Fresno's Gateway Ice Center to remain open

May 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's been a major announcement for the Valley's skating community. Action News has learned Fresno's Gateway Ice Center will stay open for at least another year.

The owner of the rink says he'll keep it open until April 30 of next year.

In that time a local non-profit has agreed to raise enough money to buy this business so these kids have a permanent place to skate.

Ice skaters are excited they no long have a short countdown to their last time on the ice here in West Central Fresno.

Chris Pfalzgraff has two young boys who play for the Junior Monsters hockey team.

"I'm glad it's open for another year so they have another season to play, and they're happy, too," Pfalzgraff said.

The ice rink is the team's only palce to practice within about a hundred mile radius.

For months the team and all the other skaters here thought gateway would close for good.

But now word is spreading about the deal between Gateway's owner and the Central Valley Ice Sports Foundation to keep the doors open for about a year.

"We're really happy as a family because we like to bring our daughter here. But I think for Fresno as a whole, it's just one of those things that you really want to stay open. It's just a great community thing, we're all really excited," Michelle Meisch of Fresno said.

Because of the talk of a closure, Meisch has kept a close eye on the ice rink's status.

"I think it was a sense of, you know, what's going to happen. I think I checked the website multiple times, I called them because I knew my daughter wanted to come here for her birthday," Meisch said.

Pfalzgraff says his boys were also upset about the possible closure. He just hopes the plan doesn't fall through.

"Yeah, it's been up and down battle for quite a while. It's sad because it's not just the kids that are going to miss it, it's the adults that are going to come out here with their kids," Pfalzgraff said.

The center will stay open as long as the ice sports foundation comes up with the money to purchase the facility by the end of next April.

The owner tells Action News the foundation has agreed to purchase this place at market value.

While that number isn't clear yet, we do know the owner offered to sell gateway to the city of Fresno in 2007 with a $5 million price tag.


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