Only ice rink in Lewiston may be forced to close



Posted on April 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 11:04 AM

LEWISTON, Idaho --  The only ice rink in Lewiston may soon be forced to close.

The Port of Lewiston is reluctant to renew the rink’s lease in order to make way for a new company to use the space.

The new company would create new jobs but dozens of local hockey players with no place to skate.

Ben House grew up on a hockey rink. The sound of a puck and stick are a second nature to him. Soon, that passion of his could take a great hit.

“I don’t know if I’d be able to keep playing. Which is very unfortunate, because I love to skate and I love to play still,” said House.

For the past few years, the Lewis-Clark Amateur Hockey Association has leased the space from the port.

Port officials said a manufacturing company might move into the area and occupy the space. The LCAHA said the rink means more than jobs.

“I can understand where they’re coming from. But from our side, I don’t know if they’re looking at the whole picture as far as what we do,” said Brett Wilponen of the Lewis-Clark Amateur Hockey.

In the summer, the rick also plays host to a local women’s roller derby team. It is where the Washington State University men’s hockey team plays.

The arena is also home to countless youth players.

No official decision has been made. The Port and the Hockey Association are set to meet next week.

The lease is set to expire at the end of May.

The next closest ice rink is in Moscow.