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Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink to open Nov. 21

Countless disruptions and changes have occurred in the past six months, and it is our hope that the opening of the outdoor Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink in Lithia Park will bring some enjoyment back to the community and help you find your holiday spirit in Ashland’s season of celebration.

In order to keep you safe and utilize resources responsibly, several state-mandated changes will be implemented. To ensure you get the best visit possible, please check our website ashland.or.us/IceRink before every trip to the rink. It will be important to review information about changes in requirements, scheduling and programs before you arrive.

While businesses, community members and many public agencies struggle with the fallout of COVID-19 and the devastating aftermath of the Almeda fire, the expense of putting up and taking down the ice rink cover is not feasible this year. The cost is too great, and coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, an “open-air” rink is safer. Not having a cover over the ice rink will result in more closures, and our website will be updated regularly to keep you informed of daily changes.

To keep you safe and adhere to Oregon Health Authority phase two reopening guidelines, you can expect changes to our capacity, programming and procedures at the rink this season.

  • All visitors and staff at the rink will be required to have face masks or shields covering the nose and mouth at all times.
  • Recreation skating sessions will be two hours long, and the capacity of the rink will be limited to 50 people on the premises, including spectators, at one time.
  • We ask that only those skating, and those needing to provide supervision to minors, visit the rink.
  • No more than 10 people are permitted to arrive at the ice rink in one group.
  • We are unable to accept reservations, and all admissions will be first come, first served.
  • Private and semi-private (two skaters from same household) lessons will be offered for basic, figure and hockey skating.
  • Stick and Puck Hockey sessions will be available from 8 to 9 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday, but organized hockey games are not permitted per OHA guidelines.
  • At the conclusion of each session all patrons must leave the ice rink premises.
  • In between each recreation skating session, one hour will be dedicated to facility and ice maintenance and cleaning the facility to keep our staff and you safe.
  • The facility will be closed to the public when staff is not present. This means free morning skating will not be permitted.

Staff will enforce OHA public health guidelines, including physical distancing requirements and follow workplace protocols required by OHA and OSHA.

We are a public facility and therefore required to follow all OHA guidelines. For that reason the following programs will not be scheduled this year:

  • Adult hockey programs facilitating games
  • Group skating lessons, including team hockey
  • The First Frost event
  • Southern Oregon Adult Hockey Association 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament
  • Free hockey and recreational skating

Our main goal this season is to communicate effectively with our customers. Once the rink is open, you can also call ahead to get information on recreational skating times, when to arrive and what to expect. The direct line to the rink after Nov. 21 is 541-552-2258. The rink will be open through February. If you have questions before Nov. 21, email parksinfo@ashland.or.us or call 541-488-5340.

We hope you can experience one of the most magical places in Ashland, that little outdoor rink in beautiful Lithia Park, where the air is fresh, the white lights are twinkling and the music blends with the sounds of nature and blades on the ice. “Let’s skate!”

Find information on APRC at AshlandParksandRec.org. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Lonny Flora is APRC recreation manager.

The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will open Nov. 21, but it won't have a cover this year. Tidings file photo