Latest News – January 6
Leadville’s New Ice Rink Warming Hut Grand Opening
It’s time to sharpen those ice skates and start showing off your double-axles and figure eights! The Huck Finn Park Ice Rink and new Warming Hut are officially open for the season. And to celebrate this newest facility, the Lake County Recreation Department will host a Grand Opening this Saturday, Jan. 9 from 1 – 3 p.m.
“We are so thrilled that the Huck Finn Ice Rink building has finally come to fruition,” said Recreation Director Amber Mcgee. “Without the hard work of the Huck Finn Committee and other County Departments we’d still be renting skates out of our tiny warming hut.”
And that’s what Lake County residents did for decades, if they wanted to skate on the homemade ice rink in Leadville, as Colorado’s two highest peaks loomed overhead.
But today, the old warming hut stands in the shadows of the new facility, which was finished at the end of 2015, completing all of the redevelopment efforts of Huck Finn Park. Recent years have seen major upgrades to this recreation complex located in the heart of the Leadville, near the schools and hospital (well, just in case, right?). SEE Huck Finn Skate Park VIDEO.
So, whether you prefer to twirl, spin or simply enjoy some healthy exercise in the great outdoors, the ice rink offers plenty of room for newbies, or the more polished skater. Skaters should note there have been some changes this year. Admission has increased to $2.25, whether you have you own skates or not. Skate rental prices and hours however, will remain the same for the 2015-16 season: $1 for ages 14 and under and $2 for ages 15 and up, available DAILY from 3:30 – 9:00 p.m. (weather permitting). The rink is available to use for those with their own skates outside of normal business hours free of charge.
The new Huck Finn Park Warming Hut has 2,300 square feet of enclosed space, including plenty of interior seating, and bathrooms which will be open year round for use by folks from the adjacent ball fields, skate park, tennis courts and dog park. There is also a 400 square foot outdoor fire pit area for folks to relax with a snack from the concession area while watching others skate.
The building is also big enough to house the Zamboni and other ice making tools which are used during the winter, as well as the summer mowers used for the surrounding parks and fields.
If you’re looking to participate in some group rink activities, the recreation department is offering youth and adult hockey leagues, curling programs, and figure skating lessons. For details, readers may connect HERE. Also, in addition to this Saturday’s (Jan. 9) Grand Opening, skating enthusiasts should note the Full Moon Glow Skate to be held Saturday, Feb. 20.
The Huck Finn Park Warming Hut was built by LM Kersting of Buena Vista, Colo. who won the bid and got right to work once the ground thawed and Lake County Public Works crews cleared and set the land last spring.
“This project completes the park redevelopment efforts of the Huck Finn complex,” concluded Lake County Commissioner Mike Bordogna. “It is the result of over 5 years of work, by numerous volunteers and county staff, and was made possible by community donations, city and county financial contributions, as well as numerous private grants and in kind contributions.”
In a report obtained by Leadville Today, the final cost was $383,000, coming in $26,000 over budget of the estimated cost of the new Warming Hut. According to Commissioner Bordogna, the project went over budget after adding the outdoor fire pit with emergency shut-offs, and increasing the building size to accommodate future Zambonis. The overage expenses were taken from Conservation Trust Funds. A more detailed financial report of the project can be found: HERE.
“Thank you to everyone who has given blood, sweat, tears, financially donated, or spent time away from their family to make this dream a reality,” said Recreation Director Mcgee. “Please come see us soon for some skating!”
So the invitation has been extended, now just grab your blades and head out to the Huck Finn Park Ice Rink and Warming Hut this Saturday, Jan. 9 from 1-3 p.m. for the Grand Opening Celebration. The ice rink is located – as it’s always been – at 500 West 4th Street in Leadville.
© 2015 Leadville Today