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Kelowna  

Convert your backyard into an ice rink, even in 10 C weather

Personal backyard ice rink

Sarita Patel

Have you ever wanted to lace 'em up and skate in your own backyard? Well, thanks to West Coast Ice Rinks, now you can.

Owner Brent Dodge says the concept is nothing new as it’s being done out east, but he wanted to bring it to the Okanagan Valley.

“It’s something nobody is really doing in the Okanagan, no one’s really thought of it and I thought it was a great use of the space … something that the kids absolutely love, so I thought I would turn it into a little bit of a business.”

The Dodge family realized a need for a rink during the COVID-19 pandemic, after driving hours into the mountains to find a place to skate.

Dodge’s daughters Ivy and Emelia have skated on their own rink every day since it was frozen, and they've improved not only their skating skills but their hockey skills.

West Coast Ice Rinks can build a rink on any flat surface and provide natural ice, but in the Okanagan temperatures rarely remain cold enough for the rink to freeze.

“The thing with the Okanagan is that from the end of October until the middle of March it does stay below ten degrees so one of the big products that we offer is a refrigerated chiller system,” he explained.

“Putting in the refrigerated chiller system along and underneath the ice actually allows you to make ice and maintain ice when it’s ten degrees Celsius outside.”

Each rink is custom made, which means they need three weeks for the material to be made and delivered, and up to three months for a refrigerated system.

“It is like one of those things like a pool, it is an investment but the benefit is that it is portable.”

The team offers a service of setting up and tearing down the ice rink yearly, or for the handy people out there, they can teach you how to assemble and disassemble the rink yourself.

“If there is a commercial site or municipality or winery or golf course or anything like that looking to build their brand and add value over the winter months, then an ice rink is a perfect way to do it.”

More information on the company can be found on their website.



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