I have found the perfect venue for the West Regional - Rotary Park Ice Rink in Ouray, Colorado (pronounced YOU-ray). Since I can't figger out how to post the pics, you'll have to check it out on Google Earth and be sure to look at the street view. It is a special place... Located less than two miles from the metropolis of Downtown Ouray, I believe this rink has all the necessary lack-of-facilities, difficult access and uncertain weather to qualify for a Bottom Feeders Regional event. And, it is actually in the West – novel idea, I know… Since that other tournament doesn’t actually have a Regional in the West, the Bottom Feeders need to…
It is a natural outdoor ice rink – if it thaws, it thaws… By late March, it may or may not have a usable ice surface, depending on the weather. Plus, it is at the base of an impressive cliff, so rockfalls are a possibility, especially during the spring freeze-thaw cycles.
There is a warming hut, but players would have to take turns, since it doesn’t appear large enough for a whole team.
The rink is maintained by a group of dedicated local volunteers. I’m quite sure there is not a Zamboni within miles. Any occasional resurfacing of the ice sheet, which may or may not occur, will be entirely at the discretion the volunteers. We probably don’t want to give them any advanced notice of the event.
The rink is located at 7,600 feet above sea level. It would be advisable for the players to arrive as close to faceoff time as possible to minimize any acclimatization.
The venue can be accessed from Durango-La Plata County Airport via the drop-dead-gorgeous Million Dollar Highway traversing Coal Bank Pass (10,640 ft), Molas Pass ( 10,910 ft) and Red Mountain Pass (11,018 ft). The road closes frequently due to snow and often has tire-chain restrictions. The drive can take as little as 2 hrs or as long as several days. Direct flights to Durango-La Plata County Airport are available from Phoenix or Dallas. OK, you can get there from Denver, as well, but that’s too easy…
Full Disclosure: I don’t post much, but have been following this excellent thread for years – it is my favorite. I am selfishly promoting this venue for a couple of reasons. As an Alaskan ex-pat now living in Colorado, it would be close to my new home. I traveled to Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago and watched my UAA Seawolves get trounced by lowly CC… Then they got beat twice by UA_. With a season-opening tie and OT loss to the Fighting Susies, I think UAA may have peaked early, again… Since it looks like UAA has a good chance to host this Regional, I want to be rinkside cheering them on… And the boards are already painted Seawolf Green!
Thank you for your consideration.