(From left to right) MLA Laurie Throness, Harrison councillors Michie Vidal and Samantha Piper, FVRD chair Jason Lum, Minister of Tourism Lisa Beare, Sasquatch, Harrison mayor Leo Facio, Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger and Harrison councillor Gerry Palmer take part in the ribbon cutting for Harrison’s Starlight Skating Rink. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

‘Starlight Skating Rink’ welcomed to Harrison

The winning name was chosen by Harrison resident Wendy Baldwin

The Starlight Skating Rink is here to stay.

Around 25 people came out to Harrison’s boat launch parking lot Monday (Dec. 2) to witness the unveiling of the name and cut the ceremonial ribbon for Harrison’s synthetic outdoor rink. The name was suggested by Harrison resident Wendy Baldwin during a contest earlier this year.

RELATED: Harrison rink name to be unveiled today

Although the name reveal was the most anticipated part of the wet and rainy grand opening, Harrison mayor Leo Facio also took a moment to thank tourism minister Lisa Beare for the resort municipality infrastructure money that funded the skating rink.

“We are one of only 14 communities in British Columbia with access to funding to diversify our tourism infrastructure,” Facio said.

“We had concerns on how our RMI program would continue, and our minister said that she would champion our cause, and this lady has certainly championed our cause,” he continued. “(She has) not just spoke about it, but took action with her staff to continue our RMI program, and we know it’s safe for another three years or so.”

Tourism Harrison director Robert Reyerse — who was joined at the opening by Beare, FVRD chair Jason Lum, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness and most of Harrison council — also spoke about the positive impact the funds have had on tourism in Harrison.

“It has transformed Harrison over the last 10 years, from the plaza to the Esplanade,” he said. “It’s also allowed us to do some wonderful things, including the festival of lights you see along the Esplanade now.

“Last year alone, it brought in about 30,000 visitors, 25,000 room nights and probably close to a million dollar impact on our community at a time where we’re usually very slow.”

RELATED: Harrison sees massive increase in winter tourists for 2018

The synthetic rink will be open throughout the winter season until Feb. 29 this year, and Harrison has plans to expand for next year: additional decor and renovating the boat launch building to house a skate rental shop and concession. (The current concession is in a portable container building.)

“As you can see, there is quite a bit of space here in this parking lot,” Facio said. “This rink is just a starting point for us as a winter destination. We see so much potential to grow into this space with more winter outdoor activities and maybe even a new festival.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Tourism minister Lisa Beare (left) and Harrison mayor Leo Facio (right) watch the Mission Figure Skating Club try out Harrison’s synthetic rink. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: The dilemma of living in beautiful B.C.

Tourism dollars are needed for the economy while some locals are crying ‘stay away’

Three men face attempted murder charges after Harrison Hot Springs stabbing

Man, 24, sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries following attack Wednesday

Four activists face charges linked to 2019 Abbotsford hog-farm protest

Mischief and break-and-enter charges laid for incidents on four separate days prior to the protest

Chilliwack children can get tested locally, Fraser Health confirms

Erroneous information online and via 811 has many families driving to Abbotsford for testing

New treatment centre for addicted youth opening in Chilliwack

Facility ready to support up to 20 youth with substance-use challenges

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read