Ice rink hot idea for city

Hamilton's Garden Place is set to enjoy a slice of European-styled enchantment

LOUISE RISK
Last updated 14:24 26/08/2011
Skate on: An example of an ice rink in a European city. Hamilton will get its own temporary ice rink next month.
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Skate on: An example of an ice rink in a European city. Hamilton will get its own temporary ice rink next month.

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Hamilton's Garden Place is set to enjoy a slice of European-styled enchantment when an ice rink with all the whimsical trimmings is set up there next month.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker confirmed yesterday a contract had been signed to bring an ice rink to the city for 40 days from September 15 – the timing coinciding with the Rugby World Cup through to Labour Weekend.

Event promoter Craig Douglas, of Douglas Webber Group, said the rink coming to Hamilton was part of a larger rink brought to New Zealand from Holland for a series of international ice hockey matches between the United States and Canada.

Setting up the 525sqm rink would take three days and 75,000 litres of water, and create an experience unlike anything seen in Hamilton before.

A la A large section of Garden Place would become a raised platform topped with the 10cm thick ice rink, with fairy lights strung nearby, music playing over the loudspeaker, and bands performing live at peak times.

"It will be a really good family atmosphere, and we're also promoting the idea of skate-for-a-date," Mr Douglas said.

The entry fee – $20 for adults and teenagers, $15 for children 12 and younger – gives skaters access to one of 4000 pairs of new skates, and as much skating as they like, up to 12 hours if they stay on the ice from the rink's 10am opening until its 10pm closing each day.

Coaches will also be on the ice during the day to help newcomers.

"Within five minutes of being with a coach my two-year-old twins were skating by themselves," Mr Douglas said. "It's a sport everyone can enjoy."

Ms Hardaker said bringing the ice rink to the city for 40 days cost $90,000, which included the power to run it.

The cost to each sponsor – HCC, Grassroots Trust, Waikato Security Services, Hamilton/Waikato Tourism, Waipa District Council and Waikato District Council – was "commercially sensitive and so remains confidential".

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- Waikato Times

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