Skaters, on and off ice, to benefit from Lottery funds |

Skaters, on and off ice, to benefit from Lottery funds

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi News
Grand County CO Colorado

Two Grand County projects will benefit from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grants this year.

The lottery-funded program awarded $200,000 to help build a regulation-sized ice rink at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex and $146,409 to the Town of Winter Park to help fund expansion of the Hideaway Park skate park.

At the sports complex, the funding will pay for a metal structure to partially enclose the new rink, said Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District Director Scott Ledin. The building will include a roof and walls on the south and west to block out sun and wind, but will leave some open faces on the north and east to provide views of the Continental Divide, Ledin said.

In addition to the ice rink, the $1.6 million project also includes concession stands and infrastructure. The district is still waiting to hear about a $250,000 grant application for Sprout Foundation funds to determine whether a few additional items, such as locker rooms and separate Zamboni storage will be possible. Ground-breaking is scheduled for July 5.

The full-sized ice rink will provide a place for organized hockey leagues to play, as well as offering a potential training ground for professional athletes and recreational opportunities for residents and tourists.

“Grand County is fortunate to have received funds for two projects,” Ledin said.

The Town of Winter Park will use its GOCO/Lottery grant to add 6,000 square feet to the skate park. New boxes and curbs intended for beginner skaters and bikers will be installed as part of the project.

Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson said the skate park has seen tremendous use since it was completed in the fall of 2007. While there has always been a plan to expand it, it quickly became clear that the most pressing need was for more beginner-level skating features, Nelson said.

Depending on the contractor’s schedule, Nelson hopes the expansion can be started in August, after festival season, and completed before the snow flies.

“We are very grateful for the ability to expand our park with help from GOCO,” he said. “It’s a great project for our community.”

GOCO grants are competitive. This year, of the 89 applications, GOCO awarded 49 projects in 29 counties a total of $9.3 million. Several of the largest grants went to purchase and protect more than 13,000 acres of ranch land around the state as open space. Other grants were for local parks, education centers and recreation areas and for plans for future projects.

“On behalf of the GOCO Board, we’re pleased to help fund the new ice rink and the expansion of the Hideaway Park facility, both of which will enhance recreational opportunities in the Fraser Valley exponentially,” said Matt Sugar, GOCO Board member and Winter Park resident.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or

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