After 50 Years, Popular Belmont Ice Skating Rink to Shut Down

Ice skaters on the Peninsula are running out of options.

After more than 50 years, Belmont Iceland is closing its doors. Regulars at the popular ice skating rink said the closure is breaking up a tight-knit community.

"I'm in tears," said Bebe Sosnick, who has been practicing regularly at Belmont Iceland as she pursues a dream of competing in the Olympics. "I can't believe it. This rink is my home."

Iceland officials said with over $1 million in upgrades needed to keep things running smoothly, it is time to call it quits.

"The floor has real problems," said Jay Wescott, Belmont Iceland general manager. "The owners are up in age. To make this kind of investment at this stage in their lives doesn't make sense anymore."

The April closure will leave 15 staff members and more than a dozen coaches looking for work. Emotional parents are not sure where to turn once Belmont Iceland closes.

"Ice time is so rare, it's hard to get your kid on the ice for a session," parent Amy Sosnick said.

The closure comes in the wake of a high-profile fight involving another Peninsula ice skating rink.

The manager at Nazareth Ice Oasis in neighboring Redwood City said he is not sure how many more skaters he has room for. The City of San Mateo will consider the future of the rink at Bridge Point in March.

A developer is asking the City of San Mateo to change its master plan so Nazareth can be replaced with retail -- a request hundreds of parents from Belmont Iceland will now have something to say about as they say goodbye to their hometown rink.

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