Ice skating rinks preparing to open despite massive energy costs
Dutch ice skating rinks will open this year according to schedule. But, without government support, it is unclear if they will be able to keep up with rising energy costs, according to Trouw.
Several weeks ago, it seemed that many ice skating enthusiasts would have to put away their skates during the coming winter, as rinks warned they could not open due to the price of energy. The Association of Ice Rinks in the Netherlands (VKN) has now announced the 22 ice skating rinks will open after all –– in part because they fears losing their customer base for good.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to run a full season for two years,” Dennis van Rijnvis, chairman of the VKN, told Trouw. “If we don't open fully again now, you will see members of skating clubs walk away and not come back. We can't afford that."
However, making ice and keeping it frozen uses a lot of energy. The VKN estimates that energy costs, which are usually 8 to 10 percent of a rink's expenditure, could take up 40 to 50 percent of rinks' budgets this winter.
There is no support for ice rinks coming from the central government as of yet, although some municipalities have stepped in to ease the burden on skating rinks. Van Rijnvis recommended an emergency fund similar to what businesses received during the coronavirus pandemic. “Without government support, it will soon be over."