#TravelMarkt: City of Toronto allows rink operators to open earlier this year in season

The city of Toronto recently made an interesting change to its rink-permit rules and is taking notice. Rink operators are no longer required to wait at least eight hours before starting operation of a…

#TravelMarkt: City of Toronto allows rink operators to open earlier this year in season

The city of Toronto recently made an interesting change to its rink-permit rules and is taking notice.

Rink operators are no longer required to wait at least eight hours before starting operation of a skating rink on a weekday in the city, or at least 12 hours before the next weekday day.

This means that if a rink on a weekday is still closed when its scheduled to open on the next day, it can open regardless of how cold or snowy it is.

Prior to the rule change, rink operators were required to wait until at least noon on the Friday following their first Thursday to open their rink.

And because this rule was in place for at least eight hours, the impact was significant.

On one day this past weekend, of the 70 day-old city of Toronto sites that had a skating rink open on the previous Friday, less than one of those sites came open for business until 8 a.m. on Saturday, NBC affiliate CJOB reported.

And due to the rules, Saturday’s turnout at City of Toronto spots was so sparse that people had to wait on lines of at least an hour to get inside some of the sites.

In recent years, rink operators have reported that keeping four or five days worth of parts, supplies and even facility personnel ready for the three to five-hour wait between the time their opening is announced and the time of opening was important to them.

Now, operators are reporting that there are four days worth of time off between open days, meaning that they can keep the rink set and ready.

This change was made as Toronto continues to be in the grips of a frigid – much more so than in years past – winter, with the mercury set to fall as low as -23 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday.

This fall, the city of Toronto, St. Clair Community College, the Richmond Hill Athletics and the Canada Hockey League also eased the season’s opening.

Yee! NHL! You can add hockey to the list!

Canadians know how important, and fun, these hard-core winter activities can be, and using their schedule as a marketing tool, see this change as a smart way to get their message across.

We believe that it will pay off.

Larry Schirmer is the director of public affairs for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

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