Backers pull plug on funds for ice rink | AspenTimes.com

Backers pull plug on funds for ice rink

John Colson

Several wealthy local citizens, apparently suffering from a case of anticipatory sticker shock, have decided against donating the money to pay for building a new ice rink in Aspen, an official said Monday.

Recreation Director Tim Anderson confirmed yesterday that the members of the group, who have never been identified publicly, have all but backed out of a deal that had been in the works for months.

“They were looking at donating $6 million,” Anderson said. The money would have gone toward construction of a competition-size ice rink attached to the planned new swimming pool at the city-owned Iselin Park on Maroon Creek Road.

The city is currently in the planning process for building the pool as part of an ambitious citywide capital improvements program. It will be funded with nearly $14 million in revenue bonds approved last May by city voters.

Negotiations for the privately funded ice rink were based on preliminary estimated costs until recently.

But, Anderson said, the group of donors had hoped for a “deluxe rink” for $6 million. Once officials looked into actual costs, they discovered even a “watered-down version” of the donors’ “vision” would cost as much as $8 million, he said.

Still, Anderson said city officials will continue to talk with the potential donors about the project, and the City Council has been asked whether it wants to pay a little extra in design and construction costs for the pool on the chance that an ice rink might be added later.

A public informational meeting on the pool design is scheduled Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at City Hall.


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