The ice season officially begins Saturday with The Pavilion opening its doors for skating and more.
Many hours of precision and work goes in to creating the right surface for many of Central Oregon’s favorite winter activities. Both The Pavilion and Seventh Mountain Resort are working to ensure their rinks are ready for opening day.
“It’s quite the process,” said Justin Wellman, recreation manager at Seventh Mountain. “Ultimately, water wants to freeze from the top down naturally.”
Each rink utilizes a dedicated crew.
“This year, we put down about 48 layers with the spray boom, then we put three layers of white paint down and then we put about 12 layers with the spray boom down,” Pavilion Manager Clare Gordon said. “Then we get the Zamboni out there and we start building with the Zamboni.”
The rinks must be built in pieces, with very thin layers at a time. Each layer 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch of water, then frozen into ice.
The process is made easier when its colder. It means Gordon and her crew alter their sleep schedules, at least temporarily.
“We live kind of funny little lives for a week and we work overnight,” she said. “We jump into this and build ice from about 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Yeah, it’s a long week, but it’s a really rewarding process.”
“At the end you get this beautiful sheet of ice, and you get to skate on it, curl on it and do all the things.”
The rink at Seventh Mountain Resort is scheduled to open November 17.
Here is more from Bend Park and Recreation District on what to expect this season at The Pavilion:
The 2023-24 ice season is expected to run through early April, weather permitting. The Pavilion will be open from pre-dawn to late night, seven days a week, including public open skate opportunities and the return of adult and youth hockey leagues and curling.
Weekly schedules are available here. All public skate sessions are drop-in with rental skates available and no reservation needed. Skaters are encouraged to bring their helmet or borrow one at The Pavilion.
The Pavilion team worked hard behind the scenes and during the overnight hours into the mornings for the past week to build and prepare the ice sheet for activities. Timing works well for an upcoming Halloween Skate on Oct. 31 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Costumes are welcome but are not required. The $6 per person fee includes rental skates.
Discount passes are now available for The Pavilion for season pass or multi-visit passes. A season pass offers quick check-ins and is valid for all public skate sessions, from season’s opening until the season’s end in April.
Ice Season Passes purchased through Oct. 31 save 10% from regular prices. Multi-visit passes offer a 20% discount and offer quick check-ins too. Sold for 10 and more visits, prices vary for youth and honored citizens to adults.
The Pavilion offers skate sharpening for $8 and new skate sharpening is $15. Drop-offs are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. Early season turnaround can be a little longer due to high volume of skates.
Youth and adult hockey programs, curling and skate lessons begin next week along with hockey clinics and specialized ice times for hockey and curling. Many programs for now through December are nearly full with limited availability for registration now in adult and youth learn to skate and learn to curl programs at .
A second session of ice skating and sports programs, offered from January to March, will open for registration Dec. 4 to Dec. 6.