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Ice skating provides activity for those escaping the heat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona is a great place for outdoor activities — just not now.

When the mercury goes deep into triple digits, Arizonans might be looking for a good place to stay cool. An ice rink might be a good choice.

High temperatures usually increase the numbers of skaters and visitors at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, said Marcy Fileccia, vice president of marketing and communications for Ice Den Scottsdale and Ice Den Chandler.

“We definitely see a spike in our public skate attendance during the summer, and when heat waves come in, the calls and inquires increase tenfold,” Fileccia said.

And why not? The Ice Den keeps the air at 58 degrees, and the ice at 18 degrees.

“People, when they think hot, then they try to start to think cold, and there’s not a lot of cold options in Arizona, so I think we come to mind naturally,” Fileccia said.

Bill Williams of Scottsdale said he hasn’t been on ice skates in decades. But, our searing heat has convinced him to give it a try.

“Well, when it hits 120, we’re looking for anything that’s indoor in air conditioning. And, it’s either this or bowling or anything that we can find that’s cool,” Williams said.

President of Ice Den Scottsdale and Ice Den Chandler Mike O’Hearn said the keeping the air and ice at optimal temperatures when it’s so hot outside presents a bit of a challenge.

“The plant has to work a little harder, but we’re ready for that.”

He said the facility has three compressor units, usually operating on one compressor most of the year, but sometimes adds the second one.

“In this type of heat, you’ll often kick up into your third one, because it does work a little bit harder and it will come on a little more frequently,” he said. “As we come into this weather, we’re checking everything. We’re making sure that everything is up to speed.”

O’Hearn said the way the building is constructed also helps keep it cool all year long.

Fileccia suggested that anyone who wants to spend time at the Ice Den should check the website for the times of public skating.

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