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Skating at Olympic Plaza starts this weekend

Outdoor rink hosted 44,000 skaters last winter

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It's just about time to strap on the skates for some winter fun at the Olympic Plaza ice rink, which opens Dec. 10.

Each winter the Resort Municipality of Whistler, in partnership with the Province of B.C., transforms Olympic Plaza into a rink with room for up to 150 skaters at a time.

Last winter, an estimated 44,000 people skated at the plaza.

The rink will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with closures for maintenance planned daily between 2 and 3 p.m. and 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and skates can be rented for $6, up from $5 last year. Helmets are also available free of charge.

The municipality rented 29,126 pairs of skates in 2015-16, generating $145,000 in revenue.

Special holiday hours will be in place for Dec. 24 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.); Christmas Day (12 to 4 p.m.); and New Year's Eve (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.).

The last day of skating at the plaza is scheduled for March 26.

The rink may close unexpectedly in the event of extreme weather. For up to date information, call 604-935-7529, ext. 3. The rink is also available for private rentals seven days a week from 9 to 10 p.m. Contact Petra Gier at pgier@whistler.ca or 604-935-8366 to book.

If skating al fresco isn't your style, indoor ice skating is also open to the public at the Meadow Park Sports Centre.

Meadow Park will also play host to St. Nick himself on Dec. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. for Santa Skate, hosted by the Whistler Skating Club, which will also perform. Entry is by donation to the Whistler Food Bank.

For more information about public skating times, check out the monthly drop-in schedule at whistler.ca/recreation.

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