A spokesperson for Steinbach Parks and Recreation says the end is near for the outdoor skating rinks in the city.

Jason Peters says unseasonably mild weather is about to throw a knockout punch.

"We are still open, both the pleasure skating rink at Jake Epp Library and the one at the arena," Peters said Friday morning. "But that seems to be almost an hour by hour situation at this time."

Peters says the rinks were a little crusty Friday morning, which means there was some freezing overnight. But he says on these days where the temperature climbs above the freezing point, there is water sitting on the rinks by the afternoon and the sun begins to burn holes down to the ground.

"We're hopeful that it lasts as long as it can," he says. "But I would suggest if you want to use the outdoor ice, get there really quickly."

According to Peters, the rink at the Library is in better shape than the ice at the arena. He suggests that is because it gets less hard use and sees smaller kids and families and no sticks or pucks.

If the rinks should close this weekend, Peters says it is doubtful they would reopen this season. Most years, the rinks are open until about the first weekend in March.

As for the ice inside the arenas, Peters says the rinks are in great shape. He notes there are no issues and anticipates great ice until the end of the season in April.

Over in Mitchell, the Rural Municipality of Hanover has informed us the outdoor rink is closed and it is unlikely that rink will be open again this winter. The same is true for Kleefeld.

Meanwhile, Peters says toboggan hills in Steinbach are also on the verge of shutting down.