I am writing to you with thoughts regarding an indoor ice skating rink in Cedar City. I am a member of the SUU Hockey Club, and our bi-weekly games are held at the Glacier Ice Arena on the hill. This facility works well but has its limitations. Perhaps the most crucial is the time period in which the rink is available.
As an outdoor facility, the rink is also subject to the elements and the heat of this southern region is problematic for keeping the ice frozen. As a result, the rink can only remain open for three to four months out of the year. This is a short time period, especially considering the rink’s popularity while it is open. It is incredibly busy during public skate hours, consisting of people out for family get-together to young couples on dates.
The rink is home to hockey practices for children and students of all ages, drop-in hockey games for the community, and organized games for an adult league, which SUU participates in. All of these popular activities have an incredibly short window to take place in, and the rink shares this window for making a profit. While this rink serves its purpose, an indoor rink would allow for-profit and play on a year-round basis and would extend its benefits to the community and the entirety of Southern Utah.
A large host of benefits would go with the establishment of an indoor ice rink in Cedar City. There is not another ice rink for approximately 200 miles in any direction from Cedar City and visitation to the rink would skyrocket once a year-round skating experience is made available to the citizens of our own community and surrounding cities such as St. George, Hurricane, Parowan, Beaver, and others besides.
The only option for ice skating would be located right here in Cedar City, establishing ourselves as the only available option and guaranteeing a total lack of local competition. Many businesses in Cedar City would benefit from an indoor rink as well. Restaurants would expect to see an increase in profit as more and more aspiring skaters venture into town to skate, hungry after hours of fun on the ice.
The year-round basis would allow for the establishment of practices and leagues for hockey and figure skating, and grocery stores and health clubs/gyms benefit from parents sneaking in a workout or some shopping while their children took part in those programs. Hotels and motels would benefit from families traveling to Cedar City for tournaments and competitions, and the schools from Cedar City and all other surrounding communities could offer new sporting exposures to their students, creating organized teams and expanding youth-leagues and high school athletic programs.
An indoor ice rink could focus the entirety of the southern half of the state of Utah right here in Cedar City, creating a beating heart for the well-being of the community and its citizens.
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Sam Crittenden, SUU Student