Ice rink innovation: New product boosting local manufacturer’s growth

For The Tribune-Democrat   - CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES

John Burley denies rumors that he was conceived at an ice skating rink.

There’s no question, however, that ice remains in his entrepreneurial blood.

“It’s a passion,” Burley, president of Everything Ice, said in an interview at the company’s plant at 701 Main St. in Johnstown.

“For me, it’s really not work.”
Burley, 45, who began working with his father in the ice rink business right out of high school, is working to develop and grow Everything Ice.


Everything Ice, incorporated in April 2007, and its predecessor, Burley Rink Supply, have been responsible for installing more than 700 ice rinks throughout the world. About five years ago the family sold the Burley Rink business along with Planet Ice in Richland, which the Burleys built in 1998.

Everything Ice produces a variety of rink products out of its two–story manufacturing facility. There are a couple of offices in Salix.

Burley said buildingg Everything Ice was like starting over. His “office” initially was at Starbucks, where he took calls on his cell phone.

He counts the money spent on coffee as part of his start-up costs.


The good news is that despite a sluggish economy, Everything Ice has hired a couple of employees during the last week or so, is looking to add a few more and predicts it will add another 20 in the next two to three years.


Burley said he’s looking for people with backgrounds in construction, fabrication and refrigeration. The company will provide additional training.


The pay range is $10 to $30 an hour depending on the position. As of now, no benefits are being paid.
The employment growth is coming about because of a new product, Instant-Ice, along with other growth sectors in the marketplace.


That’s good economic news for two other reasons – because the Burley business is in the manufacturing sector of the goods-producing sector and because it is located in the city.

Late last month, KDH Defense Systems, another goods-producing business in the city, announced that an $88.7 million Marine Corps contract could result in as many as 100 new jobs at its Cambria City facility. KDH produces body armor.

The latest state employment numbers, which are for August, put the number of local manufacturing jobs at 4,500, a number that has held steady during the past several months. But that was down 500 from August 2008.

The number of overall goods-producing jobs remained unchanged at 6,800, just a fraction of what it once was in the heyday of the steel industry.

Burley says he is optimistic about the future of Instant-Ice, an innovative type of piping system that can be set up in one-third the time of others.

“You don’t have to use any sand, and no ice painting is involved,” he said.

Everything Ice has applied for a patent on the process. A prototype of the system was installed 11/2 years ago in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Burley said customers are raving about it.

Rich Cubin, vice president of Rink Specialists of Chesapeake, Va., describes Instant-Ice as user friendly and competitively priced along with having good technical support.

“Everything Ice has once again proved that they are an industry leader in forward thinking in the ice sports arena,” he wrote on Everything Ice’s Web site.

Rink Specialists provides a variety of products and services for ice rinks.

“We’re always looking for ways to revamp our ideas to give us a competitive advantage,” said Jon Knobloch, general manager of sales and marketing for Everything Ice.

Burley estimates he has 20 potential orders for the new system and that it could be responsible for 40 rinks a year. A patent for the process has been applied for.

Estimates are that Everything Ice’s overall sales this year will total $3 million to $4 million, which would be an increase of 20 percent to 30 percent over last year.Sales are predicted to grow another 30 percent next year.

“We are growing at the right rate,” Knobloch said.

He and Burley say controlled growth is important so that quality is not sacrificed.

Burley pointed out that the industry is a relatively small one, and “if you do anything wrong it will catch up to you.”

Now that the business is growing and adding employees, Knobloch said they hope to be able to work with the city to fund some capital improvements. Especially needed is a loading dock.

Burley says the cooler weather of fall already is producing more calls and e-mails.

“I don’t see anything that can hold us back,” he said.

CLICK FOR - Installation Pictures Of Instant-Ice


Ice Rink Industry Bailout?

Only Now - The One Million Dollar Enclosed Ice Rink !


In today's tougher economy those of us who love skating and hockey may have found themselves asking when the government will give our sports a bailout.  We do not know if we will ever see such government financial aid but when times are tough and many still hold the dream of building and operating their own indoor skating complex, we may have developed the closest thing to a bailout - at least a bailout to still make your dream reality in these hard times.


Everything Ice has worked with a team of innovative designers to assemble what may be the best buy on the market today.  You provide the land, and they provide everything else including the highest quality ice rink equipment and truss supported fabric structure which is capable of operating in any climate, for any length of season, and fully supportive of all normally featured events. 


The Truss/Fabric Structure was developed specifically for the harsh environmental demands of an ice rink application.  The structure can be provided with a durable single skin, or insulated dual skin liner for year-round ice rink applications. While affordable, it is designed to provided decades of use for skating or other multi-purpose applications. Anything one can do in a conventional steel pre-engineered building can be done in these new structures.  This is a rugged building engineered for the cold environment demands of a skating rink. They install fast, and provide a low cost installation without compromising energy efficiency, durability or performance.


For a full size rink, the building is well under $ 200,000.  Depending on the length of season, required support structures, and other development costs, the entire turn-key complex could be well under $ 1 Million dollars complete with the finest hockey boards and ice rink refrigeration system.  


Contact John Burley at 814-244-1407 or write



Building, Designing, or Planning A Rink Or Arena? is your resource.  Our site features an endless amount of photos, videos, design, business planning, and operational information to make your job faster and easier. Use our pull down menus above to find the following information:


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Who Is is the effort of John Burley who has been in the ice rink industry for over 25 years. During this tenure of installing almost 700 ice rinks around the world, we have found that information in the design and planning aspects of ice rinks was hard for most people to come upon. Further, what information was in the industry much was riddled with misguided information. aims to provide the builder, architect, engineer, entrepreneur or rink manager with a resource for information. We hope our effort with this web site and the information it contains can serve as our contribution back to the ice rink industry, a business which has supported our family for years and we trust for many years into the future.



New Instant-Ice Portable Ice System Completes Successful Installations


Instant-Ice is the revolutionary new rink piping system which out performs other portable rink piping systems. Installations take only 30% the time of the obsolete piping mat type systems because of the overall faster install and ice making process.   See this link for some pictures or go to




The GreenMachine Advanced Rink Chiller Product Launched


With years of ice rink industry knowledge combined with the latest in advanced refrigeration technologies, Everything Ice has launched their new chiller system built exclusively for the new Green world movement. And, Green also means low cost of operations and low impact on the environment.


The GreenMachine is a proprietary and patent pending refrigeration design which capitalizes on proven concepts of energy efficiency but also adds some newer technologies supported by the modern LEED engineering movement and government sponsored energy funds to promote GreenMachine installations.


GreenMachine will keep your costs down and your carbon footprint small.


Contact for more information about the new GreenMachine ice rink chiller.


New Ice Rink Installed At Historic Olympic Venue


Everything Ice, Inc. has successfully completed the installation of an outdoor recreational ice rink at the historic Lake Placid Olympic Oval. The rink, which is a 100’ x 50’, is situated in an open access area near the oval.


The rink is used in conjunction with the speed skating oval during the winter months. The rink has been utilized to near full capacity on the weekends since its completion by youth teams, hockey enthusiasts and new skaters alike.


Jon Knobloch of Everything Ice said “we are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the great people in Lake Placid. To add our footprint to an area with such deep tradition within the sporting world has been very exciting for our company. Add the fact that so many young hockey players and skaters have utilized the rink makes it even more special.”


Everything Ice is located in Salix, PA. They specialize in providing state of the art ice rink equipment to a worldwide market. Everything Ice can be reached at 888-543-0921.