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Outdoor ice rink built at Courtenay’s Simms Park in time for festival

COURTENAY — An outdoor synthetic ice rink that will be one of the big draws of the upcoming Winter Bites Festival has been constructed at Simms Park in Courtenay.

COURTENAY — An outdoor synthetic ice rink that will be one of the big draws of the upcoming Winter Bites Festival has been constructed at Simms Park in Courtenay.

Volunteers built the platform to support the 3,000-square-foot rink that will be the focus of a series of pond hockey jamborees as well as being open to the public and school groups for skating.

The 73-by-43-foot structure is covered so enthusiasts can keep playing whatever the weather. The covering will extend to the spectator bleachers, which will be heated. As well as keeping costs down by the use of many eager construction volunteers working under the guidance of site manager Brian Woods, local companies and organizations have helped by providing free or reduced-priced materials and equipment as well as manpower.

Specialist company BH Skating International is supplying the rink, which recently saw active service alongside the Winter Classic NHL Arena in Michigan.

The first Winter Bites Festival is an initiative of Comox Valley Economic Development Society, drawing on funds generated by the new two per cent additional hotel room tax.