Kremming edges closer to ‘roofing the rink’ | SkyHiNews.com

Kremming edges closer to ‘roofing the rink’

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Kremmling’s “Roof the Rink” project is making progress toward its financial goal so that construction can begin this summer.

Sponsored by the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association, the goal of the project is to build a protective roof over the ice skating/hockey rink at the Red Mountain Sports Complex on the town’s eastern edge. The complex is owned by the town.

At a Monday night meeting at the Kremmling Town Hall, Town Manager Ted Soltis said the project has recently gotten some good news. He reported the project has secured $20,000 more in promised donations.

Part of that $20,000, Soltis said, is coming from the Grand County Board of County Commissioners, who made a $15,000 commitment to the project. An additional $5,000 donation will be coming from the Northwest Supply of Kremmling.

That $20,000 in new donations is being added to the $192,000 that has already been committed to the project by other donors. Those promised contributions are being added to the $44,690 in club savings that the Cattle Kings already raised for the project.

Another key factor in the project’s finances is the $200,000 grant from the GOCO (Greater Colorado Outdoors). However, a “catch” to that state-funded grant is that the construction of the “Roof the Rink” project must be completed by the end of 2008 for it to be awarded.

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The total estimated price tag for the “Roof the Rink” project is $554,000. That leaves a bottom line of $96,000 that still needs to be secured before the construction work can begin.

During the meeting, Frank Culbreath, president of the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association, said he has been in contact with three more potential donors. Once the remaining $96,000 has been secured, the ordering of construction materials can be done.

The Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association has been working on the “Roof the Rink” project for the past four years. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has sought out and applied for most of the grants and donations that have already been obtained for the project.

The purpose for wanting to build a roof over the skating/hockey rink at the Red Mountain Sport Complex is to help preserve its skating surface. The rink’s unshaded ice easily melts under direct sunlight, even on cold winter days.

For example, despite the cold, snowy weather conditions through much of this past December, the Cattle Kings hockey players were unable to hold their first practice on their home rink until Jan. 3 due to the poor condition of its ice.

Because the ice on the rink isn’t usually unusable until late December or early January, the Cattle Kings are at a disadvantage in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League whose season starts in November. The Kremmling players often do not get enough practice time to prepare for competition against the other league teams that already have roofed or indoor rinks in their communities.

As well as crimping the Cattle Kings’ performance because of reduced practice time, the melting of the unshaded ice at the Kremmling rink creates safety problems for both hockey players and the public who want to skate there.

By building a roof over the Red Mountain rink, the improved ice is expected to add at least a month of playing time on either side of the Cattle Kings’ season. This would also eliminate the need for Grand County hockey players to travel to Breckenridge and Eagle, where they have to pay to practice on their indoor rinks.

With reliable ice on its rink in Kremmling, the Cattle Kings would also be able to host more hockey games. This is expected to give the local community an economic boost as out-of-county teams stay overnight and eat in local restaurants.

Beyond the economic benefits to the community, a roofed rink will not only improve the ice skating and hockey, but will provide a facility for year-round use at the Red Mountain Sports Complex.

To make all this possible, the additional funding must be found. Those interested in making donations to the project should contact Culbreath at (970) 724-9768.

All donations will go to the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association. The funds will then be transferred to the Town of Kremmling because it owns the Red Mountain Sports Complex where the rink is located.

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