Thursday, August 11, 2011

Austin's Chaparral Ice on I-35 to Close Doors

Tyler Beskorowany takes a picture with some young fans at the Chaparral Ice after a Stars practice at the facility this past season. (Credit: Bill Harris)
Former home of the Austin Ice Bats and current home of dozens of amateur adult and youth league teams, the Chaparral Ice, announced to its customers today that it will be closing its doors this winter.

The rink, which has been for sale for "some time", is pending sale and will not continue on as an ice rink. According to the email, "Despite the Collins family’s desire that a future owner might continue to operate the location as an ice arena, this is not in the buyer’s agenda."

While the sale is not yet finalized, it is expected to be completed on October 28th of this year. The rink will continue to operate until November 30th, at which point 2/3 of the public skating rinks in Austin will cease to operate. Beginning December 1, all skating operations in Austin will be consolidated to the Northcross location.

The Northcross location features only one rink and just two locker rooms, which does not allow for teams coming on and off the ice to change simultaneously. Adult league game times could start as late as midnight on weekdays as a result of the change.

There have been rumors that a new skating facility will open at FM 1431 and Parmer by August 2012. No confirmation of that story was possible at this time. The Texas Stars have used the Chaparral Ice at I-35 as a practice facility over their first two seasons in Austin when the CPC was unavailable due to other events. A rink at 1431 and Parmer would be likely used as a practice facility for Texas.

Below is the main text of the email sent to customers this afternoon:
To our valued customers and guests:

Major changes are on the horizon for Chaparral Ice, and we want to keep you informed in as timely a fashion as possible about those that may affect your family.

As you may know, the I-35 location has been on the market for some time. Currently, a potential buyer is in negotiations for the purchase of the site as a commercial property. Despite the Collins family’s desire that a future owner might continue to operate the location as an ice arena, this is not in the buyer’s agenda. Although the sale has not been finalized, we thought it best to tell you what we do know so everyone – management, employees, and customers – can begin to plan ahead.

Should the sale of the I-35 location proceed as anticipated, the sale will be completed on Oct. 28, 2011. Chaparral Ice will then continue to operate as scheduled until Wednesday, Nov. 30, at which time the I-35 location will close its doors on an important era in Austin’s skating history.

Beginning on Dec. 1, all rink programs will be consolidated at the Chaparral Ice Northcross location.

As we merge the schedules of three sheets of ice into one, Chaparral Ice will make every effort to accommodate all our programs at the Northcross location. Every program offered and supported at Chaparral Ice is important to us and the success of all ice sports in Austin. However, there are only so many hours in a day, and every program and user group will need to make some sacrifices – specifically in terms of ice time available to conduct your normal activities.

Chaparral Ice will be contacting each user group individually to discuss your needs and future ice availability. During the transition period, we will strive to keep everyone updated as to schedule changes and additional opportunities that may become available for your groups.

The Austin ice sports communities survived, and indeed thrived, in a single, small facility for more than two decades (at the original Northcross ice rink). This situation can be manageable if we work as one and take into consideration the reason we all keep returning to the ice: We love to skate – hockey players, figure skaters, and public skaters alike.

Thank you for your patience, patronage, and continued support as we glide together into the future.

Yours in service,

Chaparral Ice

6 comments:

  1. I think there will be new sheets popping up in the next year. At least, I hope. NC is right by my house, but that place is not built to handle the traffic (like you mention), plus there's no bar!

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  2. Also, I think I'll leave my last memories of skating on 35 as that last game I had with you as a sub. We both did well there in the final minute!

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  3. This is awful news. How do they expect to develop hockey players here if there atren't enough rinks? :-) W

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  4. Sad. I played a lot of hockey at that rink. Having only one sheet of ice will definitely have a negative effect on hockey in the ATX.

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  5. Someone please build a multi-sheet ice rink facility!

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