PROVO — The City Parks and Recreation Department officially assumed operations of The Peaks Ice Arena on Thursday after legal sparring for control of the hockey venue for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games was resolved last week.

Provo officials say they've taken over management and operation duties, according to a statement released Thursday. This comes after a settlement was reached Nov. 12 in a lawsuit that pitted Provo and Utah County against Max Rabner and Seven Peaks Management Co.

Meb Anderson of Stirba and Associates, who represented Provo and Utah County, confirmed the parties struck an accord but declined to go into detail on specifics of the agreement.

"Essentially, the lawsuit is over," he said.

Rabner said he is glad the legal sparring has come to an end.

"Both parties are very satisfied that we have reached a settlement that we both mutually agree to and find mutually beneficial," he said.

The case focused on control of the arena, which opened in 1998. Rabner wanted to complete his 42-year lease and Provo and Utah County wanted him out. Rabner and the city and county had crossed swords almost from the start of the lease in 1998, but the relationship came to a head in March 2003.

The Ice Sheet Authority claimed Rabner did not make the 2003 rent payment on time and sued to terminate his lease. Rabner claimed the Ice Sheet Authority didn't deposit the check he gave them. While the suit was pending, he held back the 2004 and 2005 rent.

Provo Mayor Lewis Billings did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. But in a statement, city officials said they are excited to host activities for the community.

The Peaks Arena was built in 1997. The Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee contributed $6 million to the cost of construction. Provo and Utah County added $2 million each, and Rabner said he put in an additional $2 million for the building.

The venue now hosts activities including ice skating, ice hockey, figure skating, broom ball and indoor soccer.

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