Ice-making coils at the Idyllwild Community Center site on Sunday are folded, wrapped and ready to transport. Photo by Marshall Smith

The Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) stated in an undated announcement (see ICRC ad on page 3) that there would be no Idyllwild ice rink this season. While the rink operators seem to be in the process of dismantling the rink infrastructure, the site is unsecured with some potential hazards left unprotected.

Gary Steven, a private operator whom ICRC had approved to open a rink on the Idyllwild Community Center property, began dismantling his never-opened rink during the week of Jan. 23. By Monday afternoon Jan. 30, work was left still undone and the site remained unsecured.

Not fenced and open to anyone were two sealed drums of red dyed diesel fuel #2 marked on the drum lids as “moderate” fire hazards. ICRC director Emily White said they would be removed Wednesday. On Monday, an unsecured open drum labeled “ethylene glycol” containing liquid with siphoning hoses protruding from it was removed from the site. An apparently empty glycol drum was also removed. Other unsecured equipment includes a Zamboni with a flat tire, a chiller, compressor, coils, hockey sticks, electric drill, gas cans and miscellaneous items.

Steven, who could not be contacted for this article, had hoped to call his Idyllwild rink “Ice Dreams.” It had been scheduled to open Thanksgiving weekend. The ice for the rink never completely froze because of equipment problems, Steven told ICRC.

Steven operated a rink, Ice Gardens, in La Quinta prior to 2009. He relocated for the 2009-2010 season to Big Bear Lake. Both operations are now closed. Dan McKernan, director of marketing and public relations for the Big Bear Lake Resort Association, reported to the Town Crier that Steven’s season at Big Bear was not completely successful. His hours of operation were “more off than on for the winter,” McKernan said. He also said Steven had difficulty keeping the ice frozen at the rink site and had to close his operation several months early.

ICRC was contacted by phone by Steven, saying he wanted to open a rink in Idyllwild, according to ICRC Vice President Dawn Sonnier.

Sonnier reported that ICRC is currently owed substantially more than the $150 that was reported at their last board meeting for water and electricity used by Steven’s operation. Since that meeting, ICRC has received its January utility bills. White reported that Steven had agreed to pay the bill within the next several weeks.