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As It Was: Commitment Builds the Bill Collier Ice Arena

Klamath County has long had an interest in winter sports, as demonstrated most recently by the opening in 2002 of the Bill Collier Community Ice Arena with a covered 200-by-85-foot refrigerated rink.

Located on the Running Y Resort a few miles northwest of Klamath Falls, the project had been turned down earlier for proposed sites either in Moore Park near Upper Klamath Lake or in Veterans Memorial Park along Lake Ewauna near downtown. 

A vital part of the arena’s development was formation of Klamath Ice Sports, Inc., in 1999.  The
non-profit raised funds for the rink, and supported the efforts of Collier, who had struggled for years to keep an ice rink active along Upper Klamath Lake.  After Klamath Falls closed a community ice rink that had opened in the early 1900s, Collier worked in the 1970s to renovate the site.

To quote the Arena’s web page, “He spent cold winter nights and early mornings spraying the dirt patch (of an earlier rink) with water from a fire hose to create the sheet of ice.” 

Collier died in 2013, remembered for ice skating and many other community activities.

Source: Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Ore., 14 Sept. 2012, p. 1.

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Pat Bushey wrapped up a 53-year professional, small-town newspaper career in 2018, after 47 years at the Klamath Falls Herald and News — 17 as managing editor. He also worked at the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald and the Walla Walla (Wash.) Union-Bulletin, where he spent a summer filling in as sports editor. Before that, he was sports editor at Everett (Wash.) High School and Washington State University. Bushey wrote many of the Herald and News editorials during his tenure, and almost all of those appearing in recent years.