Cal Anderson park will be home to a temporary outdoor, 50-by-80-foot ice skating rink December 6-24, thanks to a parks activation partnership between the city and the Capitol Hill development company Hunters Capital.
"Not all of the details are nailed yet but we know the rink will be located on the basketball courts," says Seattle parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter. "We're hoping it'll be a success so we can do it again."
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, which first reported the story, says that admission will be $12 for adults, $6 for kids (per hour) and the rink will be open 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
Interestingly, the rink—which will cost $100,000 to bring and operate in the park—will be run as a nonprofit separate from Hunters Capital. "We receive no profit from this," stresses Jill Cronauer, a spokeswoman for the development company. "In fact, we’re crossing our fingers, hoping we break even." If the rink turns a profit, the group will use that money to bring it back next year. "Eventually, if this successfully continues, we'd donate [the profits] to parks or the city," Cronauer says.
Hunters Capital owner Michael Malone first had the idea for sponsoring the skating rink two years ago when the reflection pond at Cal Anderson park iced over and people used it to skate. "We were walking by and he said it was a fantastic thing to have in the park during winter, when the park is underused," explains Cronauer. "So this summer, he said 'let's really try and do it.'"
A press release from Hunters Capital states that the tented rink will be festooned with holiday decorations, and include seasonal music and free gift wrapping. The group estimates the rink will attract roughly 400 visitors a day to the Pike/Pine street corridor.
The rink will surely please high-strung parents, the Cal Anderson Park Alliance, and other business interests concerned with the park's "reputation," as long as children don't start feeding kettle corn to the homeless.