Cone Park ice rink depicted

An ice rink similar to what is proposed for Cone Park is depicted in an image from the city. The Missouri River Historical Development Board has awarded the park a second $200,000 grant to assist with an upgrade from natural to refrigerated ice skating.

SIOUX CITY | Visitors to the brand-new Cone Park this December can expect to pay $7 to $10 for admission at the park's tubing hill and ice skating rink, according to a list of prices that will be recommended to the City Council for approval. 

The city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board this week unanimously approved the recommended fee schedule for the highly anticipated park, which is currently under construction in Morningside.

The fees would range from $7 on weeknights to $10 during the weekend afternoon hours, when organizers expect the highest traffic. The prices cover access to both the tubing hill and ice skating rink for four-hour sessions.

Parks and Recreation director Matt Salvatore said the parks department did extensive research into how tubing facilities across the Midwest calculate their fees to come up with the recommendations. Sioux City's will be on the lower end, he said, with prices based on anticipated amounts to cover operational costs. 

"We’re not really trying to make money for Cone Park, but we’re trying to cover the expenses," he said. "There’s a lot that goes in with refrigeration, the snow-making, all the staff people."

Under current plans, the park would be open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the weekends, with the possibility for "twilight tubing" -- after-dark tubing featuring LED lighting and music -- from 9 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

The fees include a 20 percent reduction for patrons who qualify as low-income. The low-income approval process will be the same once-per-year process currently used for pool admissions. 

During certain parts of the year, when snow-making is not available at the park but refrigerated ice skating is, prices would be $5, with skate rentals costing $3. Those prices are similar to those at the city-owned IBP Ice Center. 

The fee schedule also includes graduated fee schedules for private rentals during non-operating hours, with prices ranging at $9 per person in groups under 25 people to $5 per person in groups of 201 to 300.

Rental rates for the 3,000-square-foot Cone Park Day Lodge, which organizers expect to be a popular venue for wedding receptions and parties, would range from $300 for a half day and $500 for a full weekday to $400 for a half-day on the weekend and $600 for a full day on the weekend.  

On schedule to open in December, Sioux City's all-seasons Cone Park will include a tubing hill, a day lodge, a 1.5-mile trail and an ice-skating rink that will double as a splash pad in the summer. The park is located on city property near the IBP Ice Center and Lewis and Clark Park. 

Organizers project the park will cost about $4 million to build. The largest source of funding for the project comes from a trust fund established by the family of Ruth Cone in 1981 for the purpose of establishing a new park in Sioux City. With interest, the trust has grown to about $2.9 million.

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City hall reporter

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