Lyndon ice arena expected to reopen this fall

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 2:38 PM EDT
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LYNDON, Vt. (WCAX) - An update on the effort to reopen a Northeast Kingdom ice rink-- it’s not official yet but the Fenton Chester Arena should open this October.

A month ago it looked like the aging ice rink might close for good. But over the past month, Lyndon has rallied to rescue the town’s arena and it just reached a major milestone to make that happen.

Through community donations, the nonprofit RINK Inc. has surpassed its $35,000 fundraising goal. That’s the money it needs to put down a sheet of ice and pay for utilities this fall.

But RINK Inc. leaders tell me since the campaign was so successful, this is just the first phase of fundraising as they focus on the facility’s future.

Last week, town officials also approved up to an additional $25,000 for maintenance. RINK Inc. has applied for a matching state grant. The hope is to invest in infrastructure upgrades that will improve energy efficiency. That’s because the facility has operated at an annual loss of $25,000 due to exorbitant electric costs.

Late this week or early next week, town officials tell me they will likely finalize the lease agreement, making RINK Inc. the facility’s full-time managing entity.

Once the ink has dried and the nonprofit has the keys in hand, the plan is to welcome back high school teams, the youth hockey league, adult clubs and other ice sports organizations this October.

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