Tahoe City Ice Rink to open this winter at sports park
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — After three years of planning, Tahoe City is on track to have its own ice rink this winter, located on the sixth hole of the community’s golf course.
The Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors held a special meeting Tuesday morning to open the bidding process for contractors and review the total cost of the project.
“The total budget is now at about $843,000, all in, including design, permitting, CEQA, mitigation fees, etc., and then the various pieces of construction and purchasing,” TCPUD District Engineer and General Manager Matt Homolka said Tuesday.
Original estimates for the rink and supporting equipment were between $400,000 and $500,000, as reported by the Sun in March. That included the purchase of a Zamboni, ice skates and refrigeration, but did not account for the cost of permits or the environmental assessment.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Homolka said the 50-by-80-foot portable ice rink, which will be installed seasonally and does have the ability to be expanded in the future, has already been purchased from the company Ice America, which has locations in Southern California and Florida.
Tahoe Cross Country, the company that currently runs the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, would operate the rink while TCPUD parks staff would manage its upkeep.
All that needs to happen now is construction of an earth pad, upon which the ice rink would be built.
“We’ll open bids on the second of September, we’ll begin construction Sept. 26, and finish Oct. 15,” said Homolka. “At which point, Ice America will come in and install the rink.”
The rink will be much smaller than the Truckee Ice Rink (located at Truckee River Regional Park), which is currently 100-by-90 feet — roughly the same size as the outdoor rink at Northstar California.
The outdoor rink at High Camp at Squaw Valley, meanwhile, is 100-by-200 feet, and the indoor rink at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena is an NHL-regulation size of 200-by-85 feet.
Because of the smaller size of the Tahoe City rink, the only hockey games it’ll host are practice sessions and youth events.
“I grew up with ice skating and stuff, ever since the Olympics. And I would like to see an ice skating rink here, but I think the way we’re planning on putting it on the fairway and taking it down every year and the ongoing expenses of the thing is more than I can swallow,” TCPUD Director Erik Henrikson said Tuesday.
Henrikson said he would vote no, even though the rink has already been purchased, because he said he wasn’t aware of the project’s size and cost when they were first decided.
“Eighty by 50?” Henrikson said. “That’s just so much money for such a tiny rink and the ongoing cost of it. I just can’t in good conscience vote for it.”
Henrikson was not present at the June 17 meeting when the board approved the purchase of the ice rink, according to TCPUD Grants and Community Information Administrator Eric Althof.
TCPUD meeting minutes show that at an earlier meeting on May 20, when Henrikson was present, the board voted 5-0 to authorize the purchase of the ice rink and approve an application to help fund it.
The main sources of confirmed funding consist of $300,000 from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s distribution of Transient Occupancy Tax revenue and $100,000 from a private donor. Other contributions are currently pending.
According to the budget, the rink is expected to operate from Nov. 25 to mid-March, and rates would run from $5 to $7.
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