SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Riverfront staff are trying to figure out what criteria to use to decide when to close the ice ribbon during snow days.

The ribbon was closed all day in late December due to a forecasted two to four inches of snow.

"When we get 2 inches of snow on the ice, it's usually a 2 to 3 hour process to clear the ice and if it's actively snowing, we can't stay ahead of it," Riverfront Park Maintenance Manager Kevin Sharrai said.

Staff posted to the Spokane Riverfront Park Facebook page saying "BUMMER ALERT: Due to the forecasted heavy snow and rain, we have chosen to close the skate ribbon today. We hope to reopen tomorrow. Stay tuned!"

"We knew that we weren't going to be able to keep up with snow removal on the ice, to be able to condition the ice and keep it safe for people to use," Sharrai said.

Some people who commented were upset, asking what staff plan to do when we see more snow in Spokane.

"People can still try to skate, but they can twist ankles and things like that," he said. "We just want to avoid that and try to avoid the injuries that might come from that."

So what is the city planning to do?

"For us it's a learning experience this whole year because it's the first time we've had an uncovered ice rink," Sharrai said.

Staff said any plans to change operations at the ice ribbon will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and the city website.

"We're still experimenting (and) trying to figure out how we are going to manage that and all the best practices to keep the ice clear," Sharrai said.