Truckee ice arena plans skate closer to approval |

Truckee ice arena plans skate closer to approval

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunDeveloper and avid hockey player John Hugo wants to build a year-round ice rink in Truckee. Truckee-Donner Recreation and Parks District land adjacent to the Truckee Regional Park and the Rodeo Grounds is one of the proposed locations.

A real estate financier and an ice-rink expert are one step closer to developing an Olympic-sized indoor skating arena in Truckee.

On Thursday, John H. Hugo of Truckee and his project partner, Steve Weiss, a South Lake Tahoe resident, asked the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District board of directors for the possible use of 3 acres of district land for the proposed $3 million facility.

Although the board stopped short of approving the lease at Thursday’s meeting, members said they were willing to explore the concept further.

“I think this would be an incredible asset to the community,” board Secretary Peter Werbel said. “I will push for it as much as I can.”

Werbel said the next step is for Hugo and Weiss to meet with town officials to discuss building regulations, site plans and property constraints.

“We need more concrete information,” he said. “But my overall feeling is that everybody is truly enthusiastic about pursuing it.”

Hugo and Weiss proposed building the 97- by 200-foot facility near the rodeo grounds parking lot or at the new community center. However, board members said they were concerned with availability of land and parking at both sites.

“I don’t think we have enough acreage at the community center, but the idea of the rodeo arena is a possibility,” Werbel said.

Building at the rodeo grounds parking lot would present a problem during busy summer months when fairs, concerts and other events take place, board Director Marshall Lewis said.

“There are around 20 days in the summer when the lot is used to maximum capacity,” Lewis said. “The staff will have to look at the layout and spaces available and any alternative plans.”

Contingency plans could include housing portions of fairs or events inside the ice rink during high-volume periods, and Hugo said he is not opposed to the idea.

“The parking problem can be solved,” he said. “I’m happy to try to work with anyone and everyone to make this possible.”

Within the next few weeks, Hugo said he will meet with local architects to discuss town codes and procedures. But until town planners give Hugo and Weiss the OK, Lewis said the board will remain “cautiously optimistic.”

“We’re not sure what the trade-offs would be,” Lewis said. “But I think this is something the community needs and would embrace.”

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