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Local businessman opens up his backyard rink to the public

Rink is fully lit, sports nets, an ice resurfacer and skate shack that has a warm fire where people can, safely, lace up their skates

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create financial hardship for many local businesses and that includes Cordery Electrical Contracting Inc.

Owner Richard Cordery says the pandemic has been one of the biggest hurdles his business has ever had to face.

“My Dad started this business about 24 years ago. It’s always been very successful,” he said.

But things aren’t currently going so well. Cordery has laid off 10 of his employees as revenue continues to dip - 50 to 70% below normal.

“We aren’t getting the usual service calls, and we haven’t really for a year,” Cordery explained.

“I used to get enough residential service calls where it would keep one guy and an apprentice busy for about 20 hours a week, and now you can probably count on one hand how many service calls we get a month since COVID started.”

Cordery is doing everything possible to keep his business alive, including finding new ways of marketing his company - including opening up the rink.

“It’s either shut down completely or get creative and do our best to try and make it work,” he said.

Cordery has decided to open up his 75 by 150-foot ice rink to the public. The rink located in Cordery’s back yard at 4086 Fairgrounds Road, is fully lit with hydro poles on both ends.

The rink is equipped with two nets for hockey players and a Zamboni that holds 300 gallons of water. Close by to the rink is also a skate shack where people are welcome to lace up their skates by a warm fire.

“The idea for the rink was semi-promotional," he said. "People have to drive by our sign to come and use it."

Cordery also wanted to open up the rink to the public as a way to get local hockey players and skaters back in motion during a winter where indoor and outdoor public rinks remain closed.  

“Some of the guys who usually play oldtimers hockey in Coldwater couldn’t play this year, so they are kind of glad that they have this rink to come out and skate,” he said.

The rink is commonly popular on Thursday and Friday nights as well as the weekend. Cordery says three groups used the rink over the course of the day this past Saturday. Cordery says his rink follows all COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We only allow five people on the ice at time, so it fits within the rules. We ask people to use the skate shack to put on skates one person at a time, unless they are from the same household,” he explained.

Cordery also asks users to contact him ahead of time before arriving at the rink to make sure nobody else is already using it, and so he can make sure a fire is keeping the shack warm.

The best way to contact Cordery is by text message at 705-795-0228.


Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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