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Friday, November 4, 2011

I Hate Stairs. Part 2.

Over the summer (mid-July, I think), I gathered up the children and we visited Polar Ice in Peoria, AZ to get a taste of some ice hockey in the off season.  The experience was miserable and so far ranks as the worst wheelchair-friendly experience we have ever had. 

Polar Ice's standard doorways were not wide enough for our wheelchairs (which are not overly wide, or even the widest out there).  Their handicap-accessible doors were locked from the outside.  I had to leave the children outside, unattended, in 110 degree F heat, to go inside to find someone to unlock the doors.  We finally entered the building.  We had us some NHL rookie camp hockey.  When it was time to leave, we found that the doors were locked again.  What if there had been a fire?  What if the building had to evacuate?  The woman at the desk seemed unbothered by my suggestion that my four year olds in wheelchairs being unable to exit her building in an emergency could pose more than a few problems.  My grade for Polar Ice's wheelchair friendliness is an enormous "F".  I will never, ever return there--even if the wheelchairs aren't with me.  Polar Ice exhibited the most callous, inconsiderate behavior I have ever encountered.  I was shocked, frankly.  It was our first and last experience there.  There is not an excuse in the world which can make that okay--all I can suggest, Polar Ice, is to train your staff to keep those automatic doors unlocked during business hours.

Conversely, I've taken the twins in their wheelchairs to the Ice Den in Scottsdale a half-dozen times.  We've been there to watch hockey practice a few times and for free-skate a few times.  Every single time we've been there, the staff and patrons roll out the red carpet for us.  The staff dotes on the twins, the other patrons chat them up every time, the handicap accessible automated doors always work, and I never feel like I am imposing.

You lose, Polar Ice.  That experience was terrible that I may actually hate you. I'm still sorting through my feelings so I hate to be to definite, but that experience ranks in the top 3 worst wheelchair-related experiences we have ever had.  And we get out a lot.

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