BONNERS FERRY — The community now has the opportunity to glide across the ice — except it is not actually ice — day or night throughout the winter. On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Memorial Park Ice Rink celebrated its grand opening,
The one hundred by forty foot ice rink is made up of synthetic materials, which eliminates the previous problems suffered due to inconsistent weather and temperature.
“It is a high density plastic that goes together in sheets and you skate on it with regular metal bladed ice skates, just like you would on regular ice,” said Brandon Glaza, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Boundary County Parks and Recreation.
The ice rink, located in the Boundary County Fairgrounds Pavilion, also known as the slab, will be open from now until March, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There is a timed light switch at the southwest corner, allowing people to enjoy skating even after dark.
The ice rink is free to use, and for those without skates, they are available locally to rent through Far North Outfitters for $6 a day. For those with their own skates, Glaza recommends keeping them sharp to use on the synthetic ice.
“Sharp skates are important. I have skated on it with dull skates and sharp skates, and it is night and day,” said Glaza. “We have partnered with Far North and they sharpen skates at their business on Main Street, so that is a critical thing for enjoying this.”
People who use the ice rink are asked to wear helmets. There will be some available to use at the rink, or people can bring their own.
As for the synthetic ice, it is made by KwikRink, a family-owned company based in Minnesota. Funding for the rink was made possible by Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health High Five, the Innovia Foundation, BNSF Railway, and Boundary County Parks and Recreation, while volunteers worked hard to bring the ice rink to life.
“Special thanks to Rob Tompkins, Rodney LePoidevan, and Steve Petesch,” said Glaza.
Although they don’t currently have any planned activities for the ice rink, Glaza hopes to see some groups utilize the rink for activities, such as hockey.
“It has more resistance than real ice, so it is a little more work, but it will be able to be used through the season, when real ice may be unavailable,” said Glaza. “We are trying to get some exercise and activity options for these dark, early winter months. This is something that fills that niche. It’s exciting.”