Ice rink operators withdraw Mills Park pavilion proposal

Ice rink operators looking to set up shop in Carson City withdrew a proposal on Tuesday to run a year-round rink in the Pony Express Pavilion at Mills Park. The move was made in response to opposition from local groups that have come to depend on the open-air building.

"I feel very strongly, and so does (my partner), we don't want to displace anybody," said David Tyrell, who, along with ice rink owner Gilley Nicholson, had sought to bring a seasonal rink from Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Village and set it up permanently at the pavilion.

"Unless we can accommodate everybody, we'll withdraw."

When the rink operators had visited the pavilion before, there was never anything happening there, and they thought nobody had much use for it.

"At the last meeting, I learned obviously that's not correct," Tyrell said.

Although the pavilion was originally designed in the early 1990s as at least a part-time ice rink, it never materialized. In what was long viewed as a failed city venture, other uses have grown, including indoor soccer, city summer camps, farmers markets and in-line hockey.

Members from many of the other uses opposed the ice rink at a Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last month, saying their programs depended upon the pavilion.

Tyrell and Nicholson said the pavilion would only be a financially ice arena if it were a year-round, seven-day-a-week operation.

After withdrawing the proposal for a rink at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Tuesday night, Tyrell said the opportunity may still exist in Carson City for a seasonal ice rink - but not at the pavilion.

A few ice rink supporters attended the meeting, arguing that ice skating would be the best use of the pavilion, and that another opportunity for a rink may not come around again for years.

Commissioners also expressed support for an ice rink and asked Tyrell to keep in touch with city Parks and Recreation staff.

"We will continue to look and pursue it," Tyrell said.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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