Cardiff- based events specialist 11th Hour is beginning preparations for the busy winter season, starting November 9, with the opening of its flagship ice rink in the centre of the city. The rink is part of Winter Wonderland, Cardiff’s seasonal attraction, which is presented by Sayers Amusements.
The event runs for nine weeks and has a fairground with a big wheel, rides, stalls and an authentic alpine village complete with Bier Keller. Last year, 60,000 people attended the rink and as a consequence of the rise in demand, this year’s rink will be the largest to date, accommodating up to 290 skaters.
The 11th Hour team is responsible for every aspect of constructing, maintaining, managing and staffing the rink, which is once again sponsored by the car insurance company Admiral. A ClearSpan covering structure, capable of withstanding storm-force winds, ensures that it remains open for all sessions and that the ice is maintained at a constant temperature within the micro- climate created.
John Davies, director at 11th Hour, commented: “Since last year, we’ve added two new 100kVA generators to our fleet, enabling us to eliminate the need for sub-contractors, which gives us complete control over power to the site, increasing efficiency and further reducing the event’s carbon footprint. The lighting of the rink employs more than 4,000 energy efficient LED lamps – in line once again with a commitment to green values.
“We run the box office for the event and supply all the operational staff for the rink, ensuring that ice-marshals are trained to the highest standards. We believe that service is enhanced by virtue of the fact that customers deal with dedicated 11th Hour staff in every aspect of their experience. It’s a pretty comprehensive and challenging undertaking but project management on this scale is part and parcel of what we deliver on a regular basis across a broad spectrum of large events.”
Feedback from last year’s event has led 11th Hour to introduce accessibility sessions in order to make sure that all customers can enjoy the ice. Davies explained: “It’s important to us that everyone in the community can join in the fun, so the introduction of dedicated accessibility sessions widens our scope. We’ve consulted carefully over the most effective way of meeting the needs of the widest constituency possible and so during these periods lighting will remain static, amplified sound level will be reduced and the rink’s capacity will be decreased to allow those in need of extra support to enjoy their experience to the full.”