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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Survey says: City arenas continue to carve out excellence in recreation

Public skating begins October 1, 2012.
The majority of city-owned arenas were built in the 1960s & 70s and have been operating status quo since then. However, thanks to the first ever ‘Arena Survey’ conducted in 2010 and a subsequent survey in 2012, City of Calgary Recreation has finally been able to capture and leverage this feedback to improve arena experiences for patrons.

 “In 2009, when we first decided to poll our customers we didn’t imagine such great response rates and indeed so much passion about change rooms!” laughs Laurie Darvill, superintendent for arenas. “Yeah, the feedback has been phenomenal and I’m excited to tell our customers that their feedback has really influenced how we’re spending our capital dollars over the next few years.”

Darvill explains that the survey results have been integral to securing funding and prioritizing projects. The City of Calgary owns and operates 19 sheets of ice. She's particularly proud that in 2011 and 2012 Recreation was able to renovate a number of arenas: projects ranging from ice slabs, new boards and change rooms. In addition to these renovations, a number of arenas received environmental upgrades that lend to improved sustainability. Darvill adds that over the next year, customers will continue to see further upgrades.

As for arena staff, they should take pride in their level of work. In 2012, a total of 863 people responded with overwhelmingly positive comments regarding customer service. In fact, increases in satisfaction were evident in a number of customer service categories in comparison to the 2010 results. Darvill credits an increased focus on customer service that's given city-owned arenas an upper-edge.

Moreover, there were a number of comments regarding the high calibre quality of ice. We were told time and time again how players appreciate the dedication and expertise required from City staff to create this level of quality ice.

“We know that Calgarians love their ice sports,” Darvill continues, “listening and then responding to our customers preferences not only generates value for them, it simply makes for a more enjoyable experience.”

Highlights from City of Calgary Arena Survey

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