Valley residents rally to try to keep the Lewis-Clark Ice Rink open

LEWISTON, ID - What started out as an end of the year party for Youth Hockey League players and skaters, turned into something much more.

A big turnout Thursday night at the Lewis-Clark Ice Rink to celebrate the end of the hockey season, but it wasn't all celebrating, because there's a chance the ice rink could be closing.

Rob Reed is the director of the local hockey association. He said that leaders from the Port of Lewiston are concerned about the stability of the rink. They haven't seen a lot of growth in the last ten-years and there's not much money coming in to support the lease. He was also told that the Port hasn't announced any interested businesses wanting to buy the space, but kids, parents and program directors are hoping for at least an extension on the 10-year lease to give them time to find a new building.

"The association took over two years ago, and so we are trying to show that in those amount of years we have grown from when we took over and we are wanting to grow more and have a good opportunity to," said parent and hockey coach Brett Wilponen.

The rinks manager and president of the LCAHA, Rob Reed, said one of his biggest concerns is what the kids will do if the rink is gone.

"You know what would those kids do without the ice rink?" said Reed. "What would our youth hockey players do you know if they didn't have a sport to play? It would be pretty detrimental to them."

Coach Wilponen expressed the same concern.

"And so it's just an avenue for them to come out and do something in a positive manner," Wilponen.

The Lewis Clark Amateur Hockey Association is working on a business plan to present to the Port on the 23rd. The current rink was never meant to be a permanent solution, but something to get until they could find another space.

We reached out to the Port of Lewiston to talk to them about the Ice Rink Friday, but they haven't responded.