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Hard times hit Phuket's only community ice rink


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Hard times hit Phuket's only community ice rink

 

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Phuket's only ice rink that provides community activities and helps charities is in dire straits due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.

 

Ice Arena Phuket operates non-dual price activities on ice. Among the activities has been free skating for a children's orphanage, activities surrounding Red Cross blood donations, community bring and buy sales and discounted ice skating for Phuket schoolchildren. 

 

Opened by Lee Bailey who has been in Phuket for 16 years and other long term expats, the arena has already appealed for help to stay open appealing for help to stay open. 

 

A funding campaign launched earlier this year stated:

 

Ice Arena Phuket is hoping on your support to raise 2 Million Thai Baht to keep our community ice skating rink open during these hard times. We are a private organisation who built this project as a community project for local children and adults to be able to ice skate and participate in team events. We have received an official letter that our landlords will start legal proceedings if we do not come up with the funds before the end of the month.

 

Unfortunately with this virus lockdown being extended month on month, we had to keep our ice making machine running on the basis that the following month, we could open and continue business. This was not the case as the full lockdown took effect meaning that we could no longer open our doors to the public. Due to these unheard of circumstances, we are now unable to afford to cover the past electricity bills for maintaining the ice.

 

The news comes as Thailand appears no closer to opening up the country to foriegn tourists. The much anticipated ‘Special Tourist Visa’ scheme, would offer albeit a small number of foreign tourists to enter Thailand, and Phuket, was last week suddenly delayed. 

 

The first batch of STV tourists are now scheduled to arrive in Thailand on Oct 26.

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-10-12
 
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I considered going there with the kids, but due to pricing decided against it. So I have not been, but speaking to others, doubt this is an activity with a big demand here.

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11 hours ago, stevenl said:

I considered going there with the kids, but due to pricing decided against it. So I have not been, but speaking to others, doubt this is an activity with a big demand here.

 

I just looked at their website - 250 baht to go ice skating? You're right stevenl, that's insane.

 

I'm going to email them now and ask if they could do 50% off for foreign pensioners.

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17 hours ago, webfact said:

The first batch of STV tourists are now scheduled to arrive in Thailand on Oct 26.

Errrrr which year will that be exactly .........LOL

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7 hours ago, nkg said:

 

I just looked at their website - 250 baht to go ice skating? You're right stevenl, that's insane.

 

I'm going to email them now and ask if they could do 50% off for foreign pensioners.

Thanks, but that wouldn't help me.

 

But glad to hear their prices have been reduced.

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From what I understand, it all started when Covid arrived and the Ice arena had to continue running the Ice machine otherwise it would be one large swimming pool. The biggest problem are the rink barriers which the ice supports in place. These would collapse, making it very difficult to refreeze them in position on the ice.  Then of course all recreation on the island was halted due to social distancing etc. They still had to cover rent and electricity etc. Now with the economic downturn, people just don't have that much disposable income.

 

It seems Thais are one of their biggest customers. I've seen young Thai figure skaters practicing their jumps and spins. Was at one of their first 4 days ice hockey tournaments. That place was packed with hundreds of thais from all over thailand. I think there were 20+ teams, many from all over S.E. Asia. Im not into ice hockey myself, I was passing to villa mart and was curious about the huge crowd of thais outside the venue and to went to take a look. 

 

Personally I think it is an ideal place to take the kids for something to do on an island where there are few safe places for the young to have fun in a safe, friendly environment especially if you want to dump the kids and go shopping or chill in the warm  upstairs restaurant while watching the kids.

 

I like the idea they have no dual pricing unlike many venues in Phuket. I recall my non thai son going out with his thai school friends to a "Water Park" and having to pay double price compared to is thai friends. How fair is that?

I understand their prices include all skate, helmet hire and there is no entrance fee which makes it a great deal. We follow them on facebook so are informed of any upcoming activities and special offers. 

 

I used to take my son to their Saturday night "Disco on ice" parties which looked a lot of fun.

 

Personally, I think it is a great community place for all. If you have not been, then at least take a look.

 

 

 

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