Big Mine Ice Arena Roof Project

Project Completed in 2012

Travel through time with the Big Mine Slideshow, from the early days of coal mining through the construction of the new Big Mine Ice Arena.

Big Mine Rink History
The Crested Butte Parks and Recreation Department established the first ever hockey rink in the Upper East River Valley at the current Big Mine Park location in the winter of 1992-1993. The first rink included used plywood dasher boards and a sand floor. The following year, the Town constructed the Nordic Center Warming House to serve a growing Crested Butte Nordic Council as well as youth and adult hockey programs. In 2000, a 200’ x 85’ National Hockey League sized concrete rink slab was constructed and regulation dasher boards were purchased for the facility. Now, in 2011, the Town of Crested Butte is launching the largest public recreation project in its history with a planned $1.1 million facility including a roof over the existing rink and new dasher boards with protective shielding. The facility will be something the community will be proud of and will complement the other skating amenities in the Gunnison Valley.

Project History
After many years of discussion and planning culminating with the adoption of the Town of Crested Butte Parks and Recreation Regional Master Plan in 2010, the decision was made by the community, council and staff to pursue an improved outdoor ice skating facility at the existing Big Mine Park location. With lead financial pledges from the Town of Crested Butte for $200,000, Great Outdoors Colorado for $700,000, Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District for $25,000 and Gunnison County Board of Commissioners for $4600, the total cost of the project is now within reach.  The Big Mine Arena Project represents Phase II of a four-phase project. Purchasing land adjacent to Big Mine Park, paving the parking area and building sidewalks to improve the functionality and safety of the facility marked the completion of Phase I in the summer of 2010. Following a successful capital campaign concluded in April 2011, the project broke ground in the summer and was completed by the end of the year 2011.

Future Phases
The most recent fundraising effort was focused on Phase II, the completion of the rink cover and dasher boards. Phase III will expand the warming house facility to provide more team rooms and will include refrigeration for the existing rink. Phase IV will complete landscaping throughout the entire Big Mine Park location.

Community Impact
Improvement of the Big Mine Ice Arena, which has been a long outstanding need for the hockey and skating community in Crested Butte, has the potential to have a huge positive impact on local businesses.  With a covered skating facility located in Crested Butte’s historic downtown district, the community will be able to reliably host out of town hockey teams for league games and tournaments thus generating increased revenues for local lodges, shops and restaurants. The Big Mine Ice Arena is the community’s only covered venue for year round sports and special events. 

Community Support
The 2010 Town of Crested Butte Parks and Recreation Regional Master Plan overwhelming supported the improvement of the Big Mine Rink facility with input from households and stakeholders throughout the Upper East River Valley. Under direction from the Town Council, the staff has gathered widespread support from throughout the community with volunteer assistance for the fundraising and design of the facility. The Big Mine Ice Arena is a public facility with strong local government and citizen support.

For more information about this project please contact Janna Hansen at 970-349-5338 or

Big Mine Project Review Travel through time from the mining days to the covered rink in this Big Mine slideshow.