GREENSBORO – Downtown Greensboro has been put on ice. Wednesday marked the first day for Greensboro's new outdoor ice skating rink. The rink is open to skaters of all ages throughout November, December and January.
Officials hope it could mean a boost for downtown Greensboro's economy.
Dale Mitchell and his 8-year old son Liam were among the first to strap on skates and try out the ice.
"I'm pretty excited because I've only been ice skating once," Liam said.
The 40 x 85 ft. outdoor ice skating rink is a first for downtown Greensboro. And despite the warm temperatures, conditions on the ice were ideal thanks to some high tech machinery.
"We have a 150-ton chiller over there, it's pumping glycol under the rink through some tubing and it's freezing the water really nicely," rink organizer Elijah Lovejoy said.
"I mean at home it used to have to be 20 below zero before we could go skating outside, all the ice skating was inside so it's kind of cool that it's like 65 degrees and we're out here skating," Mitchell said.
Organizers say they hope this new ice skating rink will mean a big boost for businesses in downtown Greensboro.
"The closet thing I could compare an ice rink to is a movie theater. A movie theater tends to be an anchor of a shopping center and just brings tons of people everyday of the week particularly on the weekends. An ice rink is similar. It's just going to bring tons of people," Lovejoy said.
And the Mitchell family agrees.
"It's a great thing for downtown. I mean there's lots of people watching,” said Dale Mitchell. “There's only a few people skating right now but I'm sure there will be more as the season progresses. It's a little hard to think about ice skating when there isn't flurries in the air but I think it's great for downtown, great for city park and it brings more people downtown and it's a good thing for the city.”
The ice skating rink will be open in Festival Park daily through January 21. Admission is $8.