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Outdoor Vernon skating rink reopening delayed by warm weather

Ice normally opens Dec. 1, but Mother Nature not allowing it

Those eager to hit the ice outdoors will have to wait a little longer thanks to Mother Nature.

Recreation services staff have been hard at work preparing the Centennial Outdoor Rink to reopen for the 2021/22 season, following last year’s closure due to repairs to the deteriorated chiller system.

While the outdoor ice surface would traditionally open Dec. 1, unseasonabily warm weather has delayed the opening.

“While the outdoor rink is a refrigerated system, its operation is still very much weather dependent,” recreation operations manager Dustin Pridham said. “The new chiller takes care of refrigerating the bottom of the ice surface, but Mother Nature takes care of the top of the ice.”

This past summer, $695,000 in BC Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program grant monies and City of Vernon change was spent on two new chillers for the Centennial Rink and Priest Valley Arena, along with three new energy efficient compressors.

“Not only do the new chillers and compressors allow for us to re-open the Centennial Rink, but they will also improve the safety of the facility and provide significant energy savings for the city,” recreation services director Doug Ross said.

Once the rink can be opened, it will provide opportunities for free public skating and shinny for all ages, and allow them to spend time being active outside with family and friends.

To learn more about skating in Greater Vernon and to see the updated schedule for the Centennial Outdoor Rink, visit

READ MORE: Wednesday temperature highs in Okanagan-Shuswap break century of records

READ MORE: Vernon outdoor rink closed for season


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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