“The winter is traditionally slow, so we thought, ‘let’s try something to get people down here,’” said Kevin Tilson, Director of the Castle Rock Downtown Alliance. “We’re now in our fourth season and have seen a full development and activation of that block and of downtown.”
Located in the White Pavilion, near small businesses like: Finn LaFleur, Jack of all Macs and Castle Rock Bike & Ski, the ice skating rink has become an area attraction to many. Last year alone, over 11,000 paying customers were logged on the books.
Although it’s difficult to account for exactly how many shopping dollars that translates to locally, Tilson and businesses know winters have been more plentiful since it opened. “We think of it as a small success story,” Tilson noted. “While it may not be totally attributed to the rink entirely, the activity that’s going on downtown this winter is definitely helped by the rink.”
From start to finish, the project takes about two weeks to set up and stays operational from November 21 until February 15. Skaters need only pay a minimal entry fee and skate rental, or they can bring their own. And though the attraction has yet to see profit, the Downtown Alliance (the partnership of the DDA and DMA) views it as an investment in Castle Rock.
“While our expenses continue to go up each year, it’s a case of where we have to balance being able to keep it open and also keep it affordable,” Tilson commented. Luckily, along with the $6 to $8 dollar fee to skate, rentals and lessons offered, local businesses are also adding to the pot.
Mywedding.com likewise sees the investment in the community and the ability of the rink to help the local economy. “The current title sponsor is mywedding.com,” remarked Tilson. “They are a huge supporter of the community and a big employer with well-paying jobs…their sponsorship of the rink helps us keep it open.”
So over the next month and a half, the Downtown Alliance will be hoping for bigger numbers than last year. They also have plans on the horizon for other events at the White Pavilion after the ice melts. “Throughout the year, our hope it that the attractions at the White Pavilion continue to be something that activates the downtown area.”
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