Family-friendly skating event hits brakes at Coon Rapids rink

11:27 AM, Dec 27, 2012   |    comments
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COON RAPIDS, Minn. - A planned youth event at a Twin Cities roller rink has been cancelled and there is disagreement over the reason why.

Rollerfest had been scheduled for Wednesday evening at Cheapskate in Coon Rapids.

"Our problem is that we booked an event, which is the first annual Holiday Rollerfest event for the kids," said Kim Holifield, representing Popoff, Inc., the group sponsoring the Rollerfest event. "It is featuring the Hot Cheetos and Takis kids (YNkids) who have been on Good Morning America and Rolling Stone. They are from Minneapolis."

The cost of the event, which was heavily promoted on YouTube and social media, was $10 per person over 2 years of age.

The problem, according to Cheapskate Manager Jeremy Keeville, is simple.

"We did not get a signed contract from the promoter. We had various meetings with them and never got a contract signed in time to be able to do anything," Keeville said.

Keeville said the last meeting with the group was Dec. 18. He said the Rollerfest group arrived two hours late to the 6 p.m. meeting. After failing to sign the contract, they two sides talked by phone the next day, but could not resolve all the issues involved, Keeville said.

The main stumbling block seems to have been Cheapskate's requirement that there be police security at the event, which Keeville said is "normal" for private events.

"What we did is we contacted the Coon Rapids Police Department and asked them what we needed for overtime police officers to staff an after-hours event," said Keeville.

Capt. John Hattstrom of the Coon Rapids Police confirmed that eight officers was the number given to Cheapskate's officials. The cost of the off-duty officers at $100 per hour would be $3,200.

"And that is based upon our building capacity, how many people can be here and the fire capacity and that requires eight officers," Keeville said.

Holifield said her group expected about 300 people, but the building's capacity is 1,000-1,200. Holifield had another objection to the police requirement.

"Not only is it too much money for the event, it is extreme for our children to have to come to an event that is supposed to be a family skating event and to have that many police officers makes you feel uncomfortable," said Holifield. "It would make me feel as if something is going to happen."

Keeville said he felt it would be a good event.

"I think it sounded like fun. You see these things promoted all over. There are a lot of different promoters that do events all over. We have done events like this in the past," said Keeville.

Keeville said the lack of agreement on the police security scuttled the event scheduled for Wednesday night because Coon Rapids Police had to be hired by Dec. 20 before the extended Christmas holiday weekend.

Rollerfest promoters insist they will work to find a different venue and reschedule the event.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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