Friday, December 13, 2013

Community ice rinks to open soon

Free skates and after-school programs offered

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department employee Bobby Noyes sprays water on the rink site Monday at Atkinson Park. Photo by Willy Cook

     In addition to the figure skating and hockey rinks at Sun Valley Resort, three community skating rinks are scheduled to be open this winter. Hundreds of people each day have skated for free at these rinks over the years, including many children taking part in after-school programs.

     A recent cold snap has allowed the pouring of water for outdoor rinks at Atkinson Park in Ketchum, the rodeo arena in Hailey and Memorial Park in Bellevue.

     “We are open now, but it won’t be level for another week or so,” said Bellevue Parks and Tree Committee Chairman Craig Wolfrom, who has been pouring water with two other volunteers at Memorial Park.

     “It would help if we get some snow to help hold up the borders,” Wolfrom said.

     The Bellevue public rink has no Zamboni, and so will be relatively unconditioned, but will be free and open to the public as long as the ice lasts.

     The nonprofit Hailey Ice moved its rink from Roberta McKercher Park to the floor of the Hailey rodeo arena last year, taking advantage of the restrooms and arena lighting to offer skating from dawn until 10 p.m. for those with their own skating gear.

     Hailey Ice will offer free loaner skates from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. during Christmas break (until Jan. 5) and afterward on weekdays from 2:30-6 p.m., and weekends from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

     The Hailey rink is scheduled to open on Christmas Eve.

     “We will open sooner if we get some snow,” said Sarah Benson, executive director of Hailey Ice. 

     To keep up to date on Hailey Ice programs, go to

     The Christina Potters Ice Rink at Atkinson Park in Ketchum is scheduled to open on Dec. 17.  The rink will be open seven days each week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

     Ketchum skaters can use the free skates, helmets, sticks and pucks that are available at the public rink.

     “The rink is big enough that we can have hockey, figure skating and other events at the same time,” said John Kearny, recreation supervisor for the city of Ketchum.

     For more information on the Ketchum rink programs, go to

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