NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)-- Skaters in Norwich are excited to finally lace up their ice skates again. The municipal rink which has had a host of problems over the past few years is hoping for a fresh start after a summer on ice.
The rink has been plagued with infighting and financial troubles but what finally shut it down was when the 17-year-old chiller broke down last May.
A temporary chiller now cools the Norwich Ice Rink open for the first time in five months.
A new sleek layer of ice and the hope for a new opportunity to succeed.
"The less ice the more efficient the rink runs. Easier to maintain good ice if you don't get too thick," said Doug Roberts, General Manager.
The rink closed in May when the old chiller failed. Now after a long hot summer, new general manager Doug Roberts is hoping to chip away at the $400,000 debt he inherited and build a successful business by developing new skaters and new interest in the municipal rink.
"The youth hockey program for example had up to 400 kids in the program. We're down to 100 kids in the program now," said Roberts.
A lot of water comes out of the back of the Zamboni and that's because they are still trying to build up the ice. So for now this rink is still off limits. But was ready for the first figure skaters to take the ice Tuesday afternoon.
"That's fantastic, so I'll be one of the first ones," said Rachel Bailey, Skating Coach.
Coaches and skaters finally back home.
"We've been driving everywhere with our private students. We've been going to Cromwell and Bolton," said Bailey.
Ideally the rink which runs on an annual budget in excess of $600,000 should be self sufficient. But in the past few years Roberts says it has been subsidized by the city.
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