Group to discuss ice rink’s future next week

An organization working to reopen the Glacier Ice Arena will discuss plans for the rink during a public meeting next week.

The Glacier, 2515 Riverside Parkway, closed June 13 after four years of operation. The ice arena was the culmination of several years of efforts by supporters of ice skating to build and operate a rink in the Grand Valley.

Organizers of the effort to reopen the ice rink have formed Save the Rink Inc. and are soliciting suggestions for discussion during the meeting.

“We’re hoping to have it open long-term,” Save the Rink Inc. secretary Sue Hamon said. “We don’t want to do a quick fix.”

That means finding a way to raise as much as $800,000 for permanent repairs to the refrigeration system at the Glacier.

It would have cost about $450,000 just to keep the system running through this summer, an expense the owners, Alan and Robbie Koos, said they couldn’t afford when they decided to close the Glacier rather than risk more damage to the system.

The Koos family is investigating legal action against the company that installed the refrigeration system without a rust inhibitor.

The Koos family also is looking into changing the corporate structure of the Glacier as a way to coordinate efforts with Save The Rink Inc.

“We are definitely pursuing how to take our for-profit company and turn it into a nonprofit,” Robbie Koos said.

Another problem facing the Koos family and Save the Rink Inc. is the Glacier’s debt. It’s too risky to simply allow the rink to go into foreclosure, attorney Rob Pierce wrote at savetherinkinc.com, because a future owner might use the building as something other than an ice rink.

Time also is of the essence, Pierce noted.

“A year without ice in the Grand Valley may set us back several years,” Pierce wrote. “Kids that otherwise might have become stellar skaters or hockey players will have missed that opportunity.”

The Koos family will attend the Save the Rink Inc. meeting to answer questions and observe, but the family isn’t a part of the organization, Koos said.

Contributions toward reopening the Glacier are being accepted at all Alpine Bank locations and via Paypal at http://www.savetherinkinc.com.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Showtime Productions, 2148 Broadway, in the Monument Village Shopping Center on the Redlands.


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