Putting the summer on ice
As the summer heat rages on, the Park City Ice Arena is about to offer a bit of relief and entertainment. Originally scheduled to reopen for the winter in October, the popularity of the new facility this spring prompted the City to reopen for a late summer fall season starting Aug. 8.
"We’re testing summer ice, so that’s exciting," said Park City Ice Arena general manager Stacey Noonan. "We had such success, we want to see if people want to skate in the summer."
Noonan says that she is very eager for the fall and winter seasons at the rink, because ice-related activities can truly become part of Parkites’ weekly schedule.
"We opened in late February when their winters were planned, " Noonan said. " I think people are now ready to plan around us."
The rink will add a few new programs as well as some scheduling adjustments to better accommodate the needs of the community.
Noonan says that one of the most anticipated changes is the addition of drop-in speedskating times. She says that she was pleasantly surprised at how the program exploded last year and decided to add the ice time after members of the Learn to Speedskate class requested some practice time on the schedule.
The rink will also offer a mini-session of Learn to Skate that will start on opening day. Classes meet twice a week for three weeks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and end on Aug. 24. Class times are 6-6:30 p.m. with practice time from 6:30-7:15 p.m. and 6:35-7:05 p.m. with practice time from 6:00-6:35 pm and 7:05-7:15 p.m. Registration is also open for the back-to-school session that begins Aug. 30.
The arena is also trying to form a Park City Figure Skating Club. Skating director Erika Roberts says that initially the program will start as a class and evolve into a club. Roberts explains that figure skating clubs for aspiring figure skaters who plan to pursue the sport seriously. The class will meet on Friday nights from 4-5:30 p.m. Half of the class will be devoted to various skating techniques and topics and the remaining hour will be open freestyle time.
The rink will also serve as the home ice for Park City and Wasatch High School hockey teams for the first time. Both teams will practice and scrimmage at night during the season and host all home games at the arena. A high school hockey drop-in session from 4:45-6:15 p.m. on Wednesday nights will also be offered. Noonan is hopeful that both teams, despite their rivalry, can come together on the new ice and help each other to become better teams.
"We hope to build some camaraderie," Noonan said.
Another long-awaited change is the formation of a curling club. A set of houses (official lines) have already been painted onto the ice for instructional and game purposes and Noonan will hold an organizational meeting on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. to discuss club guidelines and fundraising for equipment and other details.
On Aug. 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the rink will host a referee clinic to train interested people how to officiate hockey. Noonan says that they will cover the basics and hopefully help fill a need in the area for more officials in the sport.
The rink will also be renting out the ice to host some high-level competitions in the fall and winter. The Mountain Shootout, a hockey tournament for men and women from around the country, will be held over the Labor Day weekend. All games will be open to public and more information on game times will be available by calling the arena.
There will also be two speedskating meets this year. The first is a Wasatch Speedskating Club-sponsored meet for racers in the area and the second will take place in January for the Utah Winter Games.
They will continue to offer Learn to Play Hockey, speedskating classes and public skating. In fact the only program that will be dropped is broomball.
"It’s a real test to see if they skate when the weather’s nice," Noonan said.
Over the summer, a water purification system was added to create harder, less brittle ice. The staff spent the interim training, budgeting and trying to make the best possible schedule for the needs of the community.
Noonan enthusiastically highlights many opportunities and incentives for individuals, groups and businesses in the coming year. Individuals can buy early bird season passes before Sept. 15 and receive a five percent discount.
Businesses have the opportunity to run advertising on the dasher boards, as banners or as a wrap around the ice-resurfacing machine. Noonan says she has seen Zamboni machines that look like restaurant tabletops or a pizza advertising a company and it seems to be a good marketing tool.
"You know how much people love the Zamboni," Noonan said.
The City Council has decided to reopen the option for naming rights for possible benefactors or corporations interesting in purchasing the name of the arena.
Additionally, the rink can be rented out for meetings and parties at $175 an hour. They also have party packages available or party room rentals and group skating discounts.
Public skating times are as follows: Tuesdays 2-4:30 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m., Wednesdays 2-4:30p.m., Thursdays 2-4:30 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m., Fridays 2-4:30 p.m., Saturdays 12-3 p.m. and 6:15-8:15 p.m. Freestyle sessions for figure skaters are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:45-5:45 p.m. Stick-and-puck sessions are Wednesdays 6:30-7:45 p.m. and Saturdays 4:45-6 p.m. Drop-in hockey sessions are Tuesdays noon-1:30 p.m., Wednesdays 8-9:30 p.m., Fridays 6:30-8 p.m. and 8:15-9:45 p.m. and Saturdays 3:15-4:30 p.m. (Please check the schedule to see what time ech ability level meets). Drop-in speedskating sessions are Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 p.m. Call the information line at 615-5700 or visit http://www.pcice.org for more details. .
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