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Keeping the ice frozen at ice rinks is nonstop work in the heat

By Lauren Martinez

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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — Maintaining ice rinks in the desert is no easy challenge, especially at Las Vegas Ice Center where they’re open for nearly 20 hours a day.

Hockey Director Kenny Brooks said when the summer heat comes, there’s always maintenance to take care of.

“We have issues you know once a week at least where it takes a good crew to come in fix it and it gets tough with heat,” Brooks said.

Las Vegas Ice Center is open from 5 a.m. until the last adult games end around 11:30 p.m. Between each session of figure skating, free skating or hockey practices and games, you can find an ice technician on a ice resurfacer making sure the ice is even.

James Trotter was an ice technician for an ice rink in San Diego and now Las Vegas.

“We’re here late every night pretty much because of that. The heat has a really big effect on the way the ice freezes,” Trotter said.

Trotter makes sure doors are closed at all times and the ice is level to skate on.

“Contrary to popular belief you can’t see off the eye but levels are actually different levels and certain points- it different heights it’s only my inches but it’s just something we have to pay attention to so that the games go smoothly and everything else like that,” Trotter said.

The temperature of the ice hover around 10-12 degrees but it’s a delicate balance to maintain.

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of interest for ice sports. Brooks said with the popularity from the Vegas Golden Knights continuing, so is enrollment in his programs.

“From the second they got here this place became a hockey town. It’s extremely cool to see and that’s the reason we’re open 5 a.m. to midnight now,” Brooks said.

Brooks has been skating at Las Vegas Ice Center since he was 5 years old.

“I know hockey is an expensive sport so for kids that can’t afford it yet or things like that you know going public skating is a great way to learn to skate, have fun with it. It’s gratifying to see how many kids are playing here and hopefully all these kids can have the same experience I had,“ Brooks said.

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