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New ice area programs thriving

Courtesy of Diedre Faegre The South Tahoe learn to skate program has almost tripled in size. Front, left to right: Grace Zanetti and Autumn Ellingford. Back, left to right: Chloe Fiordalisi, coach Garnet and Kristen Oelson.

Courtesy of Diedre Faegre The South Tahoe learn to skate program has almost tripled in size. Front, left to right: Grace Zanetti and Autumn Ellingford. Back, left to right: Chloe Fiordalisi, coach Garnet and Kristen Oelson.

It’s all going according to plan at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.

Just a little more than one year ago, Tahoe Sports Entertainment group took over running the rink with the intention of building a more inclusive local based program for hockey, figure skating, and public skating. The goal was simple – draw visitors in by offering more camps, and events.

In the last six months, the Learn to Skate program has tripled in size, and hockey tournaments and figuring skating camps and competitions are popping up on the calendar. An adult skate camp last year drew skaters from as far as Alaska.

The local rink is even in the running as a possible location for a Dorothy Hamill Fantasy Camp. Hamill even came to scope out the facilities during the summer to scope it out.

A High Sierra adult Skate Camp and Skate at the Lake figure skating competition are back on the calendar this year. The adult camp will be held in May, and the figure skating competition in June.

“These are all good signs that we are becoming a more visible venue for such events,” figure skating coach Garnet Fiordalisi said. “However, successes as a venue put aside, TSE have put a great focus on making local participation in the rink a priority.”

There are now more school programs at the rink, and the Learn to Skate enrollment was jumped up to three-times its enrollment. Learn to Skate classes are held every Monday from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., and cost $10 a visit. The rink also has hockey and curling programs.