Donors give cool $150,000 to new ice rink
Grand Junction’s newest ice rink has gathered $150,000 in donations so far.
It cost local nonprofit Ice Skating Inc. $200,000 to turn a former roller hockey rink behind 330 North Ave. into an outdoor ice rink, complete with boards, glass, a refrigeration system and a Zamboni machine. It will cost another $25,000 to rent the property this winter.
Grand Valley Youth Hockey teams, which Ice Skating Inc. oversees, plus adult hockey leagues, people who will take skating classes, and Colorado Mesa University’s men’s hockey team all plan to use the rink. Competitive games and public skate will not take place there.
In-kind and monetary donations have helped pay for two-thirds of the $225,000 investment, Ice Skating Inc. Executive Director Curt Maki said. Ice Skating Inc. used its own funding to pay the $75,000 that has not been donated.
Maki said the organization hopes additional donations will pay off the $75,000 loan from Ice Skating Inc., which would otherwise use those funds to buy hockey equipment to rent and provide scholarships for hockey players who cannot afford to pay for rink time.
Hockey players who will use the rink, which is scheduled to open Nov. 1 and stay open for four months, will each pay for rink time if they’re not on scholarship. That money will help Ice Skating Inc. pay the estimated $65,000 in rink operating costs the group anticipates it will have to pay each season. Fundraising efforts also will continue to help pay for operations each winter the rink opens.
“As a nonprofit, we’re always looking for monies that could lower our ice (rink time) cost or buy new equipment for rentals,” Maki said.
Most donations so far have come from adult hockey players and parents of youth hockey players, according to Ice Skating Inc. Board President Ken Walter.
Walter said the local hockey community is excited to have a place to practice locally until the Glacier Ice Arena potentially re-opens with an indoor rink.