Ashburn Ice House Launches POD Skate Amid Pandemic

Skaters in Loudoun usually have five ice rinks to visit—two at the Ion International Training Center, two at the Ashburn Ice House and a one-third-size rink at Loudoun Ice Centre. Now, they have seven.

The Ashburn Ice House this weekend will launch what it’s calling POD Skate, in which the staff will use foam bumpers to divide one of their rinks into three, 6,000-square-foot sections and rent those out to groups of up to 10 for $95 for an hour, with skate rentals included.

Ice House General Manager Rob Lorenzen said POD Skate is a way for families to enjoy public ice skating in a setting that’s safe from the rampant spread of COVID-19, since groups of 10 will be skating around only their group members. Lorenzen said his team decided 10 people per section would be best, since any more people would crowd the area.

“It’s what we felt was safe,” he said. “It’s really an opportunity for families to come and skate in the safety of their POD.”

Groups can bring their own equipment, too, such as hockey sticks and foam pucks, but hard pucks are not allowed. If a group requests, the Ice House staff will provide them with a hockey net. Groups can also hire an instructor for ice skating lessons.

The first POD Skate was Dec. 19. From now through Jan. 1, the Ice House is offering POD Skate twice per day most days—once at noon and another at 4 p.m. Lorenzen said the Ice House would continue offering POD Skate in the new year depending on rink availability.

Face masks are required at all times at all locations in the complex. Although the Ice House can normally host 2,798 people at any given time, COVID-19 restrictions allow for only 50 spectators in the building at a time, not including skaters on the ice.

Learn more about POD Skate, or reserve a POD, at ashburnice.com/publicskating.

Aside from the new initiative, the Ice House is also continuing to offer its learn-to-skate classes at 50% capacity, with five lanes of instruction at eight kids per lane.

The staff at the Ashburn Ice House has been hard at work since Gov. Ralph Northam issued his since-expired March 23 order requiring all non-essential businesses to close to the public.

In spring, the staff performed thousands of dollars of renovations while the complex’s doors were shut to the public. Those renovations included refurbishing all eight locker rooms, repainting and re-icing the west rink, replacing carpeting and stair treads, reconditioning the rubber floor, cleaning and repairing the player benches, upgrading the fitness center with two new treadmills and three new multi-purpose squat racks and sharpening all 780 pairs of rental skates.

The staff also refurbished the Pomodoro Pizza, Pasta & More restaurant that’s attached to the building by installing four, 50-inch television screens with new menu boards.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

Foam bumpers will separate PODS of up to 10 ice skaters at the Ashburn Ice House. [Contributed]

One thought on “Ashburn Ice House Launches POD Skate Amid Pandemic

  • 2020-12-21 at 2:47 pm
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    I’d love to know the science that keeps the virus contained behind floor-level barriers.

    Every day this public health theater becomes more absurd.

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