Chubbuck open-air skating rink open for icy businessPublished at | Updated at
CHUBBUCK — A new outdoor skating rink is open and operational in Chubbuck.
Lakeside Rink near Capell Park on Park Lawn Avenue began taking skaters Wednesday night.
Owner Cris Schulz applied for and received approval from the Chubbuck City Council last summer to rebuild what once was a popular ice rink. Now that Lakeside is up and running, he and manager Travis Degeorge have big plans for serving their community.
“We’d love to be able to serve a large section of the community with winter sports so that we can provide a diversion for people to come enjoy southeast Idaho,” Schulz told EastIdahoNews.com.
Schulz said that eventually, Lakeside will be able to expand its rink to a standard hockey size of 200-feet by 85-feet. There is also the potential for Lakeside to serve fans of another popular winter Olympic sport.
“We certainly want to bring back hockey. There was a pretty good hockey facility here,” he said. “But hockey and figure skating don’t coexist together at the same time. Eventually, we’d love to be able to have figure skating and hockey, and other things, like curing. People love that.”
The process of making ice and creating a skating surface, one-eighth of an inch at a time, is elaborate — and one for which Degeorge is responsible.
Each night, Degeorge sprays a new layer of water onto the surface, leaving it to freeze overnight. He returns in the morning and sprays on another layer.
But due to the elements, Degoerge, who is new to the process of making ice, is having to re-examine his plan daily.
“I learned my lesson today,” he said. “I sprayed it at 11:30 (a.m.) when it was still cloudy, then the sun came out right after that and it’s been a challenge to get it to ice up since then.”
Sun has caused an issue, despite the subfreezing temperatures.
The plan for combatting sun issues includes further expansion, according to Schulz.
“Eventually, what we’d like to do — we’ve talked to the mayor and city council — we love open-air rinks, but we really need a roof to help shade,” he said. “If we had a roof, we’d be home free.”
Below the surface, a system of 1,500 cooling hoses cycles sugar-water antifreeze from a massive cooling system stationed near the rink to maintain ice integrity.
Once the full four-inch sheet is complete, Degeorge’s focus will be recommitted to creating and maintaining a pristine skating surface. Lakeside houses two Zambonis, Schulz said, which will smooth the ice two or three times a night.
Lakeside Rink is open seven days a week, from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. Children 12 and under can skate at Lakeside for $6, everyone else is $8. The price includes the cost of skate rental. Anyone who brings their own skates will receive a $2 discount.
The rink can also be reserved for parties and school trips. Reservations can be made here.