Ice Coming to the Coachella Valley

An ice castle big enough for a regulation-sized hockey rink is coming to the desert sands of the Coachella Valley, officials in Cathedral City announced today.

The Desert Ice Castle is being constructed in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant at 68600 Perez Road, and is expected to open in October, said city spokesman Allen Howe.

The property was purchased today by developer Anthony Liu, who also owns the Ice Castle International Training Center in Lake Arrowhead.

Liu, who is also a figure skating coach, said he began looking last September for a site he could build a regulation size ice rink in the Coachella Valley. The former bottling plant is just off Cathedral Canyon Drive, north of the Civic Center.

"The main obstacle in the past had been that there were no buildings in the valley with a clear span large enough to house a regulation size ice surface for both hockey and figure skating," Liu said.

City officials are enthusiastic about the project.

"Cathedral City and the valley gets a new recreational facility and it brings in additional, much-needed revenue to the city," Mayor Kathleen DeRosa said.

The desert valley has been without an ice skating rink since the closure of the Ice Capades Chalet in Palm Desert nearly nine years ago, according to Howe.

The new rink will include changing rooms, a snack bar, a pro shop, a skate rental desk and lockers. The facility will also seat about 150 people, Howe said.

The city is working on developing recreational programs such as skating sessions and group and private lessons, he said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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