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City of Vernon weighing options for new outdoor skating rink

Should Vernon, B.C. install a new outdoor rink? City council is weighing its options. Getty Images

Vernon city council will be considering various options for a possible new outdoor skating rink at its Monday meeting.

A staff report lays out a range of possible rink types from a permanent refrigerated rink to a synthetic ice surface.

The report said Vernon’s weather is not consistently cold enough for an uncooled rink.

According to city staff, installing a permanent refrigerated rink at either Polson Park or the former Kin Race Track site is the most expensive option.

It would cost between $790,000 and $1.5 million, depending on the location.

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Cheaper options include installing a temporary rink, that is reinstalled each year for the winter season, or putting in a synthetic ice surface that could be used all year long.

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The staff report points out that a synthetic ice sheet would be easier to maintain than a temporary rink.

According to the report, there is a faux ice option that is certified by Hockey Canada and the synthetic rink could turn out to be a local attraction as this type of rink isn’t common in the Okanagan.

The staff report said a synthetic rink could be installed at any flat park location including Kin Beach Park.

The report also raises questions about whether Vernon needs more skating facilities.

It noted several indoor and outdoor rinks already exist in the area and a recreation plan put together three years ago “did not identify an outdoor skating rink as a public priority.”

It will be up to the council to decide if it wants to continue looking into any of the possible options.

A new rink would likely not be in place till next year, at the earliest.

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