Vernon could have unique synthetic outdoor skating rink next year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon could have unique synthetic outdoor skating rink next year

Inspired by Kelowna's outdoor skating rink in Stuart Park, Vernon city council is now leaning towards a much cheaper synthetic ice surface that could, in theory, be used year-round.
May 10, 2021 - 3:17 PM

Vernon city council is asking its staff to dig deeper into the idea of having some kind of outdoor synthetic skating rink by as early as next year.

Where it might be located or what it will look like – councillor Kari Gares suggested it could be structured as a trail system – has yet to be determined. And, it would still need council to approve it in the 2022 budget.

“It would be unusual,” Mayor Victor Cumming said during discussion on the idea today, May 10. “We’d be the only place around that would have summer, drop in skating if you had synthetic ice. That in itself would be unique - shorts on and skates, etc.”

The idea of having some kind of outdoor public skating surface was proposed by councillor Scott Anderson in January and city staff came back with some rough costs estimates.

Staff estimated it could cost up to $1.5 million to make artificial ice, similar to what is done in Kelowna.

An alternative suggested by staff was a synthetic surface that would be more in the $500,000 range with much lower annual maintenance costs.

That’s the option Anderson pushed for at council’s meeting today.

He did not envision it being used in the heat of summer but well into the spring and fall.

Council agreed, by a 6-1 vote, to have staff bring back more detailed information on where and how such a facility could be built. If the project is to go ahead, it will need to be approved by council in the 2022 budget.

A second motion, put forward by councillor Brian Quiring, and also supported by a 6-1 vote, is to look into temporary ice surfaces similar to what was done at nearby Predator Ridge Resort this past winter.

Equipment used to create such rinks could be moved around to make ice surfaces in vacant parking lots or, as Mayor Cumming suggested, the plaza at the proposed new cultural centre.


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