By Scott Hammers

The Bulletin

Ice skating returns to Bend on Tuesday, with the opening of the Bend Park & Recreation District Pavilion.

The Pavilion, located off Simpson Avenue in southwest Bend, begins its third season of operations. Admission and skate rental will be $6 on opening day, and skaters are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes.

The rink is expected to remain open through mid-April, weather permitting. During the first year of operations at the rink, a warm and windy spring lead to problems with the ice melting, particularly on the west side of the facility where the open-air rink is exposed to afternoon sun.

Kevin Collier, supervisor of The Pavilion, said it’s an ongoing juggling act to balance the district’s popular hockey and curling programs with providing rink access for the general public.

For much of the season, hockey and curling games and practices will take over the rink in the evenings. On Tuesdays and Thursdays through most of the season, the Pavilion will offer a 90-minute open skating period in the evenings, with a discounted $6 skate rental and admission. A 2½-hour block for open skating will be offered most Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Adult skate rental and admission is $12 outside of discounted periods. Additional discounts are available for skaters buying 10-day passes or season passes.

During Thanksgiving week and the two weeks students are off school in December and January, the schedule is modified to allow more time for general admission skating.

There are still a few league openings for adults interested in playing hockey, Collier said, and the district will be signing up players through Nov. 4. He said there’s also still room for people to sign up for skating classes.

Registration for a second season of curling and hockey offered later in the year will be opening on Dec. 11.

For the first time, this year the district will have helmets available for free for skaters at the Pavilion. Although recreational skaters are not required to wear helmets, Collier said the district is following the lead of other rinks where free loaner helmets have boosted helmet use.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387,