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Delhi gets its own ice skating rink

india Updated: Dec 15, 2011 01:59 IST
Chetna Dua
Chetna Dua
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Get ready to skate on thin ice as the city now gets an ice rink!

Spread over 15,000 sq ft with a capacity of 200 people and an ice bed of 1-2 inches — the city’s only ice rink, iSKATE, opens in Gurgaon on December 19.
“Being well-travelled and aware of the international trends, youngsters are now bored of the mall and movie routine. They are forever in search of new avenues to explore,” says Ankur Bhatia, executive director, Bird Group, the company behind the venture. The group also plans to open another ice rink in Vasant Kunj, next year.

The 30x15 metres rectangular rink has a bed of 1-2 inches of ice, which is manufactured in imported chillers on a regular basis. A temperature of 20-24 degrees in the rink makes sure the skaters are comfortable.

Fun ‘n’ Frolic

The 15,000 sqft ice rink can accommodate about 200 people at a time. With disco parties on ice, games and fashion shows, the rink is bound to add zing to the city’s winter fun quotient. One can play ice-hockey or broom ball too. “Though it gets very cold out here during winters but unlike the nearby hill stations, it doesn’t snow in the city. However, who doesn’t like playing in snow! So, the first thing that people want to do when they come to an ice rink is touch and feel the snow,” says Bhatia.

Foam parties with a machine on the rooftop from where soft snow will drizzle down, will also be organised. A world cuisine café and bar will make sure one has the energy to soar on the floor. The technicalities of the rink will be looked after by former international skating champion and manager at the Dubai Ice Rink, Richard Rowland. The rink will have six international level trainers to guide the skaters. Skates will be available at the rink on rent for R300-400 per hour. “We are also planning to sell merchandise like skates, figure skating dresses and tracksuits,” says Rowland.

Youngsters in the city are already gung-ho about the idea. “I am excited about the idea of an ice skating in the city. We could only indulge in this sport when travelling abroad,” says Rohan Dawar, 22, a product designer in the city. For interior designer Tania Dureja, 23, the rink was a distant dream. “I have seen stars such as Priyanka Chopra, skate on ice in films. Now, I too will get a chance to try my hand on the sport,” says Dureja.

All that you need to know
What : iSKATE — ice skating rink
When : 10am to 10pm
From : December 19
Where : Sixth Floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
Price : Rs 300 per hour on weekdays (including skates), Rs 400 per hour on weekends (including skates)
Nearest Metro Station : IIFCO Chowk on the Yellow Line

The short-lived ice skating rink
In October 2003, Fun ‘N’ Food village, an amusement park in the Delhi-Gurgaon border, had opened an ice skating rink too. The 60,000 sqft snow park offered ice skating, figure skating, snow skiing, ice hockey and other games. However, it was closed in February 2004 due to license issues and excessive consumption of power.