Skating pond ready at driving range |

Skating pond ready at driving range

Scott N. Miller

VAIL – The Vail Golf Course driving range won’t have a giant bubble sitting on top of it this season, but there will be ice.Working as much on the cheap as possible, the Vail Recreation District has put up some low boards, turned on the hoses, and created a free, informal skating rink that should open in the next few days and, weather permitting, stay open into February.”We’ve had people working from midnight to 6 a.m. getting it ready,” Vail Recreation District Director Dennis Stein said. “We should have a good enough surface to open soon.”Don’t expect anything more than basic ice, though.”This is purely recreational,” Stein said. There are boards around the rink, but they’re no taller than two feet, and mainly intended to stop water that’s poured on the rink. There’s no Zamboni, but a crew will scrape the surface smooth from time to time.While there are no scheduled activities at the East Vail rink, it is free. And, depending on who uses it, Stein said he may put out a couple of goal nets for those who want to play pick-up hockey.”It’s good to see they’re putting it up,” said Stephen Connolly, who was involved earlier this year in a last-ditch effort to keep the inflatable “ice bubble” at the driving range for another season.”It will be a great amenity for guests and people who want to do some old-fashioned skating,” he said. “But can it replace the bubble? No.”With the bubble in storage and for sale, it’s probably not coming back. And, Stein said, the cash-strapped recreation district will see how many people use the free rink before deciding whether to do it again next season.”We’ll do our best to track use,” Stein said. “We’ll have people driving past a few times a day just to see how many people are out there.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or’s not there• Skate rentals• Supervision• Scheduled activities• Fees==============Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

Support Local Journalism