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6 Ice Rink Operational Costs You Save Money On With Synthetic Ice

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Are you planning an event, developing a hospitality venue, or constructing a commercial ice rink? Deciding between traditional and synthetic ice may pose a significant challenge. Each has its unique allure—the authentic glide and chill of natural ice against synthetic ice’s remarkable durability and cost-effectiveness. It’s quite the decision, but we’re here to guide you about ice rink operational costs you save money on with synthetic ice.

This article will enlighten you on six key ice rink operational cost areas where synthetic ice could prove financially advantageous. Understanding these factors could substantially influence your decision-making process from installation to maintenance, temperature control, and beyond. 

If you find yourself intrigued and wanting to dig deeper, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at KwikRink. Our team of experts is well-equipped and eager to provide further insight to help you make the best choice for your unique needs.

6 Operational Costs You Can Forget About With Synthetic Ice

Let’s delve into the details of synthetic ice’s operational savings.

1. Installation

The installation process presents the first major operational cost when creating an ice rink, and this is where synthetic ice begins to shine. Traditional ice rinks require an extensive process involving flooding a large area, freezing the water, and then preparing it for skaters. This process is not only labor-intensive, but it also takes several days, during which time customer reservations cannot be accommodated, impacting your revenue.

Conversely, synthetic ice considerably simplifies the process with its innovative interlocking tiles design. Rather than a drawn-out preparation period, these tiles can be assembled more swiftly.  While the exact timing depends on various factors like the size of the rink and the number of laborers, the ease of assembly generally allows for a much quicker installation process compared to traditional ice. This not only results in significant savings on labor costs but also minimizes the downtime of your rink, ensuring your customers can start enjoying the facility sooner.

2. Maintenance

Ice Rink Operational Costs - Ice resurfacer smoothing and polishing the surface of the ice rink

A significant portion of ice rink operational costs is allocated to maintenance, and here, synthetic ice offers significant cost savings. Unlike traditional ice that requires laborious and constant care to keep it smooth and safe, synthetic ice, comprised of high-density polyurethane (HDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyurethane (UHMWPE), demands much less upkeep.

Its high resistance to wear and tear and independence from temperature regulation simplifies the maintenance process considerably. Cleaning is necessary to maintain a top-notch skating surface, but the care intensity is significantly lower than for natural ice. Consequently, synthetic ice drastically curtails maintenance costs, enhancing its economic appeal.

3. Disassembly

Synthetic ice also offers cost-saving advantages when it comes to disassembly. Any required fixes or changes can be quite troublesome for a traditional ice rink. In most cases, the entire ice surface needs to be melted, repaired, and then refrozen, which incurs significant labor and energy costs, not to mention downtime when the rink is unavailable to customers.

With synthetic ice, the modular nature of the panels simplifies this process. Should a panel become damaged or require replacement, you can easily disassemble a limited area of the rink. This convenience significantly cuts down on both labor costs and the amount of time the rink is out of operation, thereby reducing potential loss of revenue. 

4. Controlling Temperature

Operating a traditional ice rink optimally requires a consistently cold environment, making it a fitting choice for regions with lower average temperatures throughout the year. However, keeping the ice from melting in warmer climates necessitates significant temperature control, often translating into the requirement for substantial air conditioning systems.

The costs associated with such temperature regulation are twofold: the initial investment in large-scale air conditioning units and the recurring high electricity bills that come with their operation. Over time, these costs can significantly impact your bottom line.

Conversely, synthetic ice’s performance remains consistently high irrespective of the ambient temperature, offering smooth gliding without the need for cooling systems. This inherent characteristic significantly reduces the need for, and the costs associated with, air conditioning maintenance.

5. Reinstallation

In the realm of ice rink operational costs, the topic of reinstallation often goes unnoticed until it becomes a necessity. With a traditional ice rink, the lifespan of the ice surface rarely extends beyond a season. Once the ice quality deteriorates, it calls for a complete replacement, a process that incurs substantial costs and necessitates a shutdown period, leading to potential revenue losses.

Synthetic ice presents a starkly different scenario. Thanks to its robust construction featuring HDPE and UHMWPE, a synthetic ice surface can retain its performance quality for an impressive 12-15 years if maintained properly.

With a dramatically reduced need for reinstallation, synthetic ice curtails one of the larger recurring ice rink operational costs, adding to its overall economic appeal. The extended lifespan translates into direct cost savings and reduces disruption to your business by eliminating frequent shutdown periods for ice replacement.

6. Indoor vs. Outdoor Rink

indoor Ice Hockey Rink , hockey arena.

Indoor rinks require an investment in or rental of a suitable facility, along with the costs associated with lighting and temperature control. Traditional ice demands constant low temperatures to prevent melting, necessitating energy-intensive air conditioning systems. Alongside these expenses, you’d also need to factor in the cost of artificial lighting to ensure the rink’s usability throughout the day.

On the other hand, outdoor synthetic ice rinks bypass many of these cost-heavy requirements. Synthetic ice’s performance doesn’t rely on temperature control, eradicating the need for high-energy-consuming cooling systems. Outdoor settings naturally mitigate the need for extensive artificial lighting, particularly during daylight hours, translating into reduced electricity bills.

In essence, synthetic ice offers a cost-efficient, climate-resilient solution for outdoor rinks, resulting in substantial operational savings over indoor traditional ice rinks. 

Related: Indoor or Outdoor Synthetic Rinks? The Right Option for Your Business 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Synthetic Ice Affect Skating Smoothness?

KwikRink synthetic ice closely emulates natural ice, offering about 90% of its glide factor. This slight increase in resistance enhances the skating experience by providing an enjoyable challenge and a unique opportunity to improve skating skills.

How Can I Take Care of My Synthetic Ice Rink?

Since synthetic ice is low maintenance, you only need to sweep it regularly, clean off any dust or debris as a result of skating, and wipe it with a wet mop.

Maximize Value and Efficiency with Synthetic Ice

Opting for synthetic ice dramatically cuts down operational costs. The straightforward installation and disassembly of synthetic ice panels simplify both setup and maintenance, saving on labor and downtime. Its durability reduces the need for frequent reinstallation, and its performance remains unaffected by ambient temperature, eliminating the costly need for cooling systems. Additionally, synthetic ice opens up the economic possibility of outdoor rink installation, avoiding the costs of indoor facilities. 

If you’re involved in creating or managing ice rinks, synthetic ice offers a cost-effective, high-performance solution tailored to your needs. Reach out to us at KwikRink to explore the wide-ranging benefits of synthetic ice for your enterprise.

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