The Winthrop Rink closes for the winter on Sunday (March 12), after a successful first season with ice-making equipment that allowed the facility to stay open longer than it ever has.
Through March 5, the rink had been open for 108 days this season, according to information provided by rink manager Connor Walsh. The previous high was 73 days in 2013–14. Total visitors so far are 10,171, compared to the 2013–14 total of 6,398.
The rink was able to follow through on its goal of hosting multiple hockey tournaments with a guarantee of good ice. There were three adult and three youth hockey tournaments, plus the Apple Puck game between club teams from the University of Washington and Washington State University, which the rink hopes to make an annual event.
The tournaments generated about $300,000 in revenue for the local economy, Walsh estimated. “We estimate that the tournaments brought in over 1,200 people into town,” he said.
Also, 65 local youths and adults learned to ice skate this winter as part of the Learn to Skate and After School Skate Club programs. And 71 kids participated in the youth hockey season.
Walsh encouraged residents to nominate the Winthrop Rink for a chance to host an NHL preseason game.
Each year, Kraft selects 10 ice rinks across the country that are supported by passionate hockey communities and awards them funds for arena upgrades. Six winners will receive $10,000, two will receive $25,000, one will receive $50,000, and the grand prize winner will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades and the chance to host an NHL preseason game.
To nominate Winthrop Rink, go to www.krafthockeyville.com/#about, select “Find My Rink,” enter “Winthrop, WA” and click “Nominate.” The deadline for nominations is Friday (March 10).