Parks and rec commissioners weigh in on proposed ice arena expansion
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs city officials say private fundraisers have pledged more than $1 million toward the creation of a second sheet of ice at the Howelsen Ice Arena.
Now it’s up to the city’s parks and recreation commission and the Steamboat Springs City Council to decide whether the rest of the $2.5 million project should be funded.
Kyrill Kretzschmar, the recreation and enterprise services manager for the city, told the commission last week that now is a very opportune time to realize an expansion of the ice arena that has been discussed in some form for more than a decade.
He told the commission that donor interest could fade and one individual alone has pledged a seven-figure donation to the $2.5 million project.
The ice arena expansion plan calls for a second sheet of ice that would be placed parallel to the existing sheet at the arena.
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The new sheet of ice would be covered by a roof and be open on three sides.
Commissioners were largely supportive of the concept, but they wanted to hear more about the existing capacity of the ice arena and the potential revenue the expansion could bring.
Kretzschmar said the need for another sheet of ice in Steamboat is apparent.
He said the current ice arena is fully booked, and some user groups who use it must practice and play games after midnight or very early in the morning. He said the city also cannot offer consistent ice time for visitors for activities such as free skating.
Local parents have also expressed a desire to improve and expand local youth hockey programs with an additional sheet of ice.
The city currently does not have the ice arena expansion on its list of capital projects that will be funded in the next six years.
But city council members have asked the parks and recreation commission for feedback on the project.
The commission will consider whether to endorse the project at a meeting in late October.
If it does, the proposal could go to the council for further consideration.
To learn more about the expansion plan and see financial projections associated with it, look at the presentation below this story.
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