Outdoor ice rink looking for backers: Open date is Nov. 1
An outdoor ice rink in Grand Junction is moving closer to reality.
But first, Ice Skating Inc. needs a little help.
The group is attempting to raise $225,000 to fund the facility that plans to have outdoor ice for hockey in early November.
“If we can raise that amount we’d have everything covered,” Ice Skating Inc. Director of Operations Curt Maki said. “Not having (that amount) isn’t going to stop us from going forward, but we have to raise some money to get some things done.”
Ice Skating Inc. and Grand Valley Youth Hockey acquired a portable refrigeration system in July that it will install at the old Hockey Stop facility at Third Street and North Avenue.
They have renamed the venue Grand Valley Skating Center.
Maki said he has all the equipment in Grand Junction needed for the winter, but the fundraising is to help get the facility up to speed and through the season.
The rink has some areas of asphalt that need to be sealed before they can start turning it into an ice rink.
Some fencing needs to be replaced, trees trimmed, boards around the ice repaired, and benches need to be built and painted.
“I’ve had a ton of people coming forward saying, ‘What do you need?’ ” Maki said. “Money is important, but so is the time and materials.”
Some of the fundraising efforts will go to upgrading to the lighting system at the rink. Much of the use will be at dusk or in the evening. The ice will be covered during the day to keep the sun off the surface.
“The lights are dim and not bright enough for what we’ll need,” Maki said.
The money would also help operate the rink, but Maki is looking to cut the cost to power the refrigeration system. He’s exploring using a natural gas generator to power the refrigeration’s compressor instead of electricity.
“A natural gas compressor takes the utility bill way down,” Maki said. “We’ve been looking at how we can cut costs in a lot of different ways.”
The facility will be used as practice ice for the Junior Maverick programs but will also have a learn-to-skate program and house hockey leagues for youth and adults.
“When Glacier (Ice Arena) wasn’t open we didn’t have a way to get new skaters and hockey players into the program,” Maki said. “With adults, we’ll be able to offer a house league, but it is a smaller surface, so we’ll do a 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 adult league, so it allows room for adults to play.”
Maki said there won’t be public open skating sessions at the rinks.
“With public sessions there are things with that, like permits, parking issues, security issues and noise issues,” Maki said. “So we won’t be doing any public sessions this year.”
The outdoor rink’s target opening date is Nov. 1 and it will be open until March 1.
Ice Skating Inc., is having an informational meeting about the rink at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Grand Valley Skating Center, 1130 N. 3rd St.