BVI News

Ice-skating rink coming to the BVI next month

VISAR’s Julie Schneider

The British Virgin Islands will be welcoming its first-ever synthetic ice-skating rink which will be part of the Virgin Islands Search & Rescue’s (VISAR) Winter Wonderland, hosted by the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park next month.

This was announced by VISAR’s Executive Creative Director, Julie Schneider at a media briefing on Thursday. She said the rink will open from Saturday, November 28 and till Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

“This has been in the works for the last 16 to 18 months. The board thought long and hard about whether this was the appropriate time to bring the rink to the BVI and, hands-down, we also have to do it for the community. We needed something that we could be excited about, that we could bring the family to, we can be active,” Schneider said.

She added: “I found a company called Glice and they are out of Switzerland and they make synthetic ice skating rinks and that means that there is no electricity, there are no power venues so it’s good for the environment and it’s really good for ice hockey, so you can actually skate on it.”

For both kids and adults

Schneider also said the rink will be accessible to both children and adults with reasonable rates to be offered.

“The little ones that have never gone skating before; we have little rails that they can hold onto the walkers. Of course there will be the railings so if you can try it out … For 30 minutes on the ice it’s $10 and I think that is a reasonable amount. We will also have a little playing village set up so you can get some snacks, you can get some VISAR merchandise to support us even further,” she explained.

COVID-19 protocols

With COVID-19 introducing a new form of daily living in the territory, Schneider said the necessary COVID-19 protocols will be in place with several sanitisation stations at the various entrances. There will also be personnel on the ground to ensure that persons are abiding by the relevant protocols.

“Because of COVID, you will have thirty minutes on the ice for the change-over-time, which we built in order to adhere to the COVID restrictions. So everything will be sanitised, the boots will be sanitised, the rink area will be sanitised, everything will be sanitised within that time frame.”

Liability coverage

She further said VISAR worked with law firm, Travers Thorp Alberga (Ingrid Scatcliff-Moses) for their liability release in the event of any injury. 

The law firm also assisted in preparing a Skaters Code of Conduct that people will have to adhere to while at the facility.

“We will be carrying a hefty liability policy with Caribbean Insurers and we will be completely covered in the aspect. We will also have two people on the ice with the kids and with the adults helping them, if they fall, we will pick them back up. We’re also a medical background organisation so we will have a first aid station right there,” Schnieder explained.

Job opportunities and experience for students

The VISAR executive also said she has been working with the Department of Education and the Department of Labour to provide various job opportunities for both residents and students.

She said the event will have a mixture of VISAR volunteers, community volunteers, high school volunteers and paid staff.

“We want to work with both departments to make sure that we are hiring people for the ice-skating rink that will get some hands-on experience in the workforce. We are going to focus on customer service skills and build upon that,” she stated.

“We are also going to bring in some kids that need community service hours for graduation and for me that is really important that if we can get to the kids when they’re younger and start instilling into them workplace ethics and how to be good customer service,” Schneider stated.

Corporate opportunity

Additionally, the executive director said there will be two different options to facilitate private businesses or families who intend to have private events at the rink.

“If a corporate company wants to come to us to do a marketing event, they can rent out the rink for an hourly charge, there is a two-hour minimum, and then we can talk about drinks from the tenants here in the pier park,” Schneider stated.

“They can put up all of their branding and fliers and then they can come in with their staff and talk to everyone and the rink and do a little show and tell about the products and really kind of take over the rink and inform the community about what they’re doing and what their product is,” she added.

For private family events, the second option will involve the closing down of the facility for exclusive access to the rink.

The opening hours will be from 2 pm to 7 pm on weekdays and from 2 pm to 10 pm on weekends.

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  1. critic says:

    Isnt this going to attract large crowds? Well i guess its who bringing it because if it was UPees it would’ve caused a big uproar

    Like 34
    Dislike 9
  2. vip heckler says:

    Wow! Just yesterday i said it is snowing in the BVI

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
  3. concern citizen - says:

    ohh yesss time to get my grove on.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  4. WONDERING says:

    Wondering if they could have come up with a stupider idea?

    We who used to work at the Pier Park before Covid19, we can’t afford 10 US dollars for 30 minutes of Ice skating on fake ice.

    We are unemployed, period and eating Ramon. Now instead of Govt., sharing food and money to the unemployed, you expect us to come spend money “ice skating”.

    Why has this VIP GOVERNMENT forgotten those suffering because the haven’t had jobs since March.

    So insulting, wonder how much money is going to be wasted on this genius idea? A few expats might enjoy this grossly foolish investment, because they already know how to ice skate. Who wants to learn at $20.00 per hour?

    The multitude of unfortunately unemployed or under employed people since March, have bills to pay, rent due, children to feed, and some how there are genius’ here planning this ice skating blunder.

    And they wonder why there is so much crime. Christmas is only coming for some people this year. The emperor has no clothes on and is marching along, oh so proud. But the people see him naked, Foy is the Emperor foolishing prancing around, while so many are suffering, even losing their homes and property. Where is the BVI love?

    Like 19
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    • Ummm says:

      Sorry to spoil your rant but this is NOT a Government initiative. This is being put on by VISAR, they are just using Pier Park as the venue. A quick simple read of the ACTUAL ARTICLE would have spared you 10 minutes of typing rubbish!

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    • Vigilant says:

      Which part of VISAR (a non-profit organization) had the word VIP government in it? Is everything y’all like to correlate the government to?

      Like 26
    • VISAR says:

      Good Day, Please check our website as we will be hiring temporary staff for this project. We are happy for you to apply. Please also note we are non governmental, non profit organization that rescues those in need while out in the BVI waters. Julie

      Like 15
    • JBL 101 says:

      I cant understand why folks disliked this comment.…. well I guess it’s safe to say the truth really hurts.

      This comment was frank!!!!

  5. Wondering says:

    You guys could complain about every single thing under the sun. It costs a whole lot more than $10 to go to the barber or the hair salon. Do you complain? I’m sure people spend a whole lot more than 10 at the bars, restaurants and clubs. Stop complaining so much, you will get old and haggard well before your time. There are people out there who will welcome this idea as somewhere fun to take their children.

    Like 50
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  6. Anonymous says:

    What an unnecssary attraction, unless it is a money making venture, which is what it is.

    How about bringing in businesses that directly benefit the community and nation at large, instead of those that come with a one way, unitrack investment, money out agenda?

    How about about opening an ice shoe skating shoe production or at least assembling facility/factory for instance?

    Like 2
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    • Lol says:

      You made me spit out my coffee! You are seriously suggesting that an iceskate factory be opened in Tortola??? It’s been a while since the Caribbean froze over my friend

      Like 19
      Dislike 5
  7. YES says:

    Brilliant news, the joy this will bring for the xmas season will be fantastic. I hate coming to Tortola but I will be down as much as i can to skate on the ice and teach my family to skate.

    Like 20
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  8. Okro says:

    The white LOCAL folks never support the dolphin discovery @ prospec because of local own now day want local to support dem with day ice ting

    Like 4
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    • @Okro says:

      The white local folk don’t support dolphin discovery because of the cruelty to the animals – most of us (yup, I’m one of them damn white folk with an opinion) have realised that it is not humane to keep an intelligent, empathetic, wild animal in captivity. Nothing to do with who owns the facility. Those who come in on the cruise ships though….

      Like 24
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    • battyeboye says:

      dat true.

      Bring back the dolphins. We all need a bit more joy in our lives and there aren’t enough attractions anymore.

      Like 2
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    • FEO Gomez says:

      DO you attend the church of SATAN? Well I don’t skate in it’s venues either. Don’t get distracted from the momentum built.

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    • @Okro says:

      What complete nonsense, a large number of locals of all colours did not support Dolphin Discovery as keeping dolphins in small locked tanks is inhumane and cruel. Wouldn’t matter who owned the facility. You’re trying to turn an ethical decision made by a number of locals, after educating themselves on the rights and wrongs of keeping wild animals locked up, into a race issue. Well done.

      Like 10
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    • @okro says:

      The white local folks hardly support anything that is local. But why is it that black and white occupants alike keep trying to turn the Caribbean into a US or European destination is beyond me. Ice Skating is the best VISAR could come up with? Really? It couldn’t have been something that represented Caribbean Culture?

  9. vbvbcv says:

    omg Not the ice capades!!

  10. Excited says:

    I’ll be the first to go skating! thanks for bringing excitement in the BVI

  11. Ques says:

    Where will this Skating thing be assembled in the Peir Park? Hope on the out skirts and not directly in the park.
    We want to have some local cultural activities for the Christmas please, for emotionalal and spiritual upliftment that would be free of cost for the community.
    We Caribbean people are not interested in any cold winter land whether fake or natural activity.
    Stay in Switzerland with your not so grand idea. Stop trying to get money from people who are going through difficult times.

    Dislike 12
  12. Excited says:

    This sounds really fun

  13. Well done! says:

    Finally something to look forward to at the PP.
    Now to get the Parking situation sorted.

    Looking at you PP and SSB!

  14. Qwerty says:

    So many negative comments! I am excited to see how this will turn out! Always looking for new things to do in Tortola.

  15. ok says:

    People need some fun, REALLY! People need food and shelter and hope! You could have put your money to MUCH better use than offering fun to the privileged that can afford to spend $10 plus on fun! I will take $10 and buy a pittance of food to feed my kids.

    • What? says:

      Not because you suffer, means everyone should be bored at home. Stop being so selfish and small minded. Why should we be suffering for your lack of financial stability? I am not happy for your situation but what you are saying is selfish!

  16. lawyer says:

    The power of a pretty face to promote your product. Ms Schneider is very beautiful. She has me convince that skating is a beautiful thing. What is $10 for a beautiful thing? I will be there with bells on!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  17. HonestTruth says:

    Apparently Tortola is a place where it is not okay to open a venue offering an attraction with the intention of raising money for the only water rescue service we have.

    If you don’t want to be a part of it, you don’t have to.

  18. Ex-Expat says:

    Still have my concerned over the BVI:

    My take the Government should consider going a portion of Prospect Reef to VISAS, since they are part a rescuing team, so swimmers can get their practicing on and open up the venue to locals and visitors alike, and to be treated fairly And not to pick and chose.

    Their is a lot of places that Government own that needs to be open to locals and tourists for the to be seem.

    Do a valuation on people, especially on Customer Services Representative, somethings you wondering how they get a job other than by taking FREE shots at the bars and clubs with the Government Officials or been in bed with them.

    People need Prospect Reef to be FREE to be opened.

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