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Rink revs up for winter

As the weather turns cold outside, the Park City Ice Arena is already in full swing for the winter season. According to the rink’s public relations manager Jason Glidden, now is the perfect time to get involved with the many programs that the rink is offering in the coming months.

"It’s not too late to jump into these programs," Glidden said. "There are a lot of opportunities."

The rink’s ongoing "Learn-to" programs headline the winter activities, including a Learn to Skate class for kids ages three and up. For those that master skating on figure skates, a Learn to Hockey Skate program is available to teach children the fundamentals of the game. The late fall season is already underway, but a new session will begin at the beginning of the year. Those wanting to further hone their figure-skating skills can attend the drop-in Figure Skating 101 program during the week from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. Intermittent ice conditioning classes are also offered people to work on figure-skating fundamentals like balance and form.

For those looking for a little weekend socializing and a lot of fun, the Learn to Curl program is ongoing and open to new participants. The class meets weekly on Saturdays from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. and offers both instruction and ongoing competition.

Adults wanting to get comfortable on skates or work on their skills are invited to the weekday Lunch Bunch. The program meets Monday through Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and allows adults the opportunity to learn how to skate and then work on improving their technique.

Another lunchtime option is the adult Drop-In Hockey session held on Tuesdays and Thursdays also from noon until 1:30 p.m. According to Glidden, this program hosts hockey players of all different skill levels, but he warns people to arrive early because the session fills up quickly.

The rink also offers a Senior/Rookie Drop-In Hockey session designed specifically for adults over age 35 and hockey players who just started in the sport in the last two years. Hockey lovers can further sharpen their skills on Monday nights from 8:15 to 8:45 p.m. with the Adult Skills and Drill clinics that provides an intense coached session on the ice. Hockey players of all ages can also attend Sunday afternoon Stick and Puck sessions from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. to work on fundamentals.

For the younger set, youth hockey just got underway and enrollment is still open. Glidden said that youth hockey is an especially attractive option, because rental equipment is available to keep costs reasonable.

Registration for the Adult Hockey League is open until Thanksgiving and offers two levels: a highly-competitive A level that plays on Tuesdays and an intermediate B/C level that plays on Sundays.

Speedskating also offers many options. Besides a Sunday morning drop-in session from 9:15 to 10:45, locals can also attend Park City Speedskating Club meetings on Wednesdays from 6:45 to 8 p.m. With the U.S. Speedskating Team less than an hour away in Kearns, the club often has world-class coaches attending its sessions.

The Park City rink, much like the nearby Racquet Club, offers the resident recreation card that locals can use to buy discounted drop-in sessions and other programs. The card, which costs $6.50 annually, is computerized to help participants breeze through the line when they show up at the rink.

In addition to the programs, a plethora of events are planned in the coming months, with everything from figure skating to sled hockey. The event schedule kicks off in December with the Figure Skating Club Holiday Show on Dec. 5 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The show features the routines of the youth in the club.

On Dec. 10, the annual Christmas in the Park event will move from Miners Hospital to the ice rink and offer holiday fun and skating for the public.

On Dec. 12 through 14, top female hockey players from around the West will converge on the rink for the Vixens’ Goal Digger Hockey Tourney. West Coast sled-hockey teams will take to the ice a month later, Jan. 9-10, for a regional tournament hosted by the National Ability Center (NAC).

On Jan. 3, the rink will hold an event of its own celebrating National Skating Month with a free skating session from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. It will also host free Learn to Skate clinics in conjunction with the Utah Winter Games. Free skating is also held the first Saturday of every month from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Also in January, locals and visitors will have an opportunity to see the stars skate at Luc Robitaille’s annual Celebrity Shootout event. Tickets will go on sale this month and benefit local youth hockey.

In February, top sled-hockey teams from all over the country will play in the NAC’s Great Salt Cup tournament.

The rink also offers open-skating sessions throughout the week. Glidden advises people to always check the schedule before coming to the rink, as some program times change during the month.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit ww.pcice.org.


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