Ice Rink Renovations Heat Up

Staff Reports

The Palouse Ice Rink in Moscow will host their Inaugural Gala Friday at the Best Western Plus University Inn to help raise money for a new ice rink.

A new facility will allow many new skaters to use the rink. According to rink manager Chris Storhok, the rink is fully booked from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every week and can benefit from the support of new space.

The current ice sheet is only three-fourths the length of regulation size and lacks indoor plumbing and heating. The cover on the rink also has no sound barrier, forcing the facility to shut down operations early due to noise.

The smaller ice sheet cripples the rink’s abilities to hold hockey tournaments due to the need of a full size ice sheet for tournaments. The ice sheet has also seen 14 years of its 15-year lifespan and is about to expire.

“It’s a quality of life issue,” said Anna Mikkelsen, vice president of the Palouse Ice Rink Board.

With the improvements, Mikkelsen said she hopes the gala will raise awareness for the ice rink and stress how important it is to the community. She said there are not a lot of outdoor winter activities close by for those who live in the Palouse, and the ice rink offers people this recreation.

The rink is utilized by a variety of patrons, including college kids and families who come to free-skate.

However, since the ice sheet is not large enough to host hockey tournaments, teams have to travel elsewhere.

“It’s a lot of revenue that we are missing out on,” said Mikkelsen.

The ability to have an ice sheet large enough to host tournaments would be great for the economy and community, she added.

“It would allow us to have better programs for sports like figure skating, ice hockey, and curling with a full size sheet,” Storhok said.

Many businesses in the community have gotten involved with this event by donating items for the auction and reserving tables at the gala.

The gala will be Mardi Gras themed and include a live performance from local band Bad Apple.