Lace up, an ice rink might be coming to Main Street next winter
Seats on the patio outside Zoom restaurant are coveted by diners during the months of good weather.
But the patio space could be prized by another group of people next winter: ice skaters.
The Sky Lodge, which is next to Zoom and leases the patio space to the restaurant, has started discussions with City Hall about installing an ice-skating rink on the patio during the next winter.
The sides continue to talk about the details and are attempting to reach an agreement. That could occur by early June, giving the lodge and Park City officials approximately six months for planning and then the installation of the rink, slated for December if it happens.
"We like the idea of animating the corner there . . . to bring people to that location," said Eric Clark, the general manager of The Sky Lodge and the figure who is representing the lodge in the discussions.
The patio space under consideration is situated just off the high-profile Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, a place that is heavily traveled by pedestrians and motorists.
The figures involved in the talks envision a rink becoming a buzz-worthy addition to Main Street that better positions the street against other shopping, dining and entertainment districts in the Park City area. Main Street in recent years has faced increased competition from up-and-coming places in the Snyderville Basin and the emergence of the Bonanza Park district along Bonanza Drive.
Main Street leaders, in a separate set of talks, have for months been considering a list of projects that they see as being beneficial. The list included an ice rink, with the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the Main Street district, eyeing the Brew Pub parking lot at the top of the street as a possible site. There has not yet appeared to have been significant progress toward an ice rink at that location, though.
According to Clark, the idea at the Sky Lodge calls for an ice rink to operate in the winter, perhaps during the busy period between December and February. The rink would not be refrigerated, meaning that it would depend on cold outside temperatures instead of a mechanical system to keep the ice. A refrigeration system would have substantially increased the cost of a rink.
Clark said the space would be flooded with water and workers would install boards surrounding the rink as well as lights and shades.
Jason Glidden, who is the business-development manager at the Park City Ice Arena, represents City Hall in the talks with the Sky Lodge, saying an ice-skating rink on Main Street would be another attraction.
"There’s a possible economic benefit to having a rink on Main Street," he said.
Glidden outlines a business plan that envisions City Hall breaking even. He estimated the startup costs for City Hall would be approximately $50,000 for personnel and equipment. The Sky Lodge would contribute $15,000, he said. Glidden said revenues would be generated through admission fees and skate rentals. Prices have not been set.
In a memo to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, Glidden said an ice-skating rink would "add an attraction that will provide great entertainment for both residents and visitors, and increase visitation to Main Street."
Glidden, meanwhile, said in the memo an ice-skating rink at the Sky Lodge could offer insight into whether a permanent ice rink like the one that interests Main Street leaders might be successful.
It was not immediately clear what sort of approval process would be needed before an ice rink could be created at the site.
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