Investor sought to save ice arena

QUICKREAD

Trying to raise $450,000

A trust account is to be set up Monday at Alpine Bank for contributions to keep The Glacier Ice Arena in business, said one of the owners, Robbie Koos.

An attorney who volunteered to set up the account will set it up to raise a certain amount, such as the $450,000 needed to get the refrigeration system working, Koos said.

If the goal amount is not received, then the money will be returned to donors, whose contributions will be tracked, Koos said.



Bob Coslett still is hoping something will happen to keep The Glacier Ice Arena in business, or at least rejuvenate it some day.

Coslett, the general manager of the arena, said Friday that inquiries were coming in after the owners announced Thursday that the 4-year-old facility would close Monday.

None of the calls seemed likely to result in the kind of infusion needed to keep the ice frozen in the arena, which is home to several hockey leagues, public skating programs and the Mesa State College Mavericks club hockey team, but they’re a sign of hope, Coslett said.

The shame of the pending closure of Glacier Ice Arena was the unavoidable and horrible timing.

“We’ve got a base built up here” in which The Glacier had a devoted following that was showing signs of growth, Coslett said in his office as young skaters trooped by on their way to and from the ice.

So far this year, the Glacier’s business was down only 3.5 percent, which Coslett said was a strong indicator that even in a difficult economy people valued the recreational opportunity it afforded.

“We were at the point where it was going to take off,” he said.

He and the owners, Alan and Robbie Koos, have been aware for sometime of the problems that stemmed from faulty installation of the refrigeration system, but they did as well as they could for as long as they could, Coslett said.

The announcement of the closure caught many by surprise, but “the overnight decision was two years in the making,” Coslett said.

Keeping the rink open despite the problems with the equipment was in character for the Koos family, Coslett said.

“They worry about the community and the kids,” he said. “People like that don’t come along very often.”

The Glacier opened four years ago after the Koos family and relatives put their own money into the venture, fully expecting, as Robbie Koos said, to break even or maybe get a bit more at best.

The Glacier was getting to that point, Coslett said, voicing the hope that an investor with a community-minded bent who is willing to accept a smaller return might still be found.

It’s unlikely the owners will get enough money from the Canadian company that installed the refrigeration system because of the length of time needed to pursue a lawsuit.

Coslett and Koos declined to identify the company, but the family has hired an attorney to look into the case.

Coslett, 74, said he won’t leave town immediately, even though he has family elsewhere.

Coslett once owned an ice rink in Boulder and was able eventually to sell it at a small profit, and he still loves the business, he said.

Besides, retirement doesn’t sit well with him, Coslett said.

“I’m going to stay around long enough to see if something comes up” with The Glacier, he said.


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