Lace up your skates and get ready to step on the ice for the first time this season because Penticton’s outdoor rink is opening next week.
The city’s downtown ice sheet next to city hall will open for public use on Monday, Dec. 5, according to Drew Barnes from Activate Penticton.
Barnes — the president of the group that oversees the facility — says cooling issues, combined with the rink missing its own Zamboni, delayed the start date by one month.
The city loaned Barnes’ group a Zamboni for the purpose of opening the rink as soon as possible. As of Friday, Dec. 2, Activate Penticton is on track to receive its own Zamboni in two weeks’ time.
Barnes says paying off the Zamboni has been difficult. Other projects like adding netting and installing festive lights have been sacrificed, as a result.
In total, the facility carries a price tag of $1.1 million. The ice sheet itself cost $800,000, while the washroom and additional parking spaces combined for a price of $300,000.
Private donors contributed a total of $800,000 to the project, Barnes told the Western News.
The rink will serve as the host of the 60th-anniversary B.C. Hockey League’s All-Star Game in January.
It first opened in February 2022 and will host a private U15 hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. before it becomes available to the public. Barnes expects players on the ice will report any issues with the ice.
The facility’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.