RecZone ice rink forced to close

No word yet on rink's future

Staff WritersJune 2, 2011 

RecZone, the Raleigh ice rink that was foreclosed upon last month, has closed.

John Biedermann, whose family had owned the facility since 2000, said he found out Monday that BB&T Bank wanted the rink closed earlier than he had expected.

Biedermann had hoped to keep the facility open through June 15.

BB&T has appointed Liberty Solutions of Charlotte to manage the property. The bank said last month that it would make a decision about the property's future soon, but a spokesman could not provide an update Wednesday.

Biedermann said he hopes someone will buy the facility from the bank and reopen it.

"There is absolutely a lot of need here in this town," he said. "If it isn't opened again, it's really going to hurt."

The RecZone's closing will displace hundreds of skaters and hockey players, and also will make it harder to schedule ice time at other area rinks.

On average, more than 1,200 people used the facility each week.

The Carolina Hurricanes practiced at the rink, and it was also the home ice for N.C. State University's club hockey team.

The rink hosted youth and adult leagues, figure skating, pickup game sessions, recreational skating, summer camps and instructional skating sessions.

Its outdoor facilities were used by lacrosse and street hockey teams.

The Hurricanes have secured four days of ice time at the Factory Ice House in Wake Forest for the team's annual prospect conditioning camp next month. BB&T told the team that the equipment it stores at the RecZone can remain there, said Brian Tatum, director of team services.

RecZone ran into trouble after Biedermann's other business, Biedermann Manufacturing Industries, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in November. Biedermann Manufacturing owed BB&T $824,000, according to its bankruptcy filing.

The company also was the guarantor on a $3.3 million loan that BB&T provided to Four Boys LLC, the entity that owned RecZone.

When Biedermann Manufacturing filed for bankruptcy, BB&T called the RecZone loan.

Staff writer Luke DeCock contributed to this report.

david.bracken@ newsobserver.com or 919-829-4548

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