Howelsen Ice Arena users plan fundraising campaign for 2nd sheet of ice
Howelsen Ice Arena users are in the early stages of mounting a fundraising campaign for an additional ice rink in Steamboat Springs.
“We have donors who are very much interested in the second sheet of ice, and they want to potentially put up a significant amount of money for it,” said Brent Pearson, a youth hockey coach who is serving as an intermediary between the city and donors. “We’re currently, as a group, trying to determine what we truly do need versus what we truly want.”
Pearson said the fundraisers, who are anonymous at this point, are interested in expanding the opportunities for youth hockey with the additional ice.
The fundraising effort comes as ice arena stakeholders report high demand for the existing ice in prime time.
“It really is in high demand,” Parks Open Space and Recreational Services Director John Overstreet said. “We have games going until midnight at the arena.”
Perason said additional ice could accommodate larger hockey tournaments in the city, and thereby bring more visitors and revenue to the city. It also could expand public skating times.
Overstreet said the city was recently approached by ice arena users about the possibility of a private fundraising effort.
He said the interested fundraisers still are discussing the potential design for the additional ice rink, which would be located on the existing ice arena property on Howelsen Parkway.
“What are we looking at in terms of the scope of the facility? Would it be covered and enclosed? There are a lot of variables we are working through currently,” Overstreet said.
Perason, who serves on the city’s Ice Rink Advisory Committee, said initial discussions about the additional ice have focused on an outdoor rink that would be covered but not enclosed.
He said cost estimates are still being calculated.
Because the Howelsen Ice Arena is in an enterprise zone, donors who choose to donate directly to the city can receive a state tax credit on their donation.
The additional ice is one of the big recommendations in a recent draft of a master plan for Howelsen Hill.
Pearson said plans for a second sheet of ice date back years, and the recent master plan sparked some excitement among potential donors.
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