s existing cash account with Colony,” Smith said. 

Sweetland Director Keyal Loveland also gave a financial update on how much Sweetland on Ice has brought it since opening last month. 

“As of this past weekend, we have seen 3,639 skaters grossing $41,984,” Loveland said. “This time last year … we had 3,513 skaters. As of this year, we are about $1,000 higher than last year.” 

There are approximately five more weeks of Sweetland on Ice operating, weather permitting. 

Sweetland on Ice Event Coordinator Amanda Sugermeyer said that parties have helped revenue. 

“We have booked eight private parties,” Sugermeyer said. “Those start out at $350, and then we do an add on settlement at the end of every party which is $10 a head. Total count to date, we have 22 parties booked for the year. That’s parties that have happened, and parties that are gonna happen.” 

According to Sugermeyer, the parties have grossed approximately $4,100, amd they look to gross at least $7,000 to $8,000 by the end of the skating season. 

The attraction has brought in visitors from people across Georgia. 

“We’ve had a lot of people from Newnan, Peachtree City, Opelika, and Carrolton,” Sugermeyer said. “We’ve gotten some good feedback as well.” 

The major challenges the rink has had to face have been weather, according to Loveland. 

“With rain and warm fronts moving in … that of course causes the rink to melt,” Loveland said. “We’ve talked through a few different solutions for that and namely just having sides on the tent. There are solutions, and we will continue working through what we can do to keep us from closing.”

Sweetland on Ice has had to close four times temporarily since opening in December due to rain and humidity hitting the ice and causing it to melt. 

“Whenever it is sunny, and warm we have a better chance of keeping the ice frozen,” Loveland said. “The tent helps the direct sunlight keep off the ice to keep it frozen.” 

The City of LaGrange approved a $150,000 renovation in October to help establish the tent to be put on permanent piers. 

After Sweetland on Ice closes on Feb. 17, the covered area can be converted into a food court area or other facility for use during concerts due to the renovations. 

“Now, it truly is a very attractive thing,” Smith said.  

Loveland said that Sweetland will announce its concerts that have been confirmed, with dates, on Monday. 

The DDAL will meet again for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the KIA room at the LaGrange-Troup Chamber of Commerce.