On Dec. 14 the Southern Utah Youth and Enthusiasts Together for Ice non-profit organization will welcome the public to a new ice skating venue located in Cedar Canyon at Wood’s Ranch.
With one full week of youth skating etched into the Wood’s Ranch ice, Southern Utah YETI is ready to welcome the general public. The organization has scheduled a grand opening day for the rink to take place Monday at 2 p.m.
Ice-related activities have seen exceptional growth in both scope and popularity in Cedar City with the development of youth and community sports teams as well as increased recreational use by the general public over the past 10 years.
Despite this growth, the city’s Glacier Ice Rink, the only ice rink in the county, closed indefinitely at the end of the 2019-20 skate season and the rink was torn down the following May.
The decision to remove the rink came after a city council vote on July 26 in 2019 to retain the northeast corner of the Aquatic Center where the Glacier was located. City officials retained the land to proceed with building a multipurpose center as was originally intended at the location.
Staheli Recreational Management, a non-profit entity that was responsible for overseeing the Glacier, approached several options to relocate. However, the non-profit was unable to reach an agreement with the city and announced no plans to further pursue the project.
Without the promise of a new ice rink, Southern Utah YETI approached the Iron County Commission in August to propose the construction of a natural freeze ice rink at Wood’s Ranch for public use.
The proposal included preparation of the site by the county and construction of the rink by Southern Utah YETI. The county would also provide electricity and snow removal of parking areas while the non-profit would maintain the rink and facilities.
On Oct. 12 the county commission unanimously approved the agreement and construction began.
After the county’s ground preparation was complete, Southern Utah YETI and volunteers began construction of the rink that was ready for water by Nov. 22. All that remained was waiting for temperatures to freeze.
The cooler canyon air did its job and children enrolled in Southern Utah YETI’s youth hockey programs were able to hit the ice the first part of December to begin practices.
While the general public is invited, it is important to note that there are no current skate rentals offered at the Wood’s Ranch location. Cedar City sports stores do not offer ice skating equipment for sale making online or outside sports stores the best options to purchase skates.
Story by: Mikyla Bagley
Photos by: Mikyla Bagley