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Artificial ice rink opens in Billings

Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 15:04:10-04

Finding time on the ice can be tough in Billings, but now skaters have another chance to learn and work on skills.

The Yellowstone Valley Skating Center celebrated its grand opening on Saturday.

The center set up its synthetic ice at the old Granny's Attic at 2804 Minnesota Avenue.

Skaters say the plastic ice simulates real ice, but requires even more precision for more challenging maneuvers.

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The artificial ice helps sharpen the skills of experienced skaters but also is great for beginners.

"That fear of falling and sliding is taken away because when you get on the (artificial) ice, you're not moving and you have to just start with stepping," said Leslie Albright, skating director for the Yellowstone Valley Figure Skating Club. "And then that comfort comes in and they start getting a little bit more and eventually they're pushing and gliding."

"It's good for the beginner skaters because they're learning those skills," said Cathy Goettel, YVFSC president and skating instructor. "But the advanced skaters, natural ice, you tend to kind of maybe slide through a move and it's ok. But here it's very obvious if you have mis-stepped and so it's great to work on your technique here."

The Yellowstone Valley Figure Skating Club has been working with kids at the Friendship House and will soon offer more programs.