The seasonal ice skating rink in Tacoma will be moved to Point Ruston this winter, and its future doesn’t seem bright.
For six years, the temporary rink at Tollefson Plaza has drawn visitors to the downtown area during the holidays.
This winter, the rink will be moved to Point Ruston’s Grand Plaza and officials will conduct an analysis to determine where – if anywhere – it can be in the coming years.
“With a surface unsuitable for optimal ice production, and a footprint not adequate to accommodate a high quality experience, Tollefson Plaza had proven to be a less than ideal location for the ice rink,” according to a city news release.
Officials also listed finances as a growing problem with operating the ice rink.
It costs roughly $250,000 to maintain the rink for six weeks, which the city said is a nearly $70,000 increase over the last two years.
During that timeframe, admission rates reflected that with a rise from $8 to $11.
Sponsor monies have also decreased by more than $30,000, according to the city.
Although $73,000 was raised last year, no sponsors have yet signed on for this season, said Kala Dralle, a program specialist with the city’s Economic Development Services.
No possible locations have been mentioned for the ice rink if it does stick around.
The rink is usually 40 by 100 feet with seven miles of tubing under the surface piped with glycol, which is kept at 8 degrees.
Then it’s topped with about 5 inches of ice.
Dralle said the city plans to work with downtown Tacoma partners and figure out what activities can take the place of the ice rink to continue drawing people into the area during the shopping season.