Local dream goes cold

The long community effort to establish an indoor ice arena in the Grand Valley, and the subsequent use of the Glacier Ice Arena once it opened, have demonstrated convincingly there is immense interest in skating sports — even in the high desert.

So it’s particularly disappointing that the Glacier is closing its doors Monday after only four years of operation.

Owners Alan and Robbie Koos attributed the closing in part to a faulty refrigeration system that would cost almost a half-million dollars to repair. But the realities of sustaining such a facility also played a significant role. The Koos family has subsidized the operation of the Glacier Ice Arena since its opening, knowing that user fees wouldn’t entirely cover the costs.

Those economic issues were apparent back when the nonprofit group, Ice Skating Inc., was formed to raise money for a community ice arena. Even with donated land and money to pay for much of the construction costs, public entities couldn’t afford to assume control of the project or to operate a completed ice arena.

That’s why the local dream of an ice arena didn’t come to fruition until the Koos family used its private money — along with that raised by Ice Skating Inc. — to build and operate the arena. They deserve credit for opening the arena and operating it this long.

It is unfortunate, both for the family and the community, that the ongoing costs of operating the Glacier Ice Arena and the expenses for needed repairs to its equipment are forcing the family to close the arena. We can only hope that private money may be found in the future to reopen the facility.


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