Benalmádena's famous Club de Hielo ice skating rink is unlikely to open its doors again for at least six months – unless the Covid-19 restrictions are suddenly eased - according to officials at the town hall.
On 5 December, the doors at the council-owned premises (but privately-operated facilities) were suddenly slammed shut citing the drop in users due to the pandemic time restriction measures designed to halt the spread of the virus.
The preventive measures against the second wave of Covid-19 forced the centre to close at 6pm.
The head of Sports at the council, Joaquín Villazón, insisted that the closure was a direct result of the coronavirus and the drop in the number of users and not because of a bad management.
He said, "As a government team we are going to ensure that all jobs are saved, and reopen the facilities once the current health crisis has passed."
The centre is divided into three parts: the skating rink, the gym and the pool. In the case of the first, the official said that it had to close in order to comply with health regulations. In the case of the swimming pool, only 40 per cent of the capacity could be used. And, as for the gym, most of the clientele went after 6pm and that therefore most of its users had been lost.
Given this situation, Villazón explains, the concession holder did not see it profitable to continue with the service.
The town council announced that they have started to work on a new proposal, but that it will not be ready for at least six months. In addition, they do not plan to retract the concession, which was due to end at the end of this year.
"If we do, the workers would not be able to resort to support from the ERTE scheme, and we want to protect them," admitted Villazón.
"If there are no restrictions, maybe the concession holder will reopen, although I doubt it," said the town hall official.