Public sad to see ice rink close

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Grand Junction's only ice skating rink closed its doors Sunday, but the public is rallying together to re-open it.

"The rink has created a lot of friends in the area. And the kids that come here on a regular basis are coming in to have one last tearful look at it," says Facility Manager Bob Coslett.

"I come here almost at least three times a week," says Austin Neufled.

"We come here a lot. Every Tuesday and every Wednesday,' says Sarah and Emily Pittsenbarger.

"About every weekend since it's opened," says Valerie Brand.

"I come here about two or three times a month," says Logan English.

Coslett is one of 25 employees who has just lost his job at the rink. But Coslett's more concerned about the children.

"Well, really and truly there aren't too many other places for them. We definitely are the least expensive place in the county for them," says Coslett.

After only four short years in business, owners of the arena, the Koos Family say mechanical problems have forced them to shut down. "That repair is going to be about $450,000 to get us through a couple of years and a long term fix that should have been back when it was installed is close to $800,000," says Coslett.

News that this is the last day to enjoy a skate has hit kids hard.

"I kind of cried a little bit because this is my life. It's all I have to do this summer," says Gabby Igo.

"I'm really sad because it's one less thing to do in the summer," says English.

Not willing to let the rink close without a fight, many in the community have joined a Facebook group called 'Save Grand Junction's Ice Rink'.

"We should have been able to help this rink stay open," says Cheryl Roberts, who helped fight to get the arena opened four years ago.

Right now the Facebook page has 385 members who have been brainstorming since Thursday on ways to save the rink. Everything from having the city subsidize the rink, to a trust fund you can donate to, to getting Mesa State College in on the action.

"I'm just hoping there's some people in the valley that have some money that we can pull it all together," says Roberts.

And hopefully put a smile back on the kids faces who love the rink so much.

"I think it's just a matter of time before they re–open. I really hope they do. I'm really sad they're closing," says Igo.

Members of the Koos Family say they won't give up. They're meeting with a lawyer Monday and say they hope to will come up with a way to re–open the rink.

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