Riley Rink decides against summer ice

MANCHESTER - The Board of Directors of Hunter Park have decided not to make ice this summer.

The decision means all summer ice programs, including Camp Freeze, will be cancelled.

"It was a tough decision - and a decision we didn't take lightly," said Board President Adria Schozer. "But we are committed to the long-term sustainability of this organization and summer ice at Rile Rink loses money."

Riley Rink had sscheduled a shortened summer ice season for 2014, hoping to fill more vacant slots in a three week period.

"The demand just wasn't there," Interim Executive Director of Hunter Park Stephen Murphy. "Many of our winter customers are involved in summer activities and the low numbers make the economics challenging."

Murphy also said that most of the hockey instructional camps, who rent ice time at Riley Rink, were reporting low numbers in their enrollment as well.

"The Northshire is a challenging place to run an ice rink," said Board Treasurer Patrick Zilkha. "We don't have the population base or municipal support that most rinks have. So we have to be very focused on containing our costs."

The rink had run a six week summer ice program for the last 10 years.

Hunter Park will still be hosting a variety of events and athletic programming this summer.

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra returns to Riley Rink for a rain-or-shine concert on July 2.

Four on the Fourth, the annual 4K run/walk and 1K kids run returns to Hunter Park on July 4. The Summertime Antique Show will be on the lawn of Hunter Park on July 12.

Hunter Park is also launching youth street hockey, flag football and ultimate Frisbee leagues thsi summer. Visit their website,, for more details.

"This is a critical time for Hunter Park," said Schozer. "We tightened our belts and now we need to focus on strengthening winter programs and adding summer events. But we need the community's support and involvement. Donations to our annual fund can be made online - and we're always looking for volunteers - especially with school-skate and figure skating."

Those interested in getting involved can contact Stephen Murphy at 362-0150.


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