Opening of downtown ice rink delayed a week

In this Dec. 24, 2005 file photo, skaters enjoy the ice-skating rink in Gainesville's Downtown Plaza. An ice rink is returning to downtown but through a different company.

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.

One way that's bound to generate some holiday spirit will have to stay on ice a little longer.

After a five-year hiatus, the return of the ice skating rink to downtown Gainesville has been pushed back a week from Friday until Friday, Nov. 30.

Russell Etling, with the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, attributed the delay to logistical and supply difficulties that Midwest Display Inc., the firm that will operate the rink, faced in getting the rink set up by this Friday.

"They were unable to get everything in place to get it up by Friday," Etling said.

Because of the delay in opening, the rink's stay on the Bo Diddley Downtown Community Plaza will also be extended one week from Jan. 6 to Jan 13.

The city discontinued the rink in 2007 because of budget issues. This year, the city will not provide Midwest Display any funding to operate the rink and will receive 10 percent of the ticket revenues.

The Plaza Ice Palace will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Prices are $10 per person, including skate rental, for one hour or $7 per person for those who bring their own skates.

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