They say architecture is the act of bringing art to life. If that’s the case, there’s no question Tom Moorse is an artist.
Moorse, HTG partner and architect, has worked in the land of building and construction for more than 25 years, including 10 years with a focus on ice arenas.
We chatted with Moorse about day-to-day routines, crayons vs. markers, and his original dreams of being the next Fran Tarkenton while instead currently exceeding and bring to life clients’ wildest dreams with HTG.
HTG: How did you get in to architecture?
Tom Moorse: I had a model train set as a kid and spent more time creating buildings for the village than actually playing with the train. I am lucky enough to have turned that passion into my career.
HTG: What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Moorse: The best part about my job is bringing creativity to a project to solve a clients needs. It is really rewarding when we not only meet the need but exceed the client’s wildest dreams.
HTG: What’s the most challenging thing?
Moorse: The most challenging thing is usually the budget. People, especially in the hockey community, have such great passion for the sport, but all too often the reality of the costs to build and operate a rink becomes a challenge they did not anticipate. We have helped many a rink through this hurdle, but it’s all about setting expectations and creating an accurate revenue model from the get-go to ease that.
HTG: Which would you rather draw with: crayons or markers and why?
Moorse: I would rather draw with markers. They are sharper and more vibrant in color. Marker drawings just have more life in them! By the way, if you asked the young kids in our industry to draw with either, they would probably lock up—they would be paralyzed without their computers!
HTG: What does a typical day look like for you?
Moorse: I try to get to the office early—around 6:30 a.m. if possible—that gives me a couple hours to focus on the work I need to do. From there each day is filled with client meetings or meetings with our team at HTG. Communication is a big part of the success of a project. That includes communicating with the client, with our team and with contractors. Communication can happen in meetings, phone calls or email, and really that takes the majority of my time each day.
HTG: If anyone could play you in a movie, who would it be and why?
Moorse: I can’t imagine a movie about me, but if I had to choose I’d say Tom Hanks. I think he can make any role interesting, and I would go to watch him in any movie.
HTG: What was the first job you dreamed of as a kid?
Moorse: Being an NFL player. I wanted to be a quarterback like Fran Tarkenton.
HTG: How did HTG get involved in building ice rinks?
Moorse: HTG has been fortunate enough to have the Shakopee Mdewakaton Sioux Community as our client for more than 25 years now. Our first rink was part of the Dakotah! Sport and Fitness complex. When I started at HTG more than 15 years ago, one of my first projects was the second sheet addition at DSF. From there we just kept growing the business. It’s been really fun for me as a hockey dad because I get to visit other rinks and actually see my son play in some of our projects.
HTG: What surprised you most about the ice rink building process?
Moorse: The economics of operating a rink. I think every hockey parent feels rinks charge too much for ice time, but the reality is these rinks have ongoing operating expenses. The owners and operators have to be hustling to make it work, but the fun part about my job is we get to help owners create rinks that are economically sustainable.
HTG: Favorite concession food at an arena?
Moorse: I stick with the basics: popcorn and diet coke, you can’t go wrong with those.