Ocala Synthetic Ice Rink Brings Holiday Spirit

By on November 20th, 2013
Synthetic Ice Rink

Yancey Cook / WUFT News

The synthetic ice rink in Ocala will be unveiled Saturday and will stay open until Jan. 5.

A new synthetic ice rink in Ocala will provide a new holiday experience for residents and visitors.

The rink, mostly made of black polymer, is 32 feet by 64 feet, allowing for 40 skaters at a time.

The rink is set to be unveiled this Saturday afternoon at the Light Up Ocala event. Once unveiled, the rink will be open seven days a week until Jan. 5.

Similar rinks have been used in Florida before with great success, which is why the Ocala City Council approved this project last summer.

The project is expensive, but the rink will bring a great sense of holiday spirit to the Ocala area, Pamela Calero, public communication coordinator for Ocala, said.

“Startup costs for the rink are $38,000, and that combated a special taxing district budget from downtown,” said Calero.

“We expect to repay that over the next three years from rink proceeds, and operating costs for the rink run about $69,000. And we expect to be repaid by skate fees, private rentals and sponsorships, which the city expects to be around $82,000,” she said.

While a lot of money around this time of year goes toward buying gifts for family and friends, the rink not only provides a great holiday experience, but it also has a very low admission fee, which makes it easy for all visitors to participate.

“Five dollars is the admission price which will get you 30 minutes on the ice as well as rental skates,” Calero said. “It’s really great because a lot of people in Ocala have never skated before so this makes for a great way to experience something that a lot of people have as a holiday tradition.”

Not only is the city excited to unveil the rink, but Ocala residents are also excited to experience ice skating. Samantha Kent, an Ocala resident, said she is looking forward to the opportunity to ice skate during the holidays.

“Right around Christmas time in Florida it doesn’t snow here or get very cold, so I think because we don’t have a ‘White Christmas,’ an ice rink will definitely enhance the holiday experience for families and friends all over the area,” Kent said.

This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Eskimo

    Does anybody know what the operating hours will be?

  • Yancey Cook

    Yes I do.
    Monday- Friday 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Saturday-Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    The rink will be in operation every day until January 7th except for Christmas Day.

  • Christian Dossett

    Where exactly is he rink?

    • http://www.mikechurch.com/ pete838

      Osceola & Braodway, a block east of the downtown square


More Stories in Local

Thaddeus Bullard sits with homeless couple, Joe and Vivian Mulligan, as he listens to their story.

UF Hall Of Famer And WWE Superstar Feeds The Homeless

Former Gator great Thaddeus Bullard is completing his challenge of 3,000 volunteer hours to the Gator Nation. Along the way, he stopped by the St. Francis House house to help serve food and mingle with the crowd.

IFAS researchers have been involved in an experiment to uncover ways to create tastier and sturdier blueberries.

Florida Researchers Aim To Breed Better Blueberries

Researchers tested 19 different types of blueberries, which were ranked based on overall liking, texture, sweetness, sourness and flavor intensity to determine what type of blueberry people liked and which type would produce consistent results when grown in different environments.

A completed portion of the remediation project consists of green berms sloping downhill towards the wetlands. The brown sections are coconut sodding mats with seeding that will grow from them. Photo by Conor Soper.

Gainesville Landfill Transforms Into Floodplain

A decades-old Gainesville landfill will soon be transformed into a functioning floodplain. The old landfill near the Gainesville Regional Airport has caused erosion and affected the quality of the local water for humans and wildlife. The $1.88 million project to remediate the landfill has been in progress since April, but the landfill has a history dating back more than half a century ago.

A lack of parking spaces at The Grove causes many residents to park illegally, blocking roads. Photo by Kaley Thomas.

Limited Parking For Grove Residents Prompts Towing

Due to a lack of parking spots in the Grove, residents are illegally parking and getting towed.

The Alachua County Commission meeting on Tuesday.

County Programs Receive Word On Funding For 2016

The Alachua County Commission approved the distribution of funds for the CAPP and Choices programs for 2016 fiscal year, putting the future for some local nonprofit agencies in question.

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
Underwriting Payments