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Steamboat Magazine

Chill In Forecast As Ice Complex Solidifies Opening Date

08/04/2020 11:01AM ● By City of Steamboat Springs

 STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-August 4, 2020- A deep freeze returns to the Howelsen Ice Complex as it starts the process to reopen five weeks earlier than previously planned, now scheduled for Monday, August 10, due to partnership with the Steamboat Stampede Youth Hockey Association (SSYHA).

“The passion and drive from SSYHA to work with the city to get the rink open was a refreshing twist from the challenges we’ve all faced due to COVID-19,” commented Parks & Recreation Director Angela Cosby. “By working together, we’re able to make this happen so much sooner for the community.”

Originally scheduled to open September 14, the city reached an agreement with SSYHA which will allow the rink to reopen for private and organizational rentals only. SSYHA is providing both financial and human resources to assist city crews with getting the facility ready for the August opening date. This spring, rink staff was redeployed to parks during the closure.

“With professional sports slowing coming back
to the playing field, it’s fantastic that our local
kids will have similar athletic opportunities,”
said Ryan Dingle, Steamboat Stampede Youth Hockey Association Director. “We greatly value
our partnership with the city and our current scenario makes lemon ice out of lemons, so to say.”

The process to set the ice and paint the lines takes between seven to ten days to complete and is currently underway. Approximately 20,000 gallons of water are used to build the 1.5 inches of ice on an Olympic-size sheet, enough to fill 150,000 16oz glasses. Water is put down in layers and allowed to freeze before the next layer is applied. Mid-way through the laying process, lines are painted before additional water is applied.

In the meantime, the rink has not been idle. It was first used as the potential overflow facility for the Routt County Emergency Operations Center. SSYHA offered several outdoor hockey clinics and camps over the past few months, and most recently, the rink has been utilized by High Altitude Basketball hosting indoor basketball camps.


Craig Robinson, Open Space & Trails Manager, 970.879.4300 

Jenny Carey, Open Space and Trails Supervisor, 970.871.7014 

Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220