LAPEER (WJRT) (4/16/2019) - Polar Palace and Louie's Sports Tavern in Lapeer will be shutting down on April 28 after 19 years of operation.
"We didn't think it would ever shut down," said long time hockey player, Brent Connell. "It surprised me they're shutting so fast too."
On Monday, co-owner Rick Burrough made the announcement to employees that the doors would be shutting permanently. Not long after, the community began reacting to the news.
"There's not a lot to do in Lapeer and this is one of the big things so its sad," said community member Ashley Koerner.
Burrough said in a statement that the decision was difficult, but with hockey being an expensive sport and the overall participation declining it was one he had to make.
Organizer of the Guns and Hoses hockey tournament, Connell said it's hard to see it go, as someone who skates this ice once a week.
"We have great ice here. Everyone has a great time when we play here, its a great atmosphere," said Connell. "I thought everything was good."
Now the question is, what will happen to the 80,000-square-foot building. Burrough has yet to announce plan to sell or renovate the building into something else.
Connell hopes to see someone save the arena.
"Hopefully someone buys it up, it would be great to keep it here but who knows," he said.
Louie's Sports Tavern will also being closing on April 28.
Anyone who paid in advance for future events at the Polar Palace can contact them for a refund.