After 20 years in business, Ice Station Valencia announced Wednesday it will be closing its doors permanently, effective immediately.
This comes after a previous announcement that the rink would temporarily suspend operations due to the coronavirus outbreak that prompted widespread business closures, just days before the rink was set to close for maintenance.
“It’s pretty sad news after 20 years,” owner Roger Perez said. “There are a lot of people that made this their home, and it’s going to be very disappointing to a lot of people, especially me.”
Ice Station has served the Santa Clarita Valley’s hockey and skating community since 2000.
“The uncertainty of a reopening date combined with loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made a recovery unsurmountable and closing permanently unavoidable,” a prepared statement posted on the company’s website read.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to have been a positive part of so many peoples’ lives, and we hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy during these very challenging times,” the post continued.
Likewise, Perez is proud to have had such a community surrounding the Ice Station.
“Most of our staff has been with us for many, many years, some from the very beginning,” he added. “And, we have seen generations go through the building, from little kids starting to play hockey … to (those same kids) that are now playing adult hockey.”
In addition to the Ice Station’s in-house skating and youth and adult recreational programs, the closure is expected to affect numerous programs that call the rink home, including high school, college and youth travel hockey programs.
The Valencia Flyers, a Junior A team featuring players up to age 20, has competed in the Western States Hockey League against teams from the Midwest to the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. The Junior Flyers, formerly known as the Valencia Express, has been a travel youth hockey program competing against league opponents throughout California. Both teams are expected to be relocated and information will be put on their respective websites.
The West Ranch High School hockey team and SNAP (Special Needs Athletes & Peers) Sports’ SNAP Flyers have also called Ice Station Valencia home since both teams’ inceptions.
“We are all saddened by the closure of the Ice Station, but if we have learned anything from working with our athletes, it’s that when we are presented with a challenge, we always rise to the occasion and find a way,” SNAP Sports co-founder Beckie Warloe said via message. “Flyers will skate and play hockey again.”
SNAP Sports has not yet decided if they will relocate yet, as the team’s season has been put on hold due to the current health crisis.
In addition, both The Hollywood Curling Club and Speed Skating Club are asked to contact their administration directly for more information, while those in the Lil’ Kings hockey program are expected to be reassigned to another rink.
For further questions, email [email protected].
Signal Editor Tim Whyte contributed to this report.