The Highland Ice Arena, opened since 1962, will be closing next month.
Through the decades, the arena has seen innumerable skating lessons, hockey games, parties and practices.
The original owners, Dorothy and Jim Stephens, passed away at the age of 99 and 100, respectively — in 2021 and 2022. This left the business to their children, Terry and Rick, along with their spouses.
According to the Shoreline Area News: “Terry, their daughter and 40-plus- year skating director, says growing up in her family was the best life. The entire skating community is very close. They shared stories of falling asleep in the music room on New Year’s Eve because they kept the ice arena open until 12:15 a.m. to ring in the new year with everyone.”
Surviving family members say it’s tough to run a business, let alone get up and down into the Zamboni these days. So they decided to sell. The deal closes Oct. 6.
This ending will surely melt a lot of hearts.
— Story and photos by David Carlos
Mountlake Terrace resident David Carlos often submits photos and videos profiling interesting places nearby.
For folks that may not understand the number of people that the Owners , Jim, Dorthy, their Children Rick, Terry and in the earlier days a gentleman named Herold , kept out of trouble by allowing those of us that couldn’t afford Ice Skating 2-3 or more times a week to Work either in the skate shop, or snack bar or when they added the small ice spread sand, they taught us how to run the Zamboni, and the importance of flooding the ice just right, they allowed parents to make payments for Hockey gear No contract just be a person of your word. This place HIGHLAND ICE ARENA, saved many of us from trouble, it was more to me that just a ice rink, for many years it was my second home. Thank you the Stevens family for all the fantastic memories
Thanks for sharing, Ed. That is really a touching detail that I didn’t know about the owners.
Thank you Ed, for you kind words! I remember many times when some child was dropped off and was short of money. Harold reached into his pocket and gave them the quarter or 50 cents they needed to go skate. Dad used to boast that we were the cheapest babysitting service in town as many families dropped off their kids to skate while they went shopping.
I’m sure more folks feel the same as I do but haven’t been informed of the closing, Hope to be at the October celebration, Good luck on you next adventure.
Ed is one of the people I miss seeing. He truly is a great person. It’s people like Ed I miss the most.
This is really sad to hear. My daughter learned how to skate there when she was little and we’d go skating together as she was growing up. It was such great fun and built nice memories.
I mourn the loss of the Highland Skate Arena which offered an option for physical, social and fun activity for our youth to partake in. Its closing leaves a further void of such options.
Thanks to Dorothy and Jim Stephens for their contributions and support of the community for so many decades. They clearly were more than skating rink owners, they were also stewards of the community as experienced and shared by Ed Goettel!
I understand the time has come for the Family to let it go, I started playing hockey there in 1962-63,
There was no Sno-King or Lynnwood, it was one of the funniest places to be a part of for so many years, Jim, Dorothy, Rick, Terry, at one point they had hired a guy named Pat from KJRB Spokane and he figured out how to get music booming thru this place on Fridays and Saturdays, there was a house in the back parking lot he wired up to the arena and I was one of the DJs that fed this place and it was packed every weekend , Mr Steven’s would be the skating patrol if he thought you were doing something that could hurt others he would make you leave the ice for a set amount of time, they treated all of us with kindness, Mr Stevens was also the driving force behind the Olympic Curling Club in Seattle his other passion, they produced some world class curlers. I can’t say enough Kind things, Thank You Stevens Family.
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