Kremmling’s ‘Roof the Rink’ project receives $40,000 boost |

Kremmling’s ‘Roof the Rink’ project receives $40,000 boost

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

After receiving another major donation recently, Kremmling’s “Roof the Rink” project is nearing its financial goal so that construction of a protective roof over the town’s hockey/ice skating arena can begin this year.

The project’s latest donation came in the form of a $40,000 check received this month from Nelson and Catherine Lane, the owners of Deep Creek Ranch near Heeney.

“The Lanes have been great supporters of our hockey program for years,” said Frank Culbreath, president of the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association which is spearheading the project. “They have been instrumental in helping us get new equipment and jerseys for our players in past years.”

Culbreath said that with their latest donation of $40,000, the Lanes are now challenging others to step forward to donate the remaining funds needed by the project.

With this latest donation, Town Manager Ted Soltis said the project needs only an additional $33,000 to have all of its funding in place so that construction materials can be ordered and work can start this summer. The estimated price tag for the “Roof the Rink” project is $554,000, with the Town of Kremmling acting as the project’s “banker.”

The Red Mountain Sports Complex on the town’s eastern edge is owned by the town.

The Lanes’ donation to the project is the latest one received since the start of 2008.

Other major donations received since January include $10,000 by Sean and Guida Flanigan of the Lazy Shamrock Ranch near Heeney. The Grand County Board of County Commissioners also made a $15,000 commitment to the project, and an additional $5,000 donation was made by Northwest Supply of Kremmling.

The $70,000 in donations received this year are being added to the $192,000 that was already committed to the project by other donors as well as the $44,690 in club savings that the Cattle Kings have already raised for the project.

A key factor in the project’s finances is the $200,000 grant that has been promised from GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado). However, the “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.

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 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.

Because the rink is uncovered, the Cattle Kings could not begin practice on its home rink this season until the first week of January. Because of ice conditions, it was no longer usable by the end of February.

“By late February, we had to travel to Oak Creek to practice,” Culbreath said. “Even though Oak Creek is at a lower elevation than Kremmling, the ice on their rink stays in good condition much longer because it has a roof to keep the sun off it.”

By building a roof over the Red Mountain rink, the improved ice conditions are expected to add at least a month of playing time on either side of the Cattle Kings’ season.

A roofed rink at the Red Mountain Sports Complex will not only improve the ice skating and hockey, it will also provide a facility for year-round use. Basketball and other recreational activities could be held in the covered structure.

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

“We really appreciate all the donations we’ve received and we’re still seeking the remaining funds that we need,” Culbreath said. “This project is for this community and its kids.”

All donations will go to the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association and then be transferred to the town of Kremmling.

The Kremmling Cattle Kings will be holding their annual end-of-the-season banquet on Sunday, May 4. at 4 p.m. at the CSU Extension Hall at the fairgrounds in Kremmling.