Park City’s ice rink turns 10, ready for growth spurt |

Park City’s ice rink turns 10, ready for growth spurt

Park City’s ice rink is celebrating its 10th birthday this week and like most youngsters at that age, it is on the brink of a growth spurt. In the meantime, its facilities are bursting at the seams.

Those who have been around for a while might remember that Park City’s ice skating ambitions started with a few modest donation jars and a short-lived attempt to flood a field at City Park. Serious skaters (and their parents) had to drive to Salt Lake City to pursue their ambitions, whether they involved hat tricks and hip checks or triple axels and death spirals.

In the run up to the Olympics, talk about the need for a world class ice sheet intensified, but when the venues were divvied up, the Utah Olympic Oval went to Salt Lake City while Park City concentrated on the ski slopes, ski jumps and bobsled track.

But, even after the Olympic flame was extinguished, Park City’s hankering for an ice sheet didn’t melt away – it hardened into a plan. With lessons learned from building and maintaining international caliber facilities, Park City went to the voters for approval of a $10.5 million bond for a multipurpose recreation complex including playing fields, trailheads, parking and, most importantly, an Olympic-sized, indoor, year-round ice sheet.

The facility was an immediate countywide success, spawning numerous hockey teams and figure skating clubs. And over the years demand for ice time grew, so much so that in a recent report to the city council, the rink’s manager reported turning away more than 400 hours of requests for rental time.

Last year, Park City and Summit County collaborated on a plan to expand the existing facilities and possibly build a second ice sheet. The plan was included as a $2.5 million line item within the Snyderville Basin Recreation District’s larger $25 million bond. Upon voter approval, Park City made a commitment to kick in another $1.25 million.

This time residents didn’t need to be convinced that there was a demand — they passed the bond with a clear majority and plans are underway to devise the best layout for an expanded ice facility.

In the meantime, fans of the Park City Ice Arena are invited to celebrate 10 years of spinning and gliding without having to drive over Parley’s Summit. The party takes place this Saturday, Feb 27 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The cost is $10 per family and includes skate rentals and discounts on punch cards for those who want to come back and work on their technique. Who knows? The next Olympic gold medal figure skater just might have Park City roots.

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