Rink's Future On Thin Ice
YAKIMA, Wash. - The fate of the Yakima Ice Rink will mostly likely be determined by Yakima Speedway Owner Ted Pollack. Pollack will acquire the ice rink by April once it passes inspection for asbestos and lead.
Skaters and hockey players at the rink feel strongly about the pending sale. Many of them have been coming to the ice rink for almost a generation. One skater called it her "second home."
Pollack won't guarantee a future for the ice rink, but he's also not ready to shut it down. He says it all depends on whether the rink is a viable source of income. Pollack told KNDO he does want to do some landscaping to the surrounding area (ice rink included), and he mentioned the rink could serve as extra parking space when the Speedway hosted larger events
For the regulars, that assessment is far from a promise of a future for the rink. Many of the regulars volunteer at the ice rink. They maintain the building, make sure the Zamboni's running, and lay down the ice before the hockey season starts (on top of that they still pay for ice time). For them, the ice rink is the only local venue suitable for hockey. The only other rinks that are "nearby" are in Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities.
If the inspections pass, Pollack would likely take over sometime in April. The volunteers have tried to contact city officials about building a new rink, but to no avail. Denise Nichols, Head of the Department of Parks and Recreation, told KNDO that the city just doesn't have the money to fund another ice rink. Nichols says he only way a new rink could be built would be with the help of private investors.