Arena has officially launched its ice-skating season for winter 2020, with a range of Gold Standard health and safety measures to ensure a COVID-19 safe environment for its visitors and staff.
The exciting news bucks the trend of high-profile event cancellations this year and follows an unprecedented collaboration across the industry to create a Gold Standard for temporary ice rink winter attractions.
Heightened health and safety measures will be in operation at all seven of Arena’s managed ice rinks across the UK, which return in November and include iconic venues such as Hampton Court Palace, Warwick Castle and The Queens House, Greenwich.
The new safety measures, which are in line with, or exceed, government guidelines for COVID-19, include bigger rinks to enable greater social distancing, increased hygiene, robust sanitization systems and staggered start times so less people are on the ice at any one time.
Rob Derry, Managing Director of Arena Events Group, said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce the launch of our ice skating events for 2020, which has only come about following months of consultation with industry experts about how to ensure our sites are as COVID-safe as possible.
“We’ve teamed up with other members of the industry, some of whom are our competitors, to find a solution that works for everyone – staff, customers and stakeholders – and we’re confident that we’ve come up with a plan to deliver a COVID-safe environment.”
Mr Derry said the decision to run this year’s winter ice rink attractions is a boost not only for visitors and the employees who work at them but the hospitality industry and economy as a whole.
He said: “Winter attractions for the domestic market are more important than ever following a challenging summer of lockdown and lack of international visitors, so we’re hoping our confidence in opening will not only keep staff employed but also help the hospitality industry get back on its feet, as the rinks generate footfall to an array of businesses nearby.
“Of course, we also need people to come, but we’ve been encouraged by strong visitor levels at other attractions that have been open this year, as well as positive feedback and genuine customer appetite for the ice rinks to return. We’ve been inundated with enquiries about when tickets are going on sale, so it seems people are reluctant to give up their traditional Christmas skating experience.”
Mr Derry’s claims are backed up by a recent survey* of previous customers at five Arena managed ice rink attractions, which revealed that 72 per cent were ‘likely’ or ‘absolutely’ going to book ice skating this year.
Those that book will enjoy a fabulous festive atmosphere while they glide on the ice, as well as a host of additional family-friendly attractions to enjoy at some of the venues including food and drink stalls, Christmas markets and more.
As well as running managed ice rink events, Arena also supplies (real ice) ice rinks for hire, with its impressive client list including city councils, garden centres, attractions, hotels and stately homes.
The company provides full consultation on how to run an ice rink event as well as ensure health and safety in the current challenging environment. Winter ice rink attractions can support city councils in their recovery plans and enable commercial event businesses to recoup lost summer revenue.
“Our ice rinks look fantastic and make for a great visitor experience, which I think is much needed, and will be much appreciated, after such an extraordinary year,” said Mr Derry.
“They can also help businesses, venues and councils generate income and increase footfall in areas that have been devastated by COVID. By taking the lead and confidently launching our own managed sites I hope we can encourage others and help the events industry through this crisis.”
Tickets are now on sale for a selection of Arena’s winter ice rink attractions.
Visit arenagroup.digitickets.co.uk/branches to book.
* 2,000 previous customers across five of Arena’s managed events were surveyed on 20 July 2020.