Apex Center Ice Arena date has a romantic ending

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In October 2016, the Apex Center Ice Arena, 13150 W. 72nd Ave., Arvada, CO, took on a highly unusual role: the setting for an engagement photo! It’s a spot with special significance for Emily Riddle and Casey Gustafson, who will be married this coming June and had their second date here on the ice.

Emily and Casey met in 2011, when Emily started working as a barista at a Starbucks inside the King Soopers where Casey worked. The two had their first conversation one afternoon in the break room where they were eating lunch and watching a poker tournament on ESPN. Emily noticed Casey and wanted to try to strike up a conversation, so she hit him with the line, “Poker isn’t even a real sport. Hockey, on the other hand, is a real sport!” This grabbed Casey’s attention, as he too is a hockey fan. Casey and Emily spent the next few weeks finding excuses to talk to each other about the Stanley Cup championship featuring the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks.

Carrying the skating theme forward, Casey asked Emily to go ice skating on their second date.

Emily tells the story:

“I was nervous because I hadn’t been ice skating in a long time, and I wasn’t sure if he was good at it or not. My biggest qualm was whether or not I should hold his hand because I wasn’t sure how much he liked me, but I knew I could probably use that extra stability. I decided to be a brave woman and not hold his hand, lest he find out how sweaty it was from my nerves. When we stepped on the ice together for the first time, we both almost took a dive and had several slip-ups along the way, but basically kept it together without incident. Of course there were still those second-date jitters, but things were going really well until I hit a spot in the ice that caused me to lose my edge. As I was flailing like a baby penguin, Casey grabbed ahold of me and I clung to him for dear life!

“While five years and thousands of dates have passed, and we’ve found countless reasons beyond hockey and beyond that date to love each other, we always look back and reminisce about how truly special our ice skating date at the Apex Center was, and how it really set a nice foundation for what is turning into a marriage and a lifetime of love.”

Emily and Casey offer their special thanks to all of the Apex Center staff that has worked with them on the engagement pictures, “even the guys who just rented us the skates for the night, were truly wonderful and so fun,” Emily said.

Congratulations, Emily and Casey, and best wishes from everyone at the Apex Center for a happy lifetime ahead!