Ice rink won't return to Hamilton this year

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 08:18 05/12/2013
Hamilton ice skating rink
Fairfax Media

MELTED AWAY: Hamilton won't get to enjoy the popular ice-skating rink this year.

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The man behind Hamilton's mobile ice-skating rink has given the city the cold shoulder, saying dwindling skating numbers means the venture is no longer viable.

The ice rink was a popular attraction during its first season in 2011, drawing 20,000 to Garden Place over 40 days, but numbers fell last year. Gareth Webber, director of Douglas Webber Group, said he had looked at alternative sites in the city, but none were suitable.

"In our first year we got a lot of support from Hamilton City Council and others, which made things a lot easier, plus we had large numbers," Webber said.

"But last year numbers dropped and we made a loss. It was a variable loss and we almost broke even, but if numbers dropped again we'd be in trouble."

Webber said it was unlikely the ice rink would return without more financial support and sponsorship. In 2011 a range of organisations, including the city council, forked out $90,000 to bring the rink to Hamilton.

Not having a suitable power supply in Garden Place bumped up costs, Webber said.

"At the end of the day a lot of costs came into play and we couldn't attract enough people and keep the prices the same and make money... I don't think you'll be seeing us in Hamilton anytime soon. We may look at it again in two years' time?"

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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