The region’s newest ice rink is days away from opening in eastern Powhatan County.
Powhatan Ice Den plans to open in early October at 1580 Oakbridge Terrace, in the Oakbridge Business Park near the Chesterfield-Powhatan line.
The roughly 14,000-square-foot building features a 60-by-120-foot rink to cater to the local hockey scene, primarily youth hockey.
“This is a two-thirds-sized rink, so it’s perfect for younger kids and three-on-three hockey,” said Ice Den general manager Ryan Winfree.
Retired chemicals industry executive and hockey booster Fred Festa owns the rink. Festa owned the AA East Coast Hockey League team the Greenville Swamp Rabbits from 2012 to 2018. He also voiced interest in bringing a new minor league hockey team to Richmond as part of the Navy Hill project that was ultimately torpedoed in early 2020.
“This is focused on hockey training and giving these kids a feel for it. We’re building that interest from the ground up,” said Winfree, who is Festa’s son-in-law. “Ten years ago nobody played lacrosse and now it’s huge, so that’s kind of what we’re hoping to bring to Richmond.”
The Richmond Generals, a youth hockey organization, has a lease on Ice Den’s rink during the evenings and will use it for practice. During the day ice time will be rented for $15 per hour aimed primarily at pick-up games. The facility won’t rent equipment.
The Generals-affiliated Hockey U beginners camp will relocate to the rink, Winfree said. Currently it runs out of Richmond Ice Zone in Chesterfield and SkateNation Plus in Short Pump, which are separately owned and not affiliated with the Ice Den.
Freeman Morgan Architects was the project architect and EDC is the general contractor. Winfree said the rink was a multi-million dollar project but declined to share a more specific price tag.
The Ice Den was built on a 5-acre property purchased last year by Festa through Lilrink2 LLC for $450,000.