Proposed ice pavilion takes another step forward on Truckee

The proposed Truckee Community Pavilion & Ice Arena will provide for a venue for dozens of events and activities all year round.
Courtesy photo

The goal of bringing a full-sized, covered ice rink and event center to Truckee took another step forward at last month’s Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District board meeting.

During the meeting the district approved moving ahead with further design work for the Truckee Community Pavilion & Ice Arena by MWA Inc. Architecture-Engineering, according to project developers, while also agreeing to take a serious look at significantly funding the project through internal means and state grants.

“This is happening more and more. We’re at 70% in my mind,” said the project’s Kevin Murphy. “The impediments are going to be cost. That’s going to be a big one.”

While the price tag of the pavilion won’t be known until construction estimates are completed, the project’s backers have estimated a total cost of roughly $6.5 million.

Developers are hoping the majority of the funding comes from the recreation and park district, Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District, along with funding from foundations, grants and naming rights. Last year, the project received $50,000 from the recreation and park district, and another $50,000 from the Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District. The pavilion is estimated to have a tax benefit of $218,100 per year.

The proposed arena would be built on the site of the current corporation yard at Truckee River Regional Park. The corporation yard currently sits to the west of the basketball and tennis courts, and would be moved to the old Town corporation yard.

In order to make the move, the Town of Truckee and Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District will first have to come to a land agreement in regard to the two corporation yards. The town council voted 5-0 in February to approve discussions with the park district for a land agreement. An agreement has yet to be formally announced at this point.


Plans for the ice pavilion are to build a regulation-sized arena primarily to be used for hockey, curling and figure skating in the winter. Instead of steel, the rink is planned to primarily make use of natural stone and wood building materials. The ice pavilion is proposed to be 200 feet by 85 feet.

It’s been more than 100 years since Truckee had a covered ice skating rink, according to Murphy, after the town’s Ice Palace, near where Cottonwood Restaurant is today, burned down in 1916.

The proposed arena would also be able to host lacrosse, movie premiers, farmers’ markets, dances, and dozens of other activities and events during the offseason.

“For the rest of the community, we’re going to have a lot of fun in this thing,” said Murphy. “So many folks don’t know the concept of this and how it’s going to impact their life.”

If approved, the Truckee Community Pavilion & Ice Arena would be operated by the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District. The district won the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts award for best recreation and park district in 2017.

“This continues that,” said Murphy. “I compliment the board, Jeff (Loux) over at the Town of Truckee, always the airport district and Kevin Smith, the public and the board … none of this would happen without the level of belief and how good this is going to be for the community. TTBID (Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District), all of the lodging guys, we wouldn’t be here without them if they hadn’t stepped up and believed in this project.”

Moving forward, Murphy said there will be more public meetings in regard to the development of the ice pavilion.

“The next 12 months are going to be telling,” he said. “Watch the website, sign up for those E-blasts, read them, come to a (board meeting), and volunteer.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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