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Despite the Paradise ice rink losing money, organizers want to continue tradition

After losing money, organizers want to open the Paradise ice rink in the middle of November.

Posted: Jul 15, 2021 4:55 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2021 4:56 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - The Paradise Recreation and Park District have until the end of the month to decide if the Paradise ice rink will go up this year.

A staff report by the Paradise Recreation and Park District shows the event lost at least $340,000 since it opened in 2013, excluding the 2018-2019 and the 2020-2021 seasons.

The ice rink usually opens in the middle of November and runs through the middle of January, according to the Town of Paradise.

The district heavily relies on donations and sponsorships to run the rink.

Even though this event is financially draining, Paradise Recreation and Park District said it's popular with the community and wants to keep it going.

"I think we should still keep the ice rink going because it's a beacon of hope," explained Lorrennis Leeds, the ice rink manager. "It's a beacon of normalcy for the Town of Paradise. I'm up for the challenge." 

One thing the Paradise Recreation and Park District has to consider moving forward is the fact that Chico is now thinking about having an ice rink in the city plaza.

"I enjoy seeing it because it is something that brings the community back together again, but that is a substantial dollar amount loss," said Linda Williams, a long-time Magalia resident.

Leeds said if the ice rink gets the go-ahead she can search for sponsorships and donations to help offset costs and bring in more visitors.

During the 2019 to 2020 season, staff at the Paradise Recreation and Park District were able to get more than $50,000 in sponsors the most money the ice rink ever got in its history.

In that same season, more than 5,000 visited the ice rink.

Staff said the district already has verbal support and potential sponsorship offers. Something locals like to hear.

"We have a lot of families up here and it's a good family function," explained Anthony Campa, a Paradise resident "I'm hoping it will come back this year especially for our Camp Fire survivors, it brings us back home."

Staff said the ice rink was already a popular event before the Camp Fire but now it has become a symbol of resiliency and hope.

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