As a young skater the idea of private ice was reserved for only the most dedicated skaters, the top talent, or a VIP opportunity to work with an elite coach in an exclusive environment. In any case it meant you were special, important, and you had in some way 'arrived'. Today, private ice , has become a symptom of distancing efforts of a public health crisis, and somehow become an inconvenience, instead of being viewed as the exclusive VIP experience it always has been. Even some luxury hotels have reserved our services to create private patio skating rinks for their guests to enjoy, free from the intrusion of the general public. Therefore, if you ever have the chance to frequent a skating rink with competitive skaters in training, inquire as to the number of skaters who have ever enjoyed the luxury of private ice with their coaches, or guest coaches. Ask them why they need it, what they prefer, and why. Certainly you will get a variety of answers, and preferences, however one thing will be true; Private ice is a luxury. Private skating, and private ice , addresses the need to maintain adequate physical distancing during a public health pandemic, while continuing to offer skating opportunities, and focus on delivering a memorable VIP guest experience . The management of such activities keeps all members of the operations organization safe, and minimizes excess public contact, as private access is more easily managed by online methods, and can be facilitated by a smaller team.
Recently, Chill posted a TikTok version of a recent video and asked the question, “How does skating make you feel?” The question apples to both participants AND spectators since ice skating (figure skating) is one of the most popular spectator winter sports (if not THE most).
The most popular answers are freedom, strength, power, grace, like one can fly, and pure happiness. We invited replies to add to this list as research to confirm what we already know. Skating, or watching skating releases powerful endorphins in the brain. Know as the body’s natural ‘feel good‘ chemical, the result is a pleasure feeling or sense of euphoria. Anything that produces this kind of response in a healthy way draws attention and is in demand.
Therefore it’s unlikely that an activity that uplifts audiences and participants, and produces such positive effects, will be held back for long. We welcome feedback from fans who’d like to contribute their descriptive words to our question. “How does skating make you feel?“ and add, “How long can you go without it?”
So you’d like to host a skating activity, but you’re afraid that you won’t be able to due to COVID-19. We understand, and have been working hard to plan ahead to address these concerns, and adapt our business, to meet the challenges we all face as a result of the current global crisis.
First, let us address the issue of public gatherings. In our experience, the majority of our outdoor event venues are part of larger events, or featured promotions that serve to drive traffic. As such, most of the people whom our venues attract are spectators or passers by, than actual participants, who do so for a controlled period of time. The majority of our venues have a maximum capacity of 25-40 ppl. Therefore, the focus our venues is primarily on guest and/or participants, rather than on large public crowds that remain in one place for long periods of time. Likewise, most privately hosted events are subject to some type of event management to ensure guest satisfaction and can therefore be more easily adapted to meet COVID-19 recommendation.
Second, since we know the occupancy of our venues, we can manage the arrival of guests, through advance, mobile bookings, with staggered arrivals, and touch less QR code scanned in check-ins. While this feature does require access to WiFi to operate the tech, we have long advocated the use of digital sign-in features to clients, as a way to streamline the guest services process. Through online pre-registration procedures, we can assist our clients in the planning and management of their event, and ensure that CDC guidelines and recommendations for group sizes are followed. Third, elements of physical distancing have always been part of our skating rules at Chill Media Events. Skaters/Guests have traditionally been reminded to maintain a safe space between one another while skating, to avoid people who fall, or skating in groups, creating lines etc. Therefore, the focus on physical distancing is not a new concept for us, and any recommendations can be seen as simply a refinement or to existing rules, or an extension of current policies . As a result of our experiences as skating professionals, our rink capacity guidelines at Chill have always been conservative, therefore any adjustments made to meet the CDC public gathering recommendations will be easily absorbed into our existing guidelines. Fourth, the average participant engages in skating activities for 20 minutes. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. Those who enjoy longer sessions are often more social, and spend much of their added time talking or taking photos. The CDC has also said that prolonged exposure increases the chances of contracting the virus. Because of these facts, and all of the above factors, we feel that hosting a skating event during COVID-19 requires a plan to limit activities to a set schedule , and since there may be some who will demand more access, the science will there to support the planning. Finally, years of professional training has taught us valuable lessons on how to lead guests and control their activities. When you just don’t want to leave it all up to skaters/guests to maintain the appropriate space, or ensure they engage in the approved activities 🤔, our talent professionals know how to lead a class or ice/dance workshop that ensure distancing, and guarantee a good time. These services are available upon request.
Now that our states are opening up, we want to do our part to ensure that the sacrifices we’ve all made over the past months to shelter at home continue to be respected as we move forward together. We are aware of the environment we’re in, however want to reassure our clients and the public that our events are unique and manageable within the recommendations of the CDC. We have added many new features to our Chill Media Events offerings, all that are compatible with our COVID-19 SkateSmart™️ Approach.
We look forward to the opportunity to serve you! Team Chill