Opened during the 1950s, Skate America has sent multiple generations of Grove City residents and visitors whirring across its spacious skating floor. Today, the facility accompanies trips around the rink with laser-light shows, a 10-foot video screen, and DJs who spin family-favorable jams, such as Top 40 hits and auto-tuned remixes of the alphabet. The snack bar—better known as Pizza Town Café—fills free hands with fresh eats, and in the game room, high scores turn into piles of tickets that can be traded in for prizes or used as makeshift stunt cushions beneath bunk beds. In addition to public sessions, Skate America also plays host to birthday parties and group functions, as well as year-round lessons for amateur wheelers.
Through their event promotion and community outreach, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation dedicates their time to recognizing local athletes and coaches, as well as improving lives of the region's citizens. Serving as a liaison between civic leaders and sporting organizations, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization has helped stage events that include State Games of America, U.S. Women's Open, USA Pro Challenge, and the Rocky Mountain State Games.
Admitting Colorado residents of all ages and athletic abilities, the Rocky Mountain State Games is a multi-sport festival recognized by the NCAA. Organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, approximately 9,000 athletes complete across 40 venues that include Memorial Park, Colorado College and others in the Pikes Peak Region. The State Games concept was developed in New York with the 1978 Empire State Games. Today, more than 400,000 athletes each year compete in State Games nationwide, including those with physical disabilities and visual impairment. State Games feature various sports from Pan American Games programs, as well as ones with regional popularity.
Voted “Best Ice Rink” by the Colorado Springs Gazette in 2009, and sweeping the category ever since, The Sertich Ice Center houses an NHL-sized ice rink and seating for up to 2,000 inside a 35,000 square foot facility. The Center regularly hosts open skating for the public, as well as birthday party packages, lessons, figure skating, and youth and adult hockey.
With two NHL-size rinks, seating for 350, an on-site Italian restaurant, The Ice Ranch hosts myriad activities involving ice-skating and entertainment. The staff is experienced in teaching patrons how to excel in all manner of ice-centric sports, from hockey to curling to broomball. Besides competitive programs, the Ice Ranch hosts skate lessons, public-skating sessions, and Zam Camp, where attendees get to sit in the driver's seat of the Zamboni and test their theory to determine whether the machine is actually a transformer or not.
Over the course of Lace'em Up's three private lessons, an experienced instructor will cover the basics of skating, including the different parts of the blades, weight placement in the boots, and how to tell the left skate from the right skate. Beginner-level ice-carvers will then master the techniques of skating forward and backward, crossovers, transitional turns, speedy maneuvers, and stopping without the aid of walls or gravity. Each lesson's one-on-one attention ensures that skaters will stockpile skills at the fastest possible rate until they're capable of rocketing across the ice like a well-oiled dolphin on a Slip-n-Slide.
The sounds of slap shots and blades carving the ice resound through Big Bear Ice Arena as it sets the stage for visitors participating in hockey, figure skating, and a host of other games. Hockey programs for kids and adults follow the rules and regulations set forth by USA Hockey, which allows slap shots but not checking or doing burnouts in a Zamboni. When pucks aren't careening from board to board, figure skaters can glide out onto the ice for programs that range from a Learn to Skate class to competitive team events. Less competitive patrons, meanwhile, can log their time on the ice through games such as bandy and broomball or casual open skates.