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Penticton, B.C., council backs outdoor public skating rink; mayor calls it a great idea

The outdoor ice rink proposed for downtown Penticton. Activate Penticton

City council in Penticton, B.C., says it supports the idea of an outdoor rink in the downtown core.

On Tuesday, the city said the vision pitched by Activate Society Penticton will become reality this winter following council’s decision to support the idea.

The rink will be smaller than a standard NHL rink and will operate on a portion of a city-owned parking lot on Main Street, adjacent to city hall.

Read more: Penticton’s outdoor public skating rink plans put on ice

The rink will be 37 metres by 15 metres (120 feet by 49 feet). A standard NHL rink is 61 by 26 (200 by 85). For comparison, the rink will be similar to the outdoor waterfront rink at Stuart Park in Kelowna.

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“Council first learned of this wonderful idea in December 2019 and received its most recent update in December 2020,” Penticton mayor John Vassilaki said in a press release.

The mayor said while considerable work has been done so far and there’s more to do, Activate Penticton Society’s vision “will contribute and create a great downtown amenity that will provide much needed positive activity in the downtown core and give economic benefit to our downtown businesses, especially during the winter months.”

Likewise, the City’s contribution of the needed land and supporting infrastructure will make sure this project is a success.”

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Kelowna’s Stuart Park outdoor rink reopening branded a success – Feb 5, 2021

According to the city, two cost scenarios have been developed.

The first, funded entirely by Activate Penticton, estimates a base price of $438,000 to construct the ice pad. The second is a long-term calculation of approximately $1,043,505 to complete the rink entirely. The society will lead those fundraising efforts.

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Infrastructure upgrades associated with the rink’s construction will be provided by the city and will include $200,000 from the 2021 financial plan capital budget for the construction of new washrooms alongside the rink.

The city says it will maintain landscaping and any vegetation around the rink and will retain the responsibility of snow clearing in the neighbouring city parking lot.

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Home of the Riders transformed into largest outdoor rink in Saskatchewan – Dec 28, 2020

Ongoing operating costs associated with the rink, such as maintenance and snow clearing, will be borne by Activate Penticton.

“At this point, it’s a go,” said Activate Penticton president Drew Barnes.

“We are hoping to get some more donations and support from the local community, but we have reached funding goals to have the rink operational this year.”

Barnes said additional funding will go towards the addition of boards and glass, a fire pit, more landscaping and eating areas.

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“We’re looking forward to making this rink a reality for the community of Penticton,” added Penticton Vees owner Graham Fraser.

“This rink will allow everyone an opportunity to get outside and play.”

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