The Gallatin Ice Foundation is responding to an overwhelming and well-defined need in southwest Montana for greater access to year-round ice. Uniting diverse user groups and community partners, GIF is leading efforts to enhance recreational access, community character and infrastructure, and the local economy with its plan to insulate and construct seating for 1500 spectators in the ice barn at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
More than 2,500 youth and adults in the Gallatin Valley call Haynes Pavilion and The Ice Barn their home for recreation and competitive ice activities. The only refrigerated ice skating rinks within 90-miles of Bozeman, it hosts skaters continuously from 6 a.m. to midnight every day of the week during the limited seven-month skating season. With no room for expanded ice times, the shortage of ice makes it difficult to add more skaters and programs, host regional tournaments and competitions, provide training for competitive figure skaters and add more public skate times.
In 2011, the Gallatin Ice Foundation launched a capital campaign to expand refrigerated ice facilities in the Gallatin Valley. Bolstered by careful and detailed planning and a strong track record of public support, the effort to ‘Raise the Ice Barn’ was rewarded with a game-changing vote of confidence in 2013 in the form of a $1M bond from gallatin county and a $175,000 grant from the city of bozeman in 2014. With this infusion of resources, construction on Phase I of the Ice Barn project was launched in August 2014.