The temporary ice skating rink set up at the Lady A the past two years, Evans on Ice, has been cancelled for 2020. Chris and Mike Boerner, who recently moved to North Carolina, started Augusta on Ice in 2017.
The inaugural event was slated to be held at the Evans Towne Center Park, but moved to downtown Augusta at the last minute following a contractual dispute with Columbia County over using the public park for a for-profit venture.
The name was changed to reflect the new location, Augusta on Ice.
The following year the Boerner’s announced a partnership with Lights of the South, leaving the Augusta Common to set up at the annual Christmas light attraction in Grovetown, with the two enterprises being rebranded Winterland.
That partnership ran into problems before the rink was installed centered around who was responsible for expenses related to the cost of preparing the land to support the rink.
As that relationship faltered, and with little time to spare, the Boerner’s again reached an agreement with Columbia County, and the location changed again to the Evans Towne Center Park-where it all began.
Unfortunately, the couple was unable to secure a tent to cover the rink as they had the year prior in downtown Augusta, and it rained. A lot.
According to an article on WRDW in 2018, the rain caused a lot of problems. Mike Boerner was quoted as saying the future of Augusta on Ice looked pretty grim.
“When we talk to some of the locals here they say they can’t remember a year where we’ve had this much rain. It’s been a rough go,” Boerner told the station.
“I mean our revenue is down probably at least 50 percent.”
“We’re going to have to take a hard look at the financials. We’re hoping we can do this again, but we may change the business structure.”
Boerner says he doesn’t want to give up, so he’s looking into other options.
“We’re kicking around the idea of potentially becoming a non-profit. We’re not in this to make a bunch of money, but our family can’t necessarily support large losses. It’s very expensive to bring an ice rink to Georgia and operate it outdoors.”
Yet, last year the promoters had secured a tent and attendance was up considerably. It looked like the annual event was beginning to reach its potential.
Then the pandemic hit, along with the Boerner’s move to North Carolina, and the annual ice skating event was cancelled for this year.
The organizers state they are looking ahead to bringing Evans on Ice back to the Evans Towne Center Park in 2021.