Skate Ribbon Closure Update

Fianna Dickson, 509.625.6297


Monday, February 5, 2018 at 4:45 p.m.


The Skate Ribbon in Riverfront Park remains closed for a mechanical repair, and it could take at least 3 weeks to restore ice to the ribbon.

“Along with citizens, we are disappointed that we’ve lost ice for a time. But safety is always our top priority. We are working diligently with experts to ensure a safe experience before re-opening, and utilizing all resources to do that this season,” said Leroy Eadie, Director of Parks and Recreation. 

A vessel that connects to a compressor – equipment that is key to forming and maintaining the ice at the ribbon - needs to be replaced; it is under warranty by the manufacturer.  The vessel has a crack in it that is beyond repair.

Without this equipment, Riverfront staff have been unable to maintain ice since Saturday afternoon, and the existing ice has been removed. Time is needed for the manufacturer to build a new vessel and ship it from Toronto. Then, it will be installed, safety tested, and permitted before new ice can be developed.

On Saturday afternoon, the Spokane Fire Department responded to an alarm indicating an ammonia leak at the Skate Ribbon. Ammonia is used in the ice-making system. Fire officials evacuated the rink immediately as a precaution.

The leak was in a mechanical room. No guests were exposed, and no injuries have been reported. Ammonia gas can burn the skin, eyes, throat and lungs if inhaled.

Previously, ammonia was smelled in the mechanical room, but did not trigger an alarm or notification.  The manufacturer was called onsite, and they found and repaired a leak source. On Saturday, a contractor detected a new leak. In re-starting the system, the leak worsened and triggered the alarm. A welder attempted to patch the leak, but it was determined the vessel was unrepairable.

Updates will be shared as they become available.