Traffic on ice set to heat up as skating rinks reopen
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - After being closed for months, skating rinks were finally given the green light to re-open when Governor Roy Cooper announced Phase 2.5 a little over a week ago.
This weekend, the Carolina IceZone in Greenville was among those skating rinks to open the ice back up to their guests.
“I felt excited. I felt like I had a new opportunity to finally be apart of something and it just felt great,” says ice skater Alec Wright, who has resorted to roller skating outside and playing video games during the pandemic.
Though the re-opening of the Carolina IceZone does come with some new ground rules.
Everyone entering the rink must have their temperature checked at the door, and guests are required to wear a mask everywhere except on the ice.
“While their tying their skates, if they’re walking to the restrooms, they’ll need to wear their mask,” explains owner Stephanie Bardykin.
While the re-opening will help restore some sense of normalcy at the IceZone, they’re still feeling the effects of the six month long closure.
“We have really large electricity bills, we have a big building with a huge building lease,” Bardykin explains.
While the rink was allowed to run their summer day camps, that revenue didn’t make up for the money that was lost.
“We’ve been allowed to defer most of our bills, but they’re still there and they’re going to have to be paid off,” adds Bardykin.
The lack of public skating, scheduled lessons, and more has taken a toll on the rink; especially with the summer being hot and the rink having to stay cool.
“Our bills just drastically go up during those summer months, so we just couldn’t win,” Bardykin says.
But she hopes the cool ice can overcome the heat of the bills.
Carolina IceZone says each two-hour skate session has a limited capacity and only paid skaters can come into into the building, spectators are not allowed.
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