Saturday opening for ice rink

CHRIS HYDE AND JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 16:01 19/06/2013

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With icy weather on the way, local labourers have been out in force constructing the temporary Ice World skating rink in The Square.

The rink is due to open on Saturday at 10am, and Ice World NZ director Gareth Webber believes they will be able to meet that deadline, regardless of the weather forecast. 

Last year more than 29,000 people took to the ice during a four-week stint, with an estimated 34 per cent of them coming from out of town.

The surface of the ice must be frozen to a temperature of at least minus 4 degrees Celsius and strong winds and rain can upset the freezing process, Webber said. 

Because of the "unreal" community response they had to it last year, the rink would remain through to mid-August this time, Webber said.

It will open from 10am to 10pm every day until August 18. 

Whether the rink would become a permanent winter fixture in The Square would depend entirely on Palmerston North's response to it in 2013, but at this stage the signs were positive, Webber said.

The owners of the ice rink will not have to pay for the land they are trading on. 

City council recreation and community facilities manager John Brenkley said council was not charging for the land - despite food caravans owners having their rent raised recently - and would pay to reinstate the grass afterwards.

Last year it cost about $10,000 to restore the ground after the use.

It was not a totally free ride for the ice rink owners though, as they would have to pay to use the power council provides to The Square, Mr Brenkley said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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