WUFT News

Technical difficulties delay opening of downtown Gainesville ice skating rink

By on November 29th, 2012

Talia Medina, WUFT

Cooling coils being laid for ice rink

Alachua County residents will have to wait a few more days before they lace up skates and take to the ice.

Technical difficulties in the construction of Gainesville’s downtown ice skating rink will push back the grand opening to Monday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m.

Midwest Display Inc., the company providing the rink, custom fitted the skating surface for Bo Diddley Plaza. Midwest Display President Mike Howard said his company is used to building rinks for much larger venues, and this installation has required some adjustment.

“We usually put these in amusement parks and places like that, so we’ve had to change the size of our equipment and the whole scope of how we do it,” he said.

If the rink has a successful turnout, Howard said he will expand the skating surface to cover the entire plaza next winter.

Businesses surrounding the plaza believe the rink will bring more shoppers into their stores. Though the manager of Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille in Gainesville was not available for an interview, Ocala manager Darin Hafer said a similar skating rink next to his store helps business and gives patrons something to do in the area.

“I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t double the business,” Hafer said. “There’s something to do even if you’re old or not physically able to ice skate, so at least you’re able to come watch your grandkids or come look around and enjoy yourself.”

To account for the delay, Midwest Display will offer free skating for the first three days the rink is open.

George Pappas edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment, Business, Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Rosa Alamo

    Love it is good families get to spend time together and we don’t have to go far to skate

 

More Stories in Arts and Entertainment

On Monday, Sept. 1, 24-year-old turf groundskeeper John Wagnon fertilizes the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium after UF's opening game against Idaho was canceled on Saturday. The game was called after severe weather caused significant delays and left the field unsafe.

GALLERY: Groundskeeping for the Gators


Using a brad nailer gun, Raye tacks wooden strips of trim that hold the stained glass in place.

GALLERY: Pizza Not Satchel Raye’s Only Passion

Though “Satch” is affectionately known around Gainesville for his pizza restaurant, his true passion lies in his art.


A younger member of the O2B Kids Fusion Dance Companyshows off her flexibility during a dance routine at the 3rd annual Duck Derby on Sunday afternoon.

GALLERY: Duck Derby

The sun was shining and fun was in abundance at Gainesville’s 3rd annual Duck Derby Sunday afternoon.


Michael Croft and Sabine Lanninger partner dance as part of the Irish set dancing performances by the Gainesville's Inisheer Irish Dance Company at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

GALLERY: Gainesville’s Weekend Arts Festivals

Explore the Santa Fe Community Arts Festival and Gainesville’s Viva Europe Festival.


Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 5.14.20 PM

9-Year-Old Inspires Children’s Book Character

Local author Shelley Fraser Mickle published her newest book in February. Nine-year-old Audrey Allen is the inspiration for the main character.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments