Re-Opening Our Rinks

Covid-19 restrictions started rapidly and before we knew it, within days and weeks, our rinks across the country closed their doors. This has created challenges that we have never seen but it has brought our industry together, collaborating, and planning for the unexpected. As we turn up the dial to open up our industry’s facilities, the health and safety of every employee and patron will be the top priority. Everyone is eager to re-open but many things will need to change and will require a new way of managing our rinks and programs.

State and local guidelines
Designate a staff member that daily reviews state and local updates on re-opening, ensuring that your facility is adhering to guidelines as they can change, such as:
• Social distancing requirements
• How many people can be in your facility at one time

Foodservice requirements
Follow state and local guidelines for what can be safely served or items that should be omitted from use such as:
• Closing vending machines and water fountains
• If concessions are open, what is the safest foods to offer

Changes to personnel requirements will change, such as:
• Updating PTO/Sick time procedures
• Symptom screening for employees and patrons
• PPE use
• Social distancing rules
• Spacing work shifts if possible
• Implementing new training procedures

Updating your current cleaning and operational standards will be essential for patrons to return and reduce risk. Areas to review are:
• Identifying high use areas and equipment and defining if they should be used or closed off
• Purchasing EPA registered cleaning products
• Increase cleaning of restrooms or locker rooms based on usage
• Providing the correct PPE for cleaning staff
• Look at purchasing automatic light control, soap dispensers and dryers for restrooms
• Implementing new training policies facility wide

Daily operations will affect all aspects of your programs. Areas to review are:
• Minimizing employee and patron interactions whenever possible with more online transactions
• Install safe shields at front desks, concessions, skate rental counters
• Close off any areas that do not need to be in use
• Increase signage and floor markers throughout your facility to encourage social distancing and best practices
• Confirm all programming taking place on the ice is following all state and local guidelines

When facilities are able to re-open patrons will want to know that you are following required guidelines. Without that confidence, patrons may choose to not participate in your programs or events. In addition, defining how you will handle all patrons that are not following your guidelines and what actions will be taken will be just as essential. Delivering these updates can be done via:
• Inside your rink
• Website
• Social media
• Email
• Registration email confirmations

*The items above are only a guide to use as you plan and prepare. Always review state and local requirements for full guidance.