South Shore skating pond in the works

People's Park rink is open, but warming house supervisors are needed.

The hockey rink and skating rink at People's Park are frozen over and being used, and another skating pond is planned for South Shore Park.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — South Shore Park may soon have a new skating pond. Detroit Lakes Public Works Director Shawn King said the new amenity will offer access to restrooms and the park shelter.

The 5.5-acre park has security cameras in place, so unsupervised access to the shelter can be offered, he said.

Ice skating opportunities are also available near downtown. The skating rink at People’s Park (1310 Phinney Ave.) offers a hockey rink, a meandering skating pond and a warming house. King said that flooding the hockey rink has been completed, and the rink is seeing plenty of visitors.

“A little fun fact about the (outdoor) hockey rink is that the boards came from where the old North Stars (professional hockey team) played,” he said.

Work is still being done on the meandering pond, which requires berms to be made from snow before an area is flooded.


“It should be ready by next week; we’re hoping,” King said.

King, who has lived in Detroit Lakes the past 12 years, said he was privileged to listen to “a gentleman” reminisce about fond memories of skating on the meandering pond and darting around trees. He hopes current and future generations have similar memories using the city’s recreational amenities.

The rink at People’s Park offers the use of ice skates (hockey and figure skates), free of charge. King said the ice skates come in a variety of sizes and are located inside the warming house. Anyone looking to donate skates could also bring them to the warming house.

Part-time help is needed at the outdoor rink’s warming house, and the hours are flexible, King said. He explained the job duties include helping kids tie their skates, as well as monitoring the warming house and ice skating areas. He encouraged anyone interested in working at the warming house to stop at the Public Works building, 508 Front St. E.

King added the Zamboni from the Kent Freeman Arena, which is located across the street from People’s Park, is often brought over to maintain the outdoor rink’s ice surface. He said that warming house attendants do not need to know how to drive a Zamboni, but the skill would be an asset.

“The warming house is open seven days a week and each shift is about five or six hours,” he said.

The city also has the option of skating indoors at the Kent Freeman Arena on days specified on the Detroit Lakes Youth Hockey webpage’s public skating tab.

The arena is located at 1310 Rossman Ave. It was originally built in 1960 with an 85-foot by 200-foot sheet of ice and a seating capacity for 1,350 people. In 1999, the complex was expanded, adding an additional sheet of ice and eight new locker rooms, restrooms and a commons area where concessions are sold.

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