Behind-The-Scenes: Sun Valley Ice Rink


By Michelle Bartlome

Sun Valley, Idaho (KMVT-TV) - Sun Valley is well–known for its skiing.

But, there's another activity that's growing in popularity: ice skating.

The Sun Valley Ice Rink opened almost 80 years ago and it continues to be a family tradition for many.

Nestled in the middle of the spectacular Sawtooth Mountain range lays Sun Valley.

It's where you can find a figure skater's dream.

"It's pretty amazing,” said Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Resort.

"It's a destination for ice skating,” said Scott Irvine, Rink Manager.

"This is one of the only outdoor ice rinks that’s uncovered and open to the world year–round. A small rink was built in 1936 when they opened the resort. In the 1950s, it was expanded to the size that it is now,” said Sibbach.

There's a 180 foot by 90 foot outdoor rink and a full sized indoor rink.

So, how does it all work?

"We run close to 400 tons of refrigeration. 4 compressors located underneath the skate house. I've got a staff of maintenance crew that work constantly making sure the ice quality if up to spec. This ice right now is 5 inches thick because of the weather. Ideally, we like it 2 to 2 ½ inches. We adjust the temperature constantly depending on what's going on. If it's hockey, we run a little colder, figure skaters like it a little warmer. We turn the compressors on and off and just constantly monitor and make sure we are getting the ice to the right temperature,” said Irvine.

Getting the temperature right to stay open 365 days a year.

"It just takes a lot of love and dedication."

The outdoor Sun Valley Ice Rink is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. It costs $11 for adults and $9 for children

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