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ICE-PLEX Escondido closes

The owners of Ice-Plex Escondido Thursday announced that it was closing, effective immediately. The company opened in 1995. 

The company issued this statement Thursday morning: “We are sad to announce the closure of Ice-Plex, effective immediately. This was not an easy decision. Our hockey and skating communities have been strong partners to us throughout the years, and we have worked hard over the last few months to find an alternative way to keep the facility open. Unfortunately, that solution has not emerged.”

It continued, “In recent years, Ice-Plex has operated at a substantial loss. The facility’s refrigeration and HVAC systems, which are used to cool ice and provide safe air flow throughout the building, are beyond their lifespan and in dire need of replacement. These are complex and energy-intensive systems, and the cost of design and install is prohibitively high. When compounded with the financial impacts of forced closure due to COVID-19, we cannot make these investments.”

The company assured all sports teams, skaters and other customers that they would be given refunds for all programming that had been scheduled. 

Ice-Plex was San Diego’s largest ice-skating facility, and was the home base for the San Diego Sabres hockey team. 

According to the company, “The Ice-Plex was operating at a loss prior to the COVID-19 mandated shutdown, which essentially brought the facility’s revenue to zero. The primary driver of losses to the facility is the exorbitantly expensive and carbon-intensive process of cooling the ice with the facility’s aging equipment. In recent months we have worked to identify alternative energy options and new equipment for the rink. We brought in engineers and other experts, but the cost of an overhaul is more than we can commit to.”

The Times-Advocate contacted the company owning the facility for further comments but was told that the press release would be the only comment.

20 responses to “ICE-PLEX Escondido closes”

  1. Carl J. Fielstra says:

    One by one Covid-19 and the restrictions force businesses to close and personal associations to fade. A very sad situation indeed.

    • Mike Katz says:

      Did you not read the article? They’ve been operating at a loss for years, COVID-19 only forced the inevitable, didn’t cause it.

      • Kevin J. says:

        Covid didn’t “force the inevitable,” it created a situation where it was impossible for the current ownership and outside investors to commit to a significant capital expenditure when there is no reasonable guarantee of revenue. As a parent of a Jr. Gulls player, I can tell you that the largest hockey program in the county would have found a way to keep our kids on the ice.

  2. Ashley says:

    This is my ultimate favorite place to go. I was so happy when I first moved here 5 years ago to live next to Ice Plex . This breaks my heart. So many memories . I love ice skating here.

  3. Chris Anderson says:

    There are plenty of community members ready to jump in action. To start a go fund me page, contact hockey communities across the nation, NHL, AHL etc., but no one respond from the iceplex. Another option would be for the City of Escondido to take action after all the iceplex was a safe place for our youth which is left with nothing now.

  4. Anthony says:

    Its all Gavin Newsom fault he should be removed from office

    • Philly says:

      ….yep totally Gavin Newsom’s fault that the Iceoplex has needed a prohibitively expensive upgrade for years, and that a global pandemic poorly responded to by the federal government necessitated making the impossible decision to shut down Newsom’s entire state and lose immense amounts of money to minimize the number of his citizens and nurses dying a painful and isolated death and keep hospitals from being completely overrun. Clearly he should have let the healthcare system crumble under a tide of COVID patients and saved businesses that might then fail anyway when their owner died, or employees, or customers. Losing a chunk of your population isn’t exactly great for the economy.

    • CD Griffin says:

      Not sure if it’s ALL his fault…but YES!! He should be removed!

    • Lori Stevens says:

      Yeah, right. Blame our governor for a LETHAL VIRUS. Anyone else ya want to blame for the world’s problems ???

  5. Darren Cook says:

    I hope that our civic leaders will step in and save IcePlex. There are issues beyond Covid-19 at play. Do we want our thriving community to become a soul-less bedroom ‘place’ where people sleep but head out to other areas for sports and entertainment? If yes, then the blue print has been laid out and we are on the correct trajectory. Our kids will never stop playing hockey. We will just do so in places like Poway, La Jolla, and Carlsbad, where we have been welcomed with open arms. And those areas will enjoy additional tax revenue generated from the money we spend.
    Go Jr Gulls!
    Go Penguins!
    Go Sabers!
    Go Ice Diamonds!
    Go Competition Team!
    Go Team Parade Ice!

  6. Kat says:

    So sad businesses are shutting down due to COVID. I will miss this iconic building . Blessings to the owner

  7. Bob Condon says:

    I regret to learn of the closing. I grew up in the Boston area, ice skating and hockey was a way of life for us. What we have in Escondido is a world class facility and nobody wanting to invest in up grade of their plant.

  8. Marie says:

    So sad to hear of Ice-plex’s struggle and closure. So many great memories there! It’s heartbreaking for all the figure skaters, hockey players, and the Escondido community who skated there, but especially for the coaches and rink employees who are losing their jobs. Hoping other opportunities will arise to keep it open.


    You’re not alone!

    The same thing happened to us in Santa Clarita when the Ice Station of Valencia abruptly closed in March 2020. Their facility was in need of major repairs and upgrades, having originally opened in 2000.

    The Coronavirus forced shutdown, and the immediate loss of business killed their cashflow.

    So sad to see another southern California community lose their ice skating and ice hockey facility.

    Hopefully, local San Diego County investors will be found to invest in and re-open your Escondido facility. Don’t give up!

    Good luck!


  10. Diana says:

    This is so sad. This was my home rinks for group lessons, my private coach, shows and recitals. This hurts the community as a whole. Many of us skaters patronized the businesses near my for lunches, shopping etc.
    I hope another company can come in and invest in this facility. Many skaters came from miles around to skate here.

  11. Mark says:

    What a shame. California has economy bigger than Germany but just a half of Germany population. And can’t even afford decent level of schools system and youth sports activities.
    What is wrong with us ?

  12. Ray Gayton says:

    Unbelievable that people would blame the governor for a private business shutting down. That is politics run amok.

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