The Howelsen Ice Arena has roots dating back to 1970’s. Over the past five decades, this facility has been a cornerstone of the Steamboat Springs community. As demand has gown through the years, so has the facility. Building on the core concept, the Howelsen Ice Arena was expanded and fully enclosed in the 1990’s. Since that time, growth and the desire for additional programming has continued. Dating back to 2009 in addressing avenues to meet this growth, the City of Steamboat Springs and its Parks & Recreation Department identified a second sheet of ice in its Parks, Open Space, Trails, and River (“POSTR”) plan.
In 2014, recognizing the current facility’s limitations and desire to expand of youth programming, community members pursued the initiative including conducting feasibility, economic and community impact studies. Positive conclusions on all fronts advanced the project through the planning process with the Parks & Recreation Commission endorsing the project in 2015 and subsequent by City Council in 2017. The project was formally tabled in 2018 due to project cost increases. The City of Steamboat Springs however continued with critical elements of the project including relocating utilities, paving, expanding the shared parking lot in the neighboring Brent Romick Area and expanding the lobby area of the Howelsen Ice Rink.
Between 2017 and 2022, the city invested over $4.5m for these associated improvements. During this time, community needs have continued to expand to the point re-igniting the campaign to have the final and most critical element of the project completed in the covered facility. In completing the HIP, the Howelsen Ice Arena will achieve its true potential in upwards of doubling winter capacity and providing a new home for expanded year-round youth and adult programming, public access, special events and additional resources for Howelsen Park.