City of Aspen/ Aspen Rec Department
United States of America

The City of Aspen is currently planning to keep the Aspen Ice Garden closed for the Fall/ Winter of 2020 and 2021. The reason for the closing besides the obvious concerns for Covid-19 is that the Aspen Ice Garden will be too costly for the City to make ice and run for the season. It is now September 1st and making this decision now for the entirety of the Fall and Winter is very premature. We as a hockey community have had zero input in this decision making process up to this point in time. If there is a will there is a way and this petition is being put together to show the City of Aspen there is a supportive and eager Hockey community.

I have been apart of Aspen hockey for the past 22 years and have watched the rink gain in popularity from being the Aspen Men's League, Mother Puckers and one Rec League to include the preceding plus a Rec league that now has three leagues and drop in on several days a week. The Aspen Ice Garden is in constant use. Hockey in Aspen is one of the great cultures and experiences we as locals get to be a part of in this great town.

Aspen Hockey can't just take a winter off-- not until we get the facts straight on what is going on. So far we are just kept out of the conversation and have no input. I have been told the City doesn't want to pay for employees to work the Ice Garden. I know of several employees who are counting on being an employee during the winter and to not have the Ice Garden open would have a direct impact on their financial lives. I am very confused by the City saying they can't afford to have the rink open. I know, not a crossover, but the City has just had the best Summer ever at the Golf Course and the Recreation Department has had steady income during this time of Covid-19. I am not privy to Aspen financials, but I would be shocked to see that the City of Aspen can not continue a program it has supported for the past 25 plus years due to financial reasons especially since ice rink use has increased every year.

The Aspen Ice Garden will support not only the Recreation Hockey programs at all levels and the women, but also the local Aspen Jr. Hockey program, Aspen High School program and the Figure Skating Club. The Ice Garden also supports a growing program with Curling and also stages Broom Ball competition. The ARC can not possibly handle all the programs with one sheet of ice. My understanding is that there is an agreement in place that the ARC can not operate without the Aspen Ice Garden also operating, part of the agreement of the original building of the ARC facilities.

At this time we are all concerned about Covid-19. But hockey season typically doesn't start until October. Can we not have an open discussion on the status of the Ice Garden with the City of Aspen and the Aspen Recreation Department? Can we not have a discussion about how we can play hockey? Hockey leagues are registering for play at this time for start in October in Denver and Colorado and across the United States. At this time, we the users have been left out of the decision making process.

We, the undersigned, call on the City of Aspen to Open the Aspen Ice Garden for Hockey and use for the 2020/2021 season.

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The Save Aspen Ice Garden 2020/21- Let Hockey Play petition to City of Aspen/ Aspen Rec Department was written by Thor Jensen and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.