LEAVENWORTH — Lions Club Park next to City Hall along Highway 2 is now temporarily home to an outdoor ice skating rink.
The Holidays on Ice officially opened Friday and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting, every day through January. The cost is $15 per person, including skates, and there’s no time limit.
Friends Jerry Jennings and Nancy Tobey, both of Plain, glided around the ice Friday morning. Decorations like reindeer and Christmas trees were outside the rink.
“The ice is good, the location is great,” Tobey said. “It’s going to be a real asset to the community. ... I’ll have to see if they have a frequent-flyer card.”
She said her daughters figure skated, and she usually ice skates on the pond at Kahler Glen Golf & Ski Resort.
“It’s just fun to be back at the ice rink,” she said.
Jennings said it’ll be a good alternative for children and teenagers who don’t like shopping in the downtown Bavarian Village. But she and Tobey probably won’t be the only adults enjoying the rink.
“I just ordered skates and they’re coming tomorrow, so I plan to do it a lot,” she said.
Rich Yakkey, owner of The Holidays on Ice, said he got the idea in 2011 while staying at a San Francisco hotel that had an ice rink.
The company is based in San Diego and usually operates temporary rinks in Southern California. This is its first time in Leavenworth.
“We’ve done it at wineries, event centers, shopping malls,” Yakkey said. “Ultimately, I’d love to find a destination and lock it down and be there every year.”
He said he and his family are renting a house in Leavenworth while the rink is open.
Leavenworth conducted a feasibility study for a permanent rink in 2015, but no one had the money to build it. The city issued a special-use permit for the temporary rink this year.
The city provides electricity, water, restrooms and garbage removal. It will receive 50% of gross ticket sales once the business reaches an initial goal of $200,000. After the city receives $10,000, it’ll get 25% of all remaining gross ticket sales.
Yakkey said the city will replant the grass for the park after the ice skating rink closes.
“From what I’ve gathered from all the local people, they love it,” he said. “They say it’s been a long time coming. I guess there’s been a lot of people wanting a rink up here. They’ve tried local ponds and it just doesn’t stay frozen. We’ll keep it frozen 100%.”
For more information, visit theholidaysonice.com.