Amid rainfall, Tahoe City officially opens community’s new ice rink | SierraSun.com

Amid rainfall, Tahoe City officially opens community’s new ice rink

Tim Hauserman
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — On December 10, a large crowd braved the rain to celebrate the grand opening of the new ice skating rink at the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park (summer home of the Tahoe City Golf Course).

In 1983, the Blyth Arena, home for ice skating events at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, collapsed. Since that time, people of Tahoe City and the North Shore of Lake Tahoe have been itching for a skating rink for the community.

In fact, as soon as the Tahoe City Public Utility District purchased the Tahoe City Golf Course in 2012, staff began receiving frequent requests from the community to bring an ice skating rink to the site.

The star of the grand opening was Olympic gold medalist and former Squaw Valley Freestyle Ski Team member Jonny Moseley.

The drenching rain didn't keep him from being gracious and all smiles in his American flagged-themed costume. He cut the ribbon and then christened the ice with a contingent of 25 children.

TCPUD crews had been squeegeeing puddles of water off the ice just before the event, but it was raining so hard during the ribbon cutting ceremony that every kid who fell to the ice made quite a splash.

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'IT TOOK A VILLAGE'

Before the ribbon cutting, TCPUD Board Member Ron Treabess and TCPUD General Manager Cindy Gustafson thanked a long list of supporters who made the nearly $1 million rink dream come true.

Fundraising began in 2015 when Tahoe City resident Melanie Jackson gave an undisclosed major contribution to get the project off the ground.

Major donors followed including North Lake Tahoe Resort Association/Placer County TOT funds of $300,000; $150,000 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District; and $100,000 from Placer County Parks program of Park Dedication Fees.

Other contributors included Tahoe City Recreation Association, Kiwanis North Tahoe, Liberty Utilities, Tahoe City Rotary and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

The rest of the finances, as well as ongoing management of the project, was provided by the TCPUD.

"It took a village to fund this project," said Kurt Althof, TCPUD Grants and Community Information Administrator. "The rink is 4,000 square feet and is of a modular construction, meaning it can be constructed and taken down seasonally but it can also be expanded in the future if needed or desired."

The 50-by-80-foot portable rink, which does have the ability to be expanded in the future, was purchased from the company Ice America, which has locations in Southern California and Florida.

"We are working on recreation programing to utilize the rink and details are still being finalized on those," Althof said. "The rink is scheduled to operate seven days a week from now through March weather conditions permitting."

NEW DINING OPTION AS WELL

The rink is located right next to the lodge, on what is the 6th tee during golfing season.

It's close enough that parents can dine at the new Cafe Zenon restaurant and bar while keeping an eye on the kids.

December 10 was also the opening day for Cafe Zenon, owned by Suzanne Nguyen, who also runs Zina Lia in Tahoe City.

For breakfast, the restaurant will serve fare such as chicken fried steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and French toast. Lunch and dinner items include Vietnamese pho and French dip, oven roasted chicken, Scotch eggs with spinach and a variety of pub food.

The classic bar will serve cocktails and coffee drinks.

Nguyen added that the café "will be serving the food I grew up eating and recipes that my Mom passed on to me."

The Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association, which also runs the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area, will manage skating rink operations.

"Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area is incredibly excited to be a partner in this wonderful project with the TCPUD," said Valli Murnane, Tahoe XC Tahoe City Winter Sports Park Manager. "Cindy Gustafson and her team at the TCPUD have pulled together an incredible facility for our community and visitors to our region."

Tim Hauserman, a nearly lifelong resident of Tahoe City, is a freelance author and cross-country ski instructor. He may be reached at writeonrex@yahoo.com.

Learn more

The Tahoe City Winter Sports Park is an all-inclusive winter recreation facility that allows cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing — and now, ice skating — with a full service bar/restaurant and lodge for one admission price. It’s located at the Tahoe City Golf Course at 251 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City. Visit http://www.wintersportspark.com to learn more.

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