The Girona ice rink, located in the Palau Firal, has received a veritable avalanche of skaters during the Christmas period. A total of 18,400 people have slipped on it, which represents an increase of 11% compared to the edition before the pandemic. This is the highest figure since the equipment was installed in the Palau de Fires in 2008.
The first two years, in 2006 and 2007, the track was located in an open-air space, in the Plaza de la Constitució, now renamed 1 de Octubre. In its first year of operation it registered 18,610 users, although then it was open for a whole month. On this occasion, and as usual, it has only been operational during the Christmas period, between December 23 and January 8.
The organizers are studying expanding the track by 100 more square meters for the next edition
As Fira de Girona points out in a press release, the event has surpassed its own “record” of attendees, with one day less activity than a year ago, when a total of 18,120 people passed through its facilities.
A “success” according to the director of Fira de Girona, Coralí Cunyat, taking into account that in this edition the ticket price had increased (from 9 to 11 euros per hour). “Most users also repeat the experience year after year and we have found skaters who repeat the same year,” she underlines.
78% of the skaters came from the city of Girona; 17%, from other points in the province and the remaining 5%, from outside the demarcation. The days with the greatest influx were January 4, with 1,712 people, and December 28, with 1,500.
The organizers do not rule out expanding the track by 100 square meters in the next edition. “Different options will have to be considered; we will look at all the possible alternatives: ice but also synthetic ones,” says Cunyat.
Although the budget contemplated an extra cost of 15,000 euros, in the end the figure will be lower because electricity and water have been saved by making a thinner layer of ice
The option of a synthetic rink had already been considered this year but its cost was 20,000 euros higher than that of an ice rink. The one in Girona is one of the largest in Catalonia with 800 square meters.
This edition worried the organizers due to the increase in the price of electricity, which anticipated skyrocketing costs. The forecast when they set the budget for the track (a figure that included staff, electricity, water, the track and its assembly… among other services) amounted to 115,000 euros, 15,000 more than a year ago.
“But the reality is that it will have been less, since we have managed to reduce the consumption of kilowatts and water,” says Cunyat. As an example, he explains that in the first part of the Christmas period, in December, 2,300 kilowatts will have been saved.
A saving that explains why the thickness of the ice this year has been less than that of a year ago. “The machine that cools the water has consumed less because it has had to make less ice, the thickness has been 7mm and not 10mm as in other editions”, Cunyat clarifies.