The Numerica Skate Ribbon in Riverfront Park will open for its sixth season Saturday, just in time for the holiday season.
The attraction, the first to reopen as part of the downtown park’s taxpayer-funded renovation, will have the same operating hours as in seasons past. The Spokane Park Board increased the admission fees this year, a reflection of the cost of maintaining the ribbon that opened in December 2017 and increasing costs of materials and labor.
“Overall our goal is to maintain affordability,” Riverfront Park Director Jon Moog said at an October meeting of the Park Board, where the fee increase was approved.
Adults will pay $9.95 an hour to skate, an increase of $2 over last season. Children younger than 13 will pay $6.95 an hour, an increase of $1 from last year. Skates can be rented for $6.95, which also went up $1, but visitors may also bring their own skates and avoid that charge. Helmet rentals will continue to be free.
Unlimited passes also are for sale. Adult passes for the season cost $38.95 while passes for children younger than 13 will cost $27.95. That’s an increase of $3 for adults, but unlimited passes for children actually decreased in price by $3 from last season.
“We just adjusted those so that after you’ve visited four times, you’ve paid for your pass,” said Fianna Dickson, communications manager for the city’s Parks & Recreation division.
Expenses at Riverfront Park are expected to rise 10% in 2023, or about $433,400, driven in large part by an overall 17.5% increase in wages paid to workers in the park system, Moog told Park Board members. The fee increases will allow the attractions to break even next year as costs continue to climb, Moog said.
In addition, single rides on the Looff Carrousel will increase by a 25 cents in 2023, and an unlimited day pass will increase 95 cents.
Popular programming at the ribbon will return this year, including “Cheap Skate” nights on Tuesday, when a paid admission will get you a free skate rental.
Local nonprofits will be at the ribbon on Wednesdays beginning Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to offer discounted admission and skate rentals. On those days, the nonprofits will be able to keep 30% of the proceeds.
A live DJ will be on hand for Fridays in December and January, including on New Year’s Eve, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lake City Figure Skating also is offering a seven-week series on Saturdays beginning Dec. 3 for those wishing to learn the fundamentals of ice skating. Pre-registration is required.
“Those are really just reflective of our popular activities that we’ve had,” Dickson said.
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