The Mystery of Glacier Ice Rink

Cayen Foye, Reporter

As of March 18, 2020, the Glacier Ice  Rink has been closed. After the tumultuous debacle from an attempted sale, the rink was in troublesome times. The City of Grand Junction was considering purchasing the rink, but the proposal was withdrawn when Covid hit the Valley. With tax dollars now being spent towards public health, it was officially off the table. Then, a private buyer stepped up and purchased the rink. 

The rink opened in 2006, and later closed in 2010 due to defective equipment but eventually opened up again and had its busiest year in 2018. It was listed for sale in February of 2019 for 2.4 million dollars. The new buyer’s identity is unknown; however, they have been rumored to be willing to lease the rink to the City or any other entity for a minimum of 5 years. In the meantime the rink has been closed to the public with no reopening in sight. Why is this important you ask?

Glacier Ice Rink is the only skating rink in the valley, with the next best option a two hour drive to Aspen. This means youth, high school and college level hockey all takes place there along with figure skating. As it stands now most seasons appear to be cancelled, and the students who were a part of the local figure skating club are unable to practice. This includes some of our  students here at FMHS.

Junior Chelsea Noga, says , “I really do wish the rink would open again. I spent so much time there that it was like a second home and the people there were like family. I miss it and I think a lot of other people do too.”  It’s not just Chelsea who feels this way either. Hockey player Daelan Renzi says this on the topic, “It’s disappointing to see the rink close. It’s very sad to see because it makes it hard for the sport to grow in our community, and because of this more and more kids that want to keep playing are going to have to find teams to play for elsewhere”.

In some ways, the rink was a very important part of people’s lives. Unfortunately, Glacier Ice Rink is on thin ice. The official Facebook page says, “Our recommendation to our user groups is to contact your City Council members and City Manager and let them know what the rink means to you and this community and perhaps if our voices are loud enough, they will bring this discussion back to the table. We have been talking with the City, but the City needs to hear from the community how important this is,” (Official Glacier Ice Arena). So with the help of the community, there may yet be hope for the rink.

Taking a closer look at what a couple of local hockey coaches are attempting, there is still hope even if the rink does end up closing. Coach Timothy Winegaurd of CMU hockey program is considering starting a roller hockey league or making the commute of an hour and a half to reach the nearest rink. In the past Maverick Hockey games have drawn in 600-1000 fans a game, so there has to be some consideration for the fans. In a different approach Youth Hockey Director Walter Fox and the Grand Valley Ice Foundation are dedicated to opening a new rink in Grand Junction by August-October  2021, with proper funding that would require donations. 

The future of Grand Junction is in the hands of the people, and this is our chance to show it.