Nowra on ice

An ice skating rink will be installed at Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre for three weeks in January.SUMMER will be put on ice in Nowra, when the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre is transformed into a winter wonderland for three weeks in January.A huge ice skating rink measuring 25 metres by 15 metres is being installed in the centre by Sydney-based company Stars on Ice, in what is expected to draw large crowds into Nowra from outlying villages.Centre manager Bob Mangan said it was an exciting attraction timed to take place when there were many visitors around and local people were looking for things to do.“We’re excited about the opportunity to have something this unique to cater for Shoalhaven residents and have opportunity to attract holiday makers and bring them in,” Mr Mangan said.“We’re very excited about this but we do need to execute it really well.”He said the large skating rink “will look very impressive”, adding if tickets sold well there was also a chance to have a 10 metre by four metre ice slide as an added feature.That would all be provided with skates and matting, in what would be completely different to a year earlier when there were no events at the entertainment centre.In January 2011 the entertainment centre had events, but they did not sell well, Mr Mangan said, forcing a rethink and a new approach.However for the ice skating to take place it has required Shoalhaven City Council to underwrite the $190,000 cost on top of the $780,000 it already spends subsidising the entertainment centre’s operations.The cost was not a concern for Cr Andrew Guile, who expected large crowds to take part in the five 90-minute sessions a day over three weeks.He said Nowra needed something to cater for the many people who visited the area during January, but traditionally stayed in the villages and rarely ventured into town.“This will energise the Nowra CBD,” Cr Guile said.While there was a chance of council suffering a financial loss, Cr Guile predicted, “”We could be making a stack of cash out of this during January.”Stars on Ice recently set up in Mackay, Queensland, and “did spectacularly well”, according to Cr Gareth Ward.“Sure it’s different, but this will help bring people into Nowra which can be a bit dead that time of year,” he added.To break even the skating rink would need to attract an average of 129 people per session, the meeting was told.Cr Robert Miller doubted that level of support would be achieved.“I can’t see this making a profit,” he said, however he was a lone voice with all other councillors voicing strong support for council underwriting the event to ensure it could proceed.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.