4. Skat­ing away

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

A fam­ily en­joys an ice-ca­pade in The Square, with the rink up and run­ning for school hol­i­day en­joy­ment.

The Palmer­ston North Ice Rink and Ice Slide has re­turned to the city and will prove to be a pop­u­lar school hol­i­day ac­tiv­ity.

Ice Projects In­ter­na­tional man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig Dou­glas and his team have in­stalled the 35 by 15 me­tre rink in The Square and it’s al­ready open for busi­ness

A week of prepa­ra­tion prior to the rink’s open­ing in­volved lev­el­ling the ground with an in­te­grated floor­ing sys­tem, in­stalling three kilo­me­tres of alu­minium pip­ing clipped to­gether in mod­ules, cov­er­ing it with boards, flood­ing the rink with wa­ter, pump­ing gly­col into the pipes and con­nect­ing power ca­bles to run the chiller sys­tem.

The chiller sys­tem re­duces the tem­per­a­ture to mi­nus 14 de­grees Cel­sius to freeze the wa­ter.

In a first for New Zealand, Craig has in­tro­duc­ing an ice slide in ad­di­tion to the rink.

It’s a near four-me­tre tower on which peo­ple will sit on a rub­ber tube and slide down on to the rink.

‘‘The ice rink and tower are great fun for ev­ery­one.

‘‘It’s a time of cel­e­bra­tion, a time for peo­ple to come out in the mid­dle of win­ter and en­joy them­selves,’’ Craig says .

‘‘What we wanted to do was cre­ate New York’s fa­mous Cen­tral Park ice rink here in Palmer­ston North.’’

Craig is hop­ing the ice rink will in­spire a win­ter fes­ti­val to celebrate the time of year.

He is work­ing closely with Des­ti­na­tion Manawatu to achieve a win­ter Christ­mas party and will stage his own mid-win­ter event on July 5.

‘‘We want to in­volve the com­mu­nity and make it a real cel­e­bra­tion in­clud­ing the singing of Christ­mas car­ols,’’ he says.

Craig’s com­pany is based in Can­ter­bury but he’s now es­tab­lish­ing ice rinks around the world. In 2011 he brought in­ter­na­tional ice hockey to New Zealand where teams from the United States and Canada played ex­hi­bi­tion games in Auck­land, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The tech­nol­ogy that cre­ated the rink the teams played on is the same that makes ice skat­ing pos­si­ble in Palmer­ston North.

In the month that the ice rink and slide in The Square will be in op­er­a­tion in Palmer­ston North (un­til July 19), Craig is hop­ing to at­tract up to 25,000 peo­ple.

‘‘It’s a won­der­ful out­door event for the whole fam­ily. I’m sure it will be a great draw­card for peo­ple in Palmer­ston North and the sur­round­ing re­gion,’’ Craig says.

Tick­ets are $20 adults, $15 chil­dren.



Skaters take to the ice as the Palmer­ston North square Ice Rink opens for the sea­son.

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