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GLENS FALLS — Cool Insuring Arena has a very competitive ice hockey team for a tenant, and now it’s adding another component to the Adirondack Thunder’s in-game experience.

The CIA has added a luxury suite in the Dave Strader Press Box.

The mostly enclosed area had been there, but was used for visiting scouts and dignitaries or players on reserve to watch the games. It is the first luxury suite in the history of the facility, built in 1979.

“Looking at the North Division (of the ECHL), we’re the only building that doesn’t have a private area,” said CIA General Manager Jeff Mead. “So it was up there, and the Glens Falls Civic Center Foundation donated some money for us to upgrade it and Honey-Do Man did the work for us, so it kind of came together at the last minute.”

The cost of the suite, which has a flat-screen TV is $500, which includes tickets for up to 10, a server and unlimited food off a menu. Alcohol is a separate purchase.

“We wanted a luxury-type area,” Mead said, “for businesses to be able to rent it out for their clients or, like this Saturday we have a birthday party up there. It’s to generate new revenue and try to make an upscale area.”

The CIA is the smallest arena in the ECHL (4,794 seating capacity), and given the age of the building, it’s understandable that it has never had a luxury area before.

By contrast, however, the rest of the North Division buildings are well suited for it.

Brampton’s CAA Centre, for example, has only 5,000 seats, but 27 suites.

Previously, the Thunder marketed a small area down on ice level as a party zone, which is sold out “pretty often,” according to Mead.

“It did pretty well last year, and we think it’ll be a really good area for us this year. But this area upstairs in the press box is a little more formal,” he said.

Mead said the CIA is getting more marketing materials on the suite, so there will be photos and it will be promoted on the arena’s website and through social media.

“Our long-term vision — and we’d need funding of course — is to have more luxury-type facilities,” Mead said. “We’re dipping our toe in the water.”

Notes: The Thunder announced Thursday that it and the Wesley Community are offering a new senior discount. Seniors ages 55 and older will receive a $2 discount on tickets to Thunder home games this season, courtesy of The Wesley Community, effective immediately. … The Thunder’s James Henry leads the ECHL in points (10) on one goal and nine assists.

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Follow Will Springstead on Twitter @WSpringsteadPSV.



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