HISTORY & MISSION
The Merrill Fay Arena is owned and operated by the Winnipesaukee Skating Club, a New Hampshire non-profit 501c3 corporation, doing business as the Merrill Fay Arena. The Winnipesaukee Skating Club, its members, officers and directors are committed to the operation, maintenance and improvement of this facility.
One of our objectives has been, and continues to be, to create an affordable opportunity for skaters of all ages and abilities to enjoy this facility. Another important objective is to make skating and hockey available to those (with an emphasis on children) in our community who may otherwise find participation unaffordable.
The Arena story goes back a ways, as it really began as a small sheet of ice on Lake Winnipesaukee at Fay’s Boatyard in the 1970s, and later morphed into the Arthur Tilton rink on Varney Point Road In Gilford during the 1980s. Eventually, Merrill Fay (who never played hockey, but his dad Wilbur coached at Proctor academy and Rochester, NH High school) purchased seven acres of land, helped form the non-profit, Winnipesaukee Skating Club and assisted as the club built the current facility. After years of hard work and countless fundraisers, the Laconia Ice Arena opened to the public in 1997 and quickly became a hotspot for hockey players and skaters of all ages.
The facility was renamed in March of 2016 in honor of Merrill P. Fay, who was responsible for the formation of the Winnipesaukee Skating Club.
The Merrill Fay Arena is home to the Lakes Region lakers Youth Hockey, The New England Wolves of the Eastern JR Hockey League, Belmont-Gilford High school, Laconia-Winnisquam/Inter- Lakes High School, and several Adult and womens leagues. The arena also hosts daily public skating sessions.