Ice rink dream is finally a reality |

Ice rink dream is finally a reality

As Turin, Italy, marks the end of its Olympics Sunday, Summit County residents will be out celebrating a long-awaited opening. The Park City Ice Arena welcomes the public to its debut this weekend.

The ambitious planning and construction of this project represent the best of what local governments can achieve through interlocal cooperation and public support.

Funding for the facility comes from taxpayers, Park City and the Snyderville Basin Recreation District. But the real credit for getting the job done goes to every citizen who voluntarily decided to raise his or her taxes to fund another recreation facility.

Four years ago, taxpayers in Park City and in the Snyderville Basin Recreation District approved separate bonds to achieve a united goal to build a recreation complex along S.R. 248, just outside of Park City. The proposal received wholehearted support from voters in the city and the Basin, even though consultants warned it would be an expensive undertaking. Then, in 2004, in order to move the project forward, Park City annexed the property needed to begin construction.

Finally, last summer, citizens saw walls being raised for the one winter sports venue still missing among its Olympic-caliber offerings a 46,000-square-foot arena with a 100×200 foot sheet of ice suitable for hockey, short track speed skating, sledge hockey, figure skating and lots of good old slip sliding around.

This weekend, after watching two weeks of incredible feats on the ice in Turin, local residents can take a spin of their own on a rink built by and for the whole community.

To break the ice, everyone is invited to skate for free Saturday and Sunday, although it is necessary to register for a specific two-hour session. After this weekend there will be a range of programs from learn-to-skate to hockey. Equipment rentals will be available as well as professional instruction.

But perhaps the best activity at the new arena this first season will be the times when there are no organized programs at all, when kids and parents, visitors and local workers get together just to push a puck around or try a twizzle, or take a leisurely lap holding hands.

This is one of those unique times when a community can really say, "Look what we can do when we work together." So, tape up that old high school hockey stick and polish the rust off those antique skates ice has finally arrived in Park City.

To check availability of ice times this weekend or to see a rundown of upcoming classes and programs, log on to

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