PORT ANGELES — Plans have been unveiled for a seasonal ice skating rink and winter village in downtown Port Angeles.
Organizers of the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village shared their vision for the 3,200-square-foot temporary rink at 121 W. Front St., in a community meeting at City Hall on Monday evening.
The ice rink just east of Station 51 Taphouse would be open daily from Nov. 23 to Jan. 6, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The cost to skate would be $15 for adults and $10 for youth, seniors and veterans. A ticket would include rental skates, helmets and other safety gear.
“We’re really, really, really trying to keep this affordable,” said Lindsay Fox, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce events manager. “We want everybody to have a chance to do it.”
The chamber is seeking volunteers to help staff the skating rink and to serve on one of six committees.
“We need lots of volunteers, lots of help,” said Edna Petersen, owner of Necessities and Temptations gift store in downtown Port Angeles.
“There are two things we need: volunteers and money,” Fox added.
To register to volunteer, email [email protected]geles.org or call 360-797-9345.
The Port Angeles City Council approved this year a $35,000 request for lodging tax funds submitted by the chamber as a down payment to Ice-America of Harbor City, Calif.
Lodging tax revenue is dedicated to projects and events that put “head in beds” by drawing tourists to the area.
Organizers have said the total cost of the project will be about $130,000.
“So far, we have about 20 donations totalling about $4,500 from community members,” Chamber Executive Director Marc Abshire said at the community meeting, which drew eight attendees.
“That’s a pretty good start.”
The aluminum Ice-America rink would be covered by a large event tent donated by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Fox said.
Hot chocolate and snacks would be served in small wooden cabins donated by Redd’s Shed.
Lakeside Industries “generously volunteered” to prep the rink site and to help organizers secure a generator, Petersen said.
Extreme Sports Park of Port Angeles has agreed to provide bleachers to surround the skating rink.
Andrew May, an ornamental horticulturist and Peninsula Daily News garden columnist, is “already chasing down leads on trees and decor” for the winter ice village, Fox said.
“I think there will be twinkling lights all over the place,” Fox said. “Trees as well. Things will be looking like candy canes.”
The rink itself would be closed every 90 minutes to allow a Zamboni to resurface the ice.
Reservations would be taken for corporate rentals, private parties, birthday parties and school field trips.
Chamber officials estimate that the 120-capacity rink would have 8,600 skating sessions during its six weeks of operation. That works out to 195 sessions per day.
In an interview after the meeting, Abshire said the estimate was based on the number of people expected to visit Port Angeles during the holiday season.
“I actually think that [8,600] is a conservative number,” Abshire said.
“That’s not skaters. That’s skate sessions. I think there’s a lot of people that will skate several times, and people coming from out of town.”
The nearest ice skating rinks are at Butchart Gardens in Victoria and the indoor Bremerton Ice Center.
Abshire said the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village would draw visitors from the North Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver Island, Kitsap County, Grays Harbor County and possibly Snohomish County.
Organizers are seeking volunteers to serve on six committees: fundraising, operations, design and decoration, facilities, volunteer coordination and special events and activities.
Fox said the goal is to bring ice skating back to Port Angeles every year.
“I don’t want to see this as a one-off,” Fox said.
“I want this to be happening every season. Obviously, we’re going to probably have to rent a rink three or four — maybe five times — before we’ve stashed away enough to then maybe purchase something more permanent.”
Petersen said the feedback she had received on the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village had been overwhelmingly positive.
“To the best of my knowledge, other than some remarks on Facebook, we haven’t had anybody say this is dumb,” Petersen said.
“I’ve heard nothing but positive responses,” Fox added.
“At this point, the thing that hasn’t resonated yet with people is they say: ‘Oh that sounds so cool. I can’t wait to go.’
“And then they walk off,” Fox said. “But they don’t realize: We need your help to make it happen.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].