The Online Community for Culver City – The New Scene
Planet Granite -- the climbing, yoga, and fitness company that will replace the Culver City Ice Skating with their new facility -- has responded to "the skating community's concerns" in an open letter on its website. To date the company's post has generated a whopping 326 responses, most of which sharply criticize Planet's plan to take over this location as well as the company's "insensitive, presumptuous and crass PR piece."
In their post, Planet Granite writes "We at Planet Granite want to thank the skating community for helping us understand your concerns. We truly sympathize with the loss you are feeling and hope a broader picture of the situation will allow us all to move forward amicably."
Addressing the suggestion that the fitness facility share the property with the ice rink, the company says, "We...spent some time exploring its feasibility. Unfortunately, both businesses need parking for their members and guests, which would then need to be built underground. It is simply not financially reasonable to build a new building and two stories of underground parking required to service the two businesses."
As for other possible locations in the area, they write: "We have been looking for a location in Culver City and the surrounding areas for many years. It is incredibly difficult to find a building that meets our needs in terms of zoning, parking, access and size in which to build a climbing gym. It may seem that there are numerous acceptable alternatives, but if there were, we would have built there long ago."
In the end all they can promise is "to build a unique gym that Culver City can be proud of." And they add, "We are thrilled to share our passion and love of climbing and fitness to our newest location and look forward to serving you."
Many of the 326 comments on the post have the pissed-off and defiant character of this one from Steve Weinberg:
We will still fight you tooth and nail. We will boycott ALL of your businesses. We will make your existence a living hell. We will support the many other rock climbing facilities in the local area and MAKE SURE you fail. You are making a huge mistake placating us with you drivel. We have nothing to lose but our rink. You reputation will be smeared and marred for years to come. We don’t fear your bravado. You will fail in this location.
Wow, you guys are really going to destroy this place…..The lack of both logic and emotion from Planet Granite is ridiculous. It greatly saddens me to know that the illogical and the heartless can still exist. Planet Granite, if you continue down this road (which looks like you will), you will be destroying not only the rink and the community of skaters in Culver, but you will also be destroying your own business in LA. Please, listen to the hundreds of calls, emails, and posts you’ve been getting. There is a correct decision here, and it is backing away from the Culver Ice Rink………
……..Also, get a new team PR team.
In the end, though, I think I agree the most with Derrick, when he comments:
This post makes many good points about the ice rink and the plans Planet Granite has. To be honest it is a good business plan and it is probably the right thing to do in a business sense.
The thing is that the ice rink almost feels like a local historical land mark to the community now. It feels like a part of what makes Culver City. Similar to the Culver City hotel, the park tower, and Helms bakery. If it didn’t feel like a historical site I’m sure there wouldn’t be much backlash after the new business was up and running. But because it does feel like a historical site there will probably be long term backlash from the community.
I would recommend taking a building like the one that currently houses Pep Boys. I know things aren’t that simple though. I also know that this deal is probably going to happen and the rink will be no more. I would recommend treating the building and the site with respect to the fact that it is seen as a historical land mark. Keep some of the original building, maybe have a little display with some information about what the location used to be. Incorporate the history instead of wiping it out and in time people may calm down a bit about it.
You can read the whole response as well as the comments HERE.