“Just a fun place to be”: the holiday skating rink will open its doors on Saturday in downtown Coeur d’Alene

The ephemeral Coeur d’Alene on Ice rink shines, waiting for skaters eager to skate on the ice during the grand opening on Saturday.

After years of operating pop-up ice rinks in California, Jerome and Andrea Murray moved to Coeur d’Alene last year. They saw how little use of downtown McEuen Park in the winter months was and thought it was the perfect location for an outdoor ice rink.

Parks and Recreation Director Bill Greenwood agrees. For years, the Parks department has researched winter activities, but nothing has been done, he said.

When the Murrays came up with the idea, Greenwood was thrilled.

“I think this is the perfect fit for our downtown area,” said Greenwood.

People can ice skate and then head downtown for a bite to eat or even take a cruise on the lake, he said.

The rink, located next to and in the McEuen Park pavilion, measures 80 feet by 120 feet and is serviced by a full-size Zamboni, said Jeremy Murray.

Murray constructed a temporary building under the roof of the pavilion to house ticket sales, skate rentals and a small concession stand. The building and outdoor space have been transformed into a winter wonderland by Pointer Interiors, with three igloos available for hire by the rink.

“We went over the top,” said Murray, sitting in one of the plush igloos.

The oval ice rink overlooks Lac Coeur d’Alene on one side, the mountains on the other, with the city center behind.

At night, the space transforms again with lights embedded in the ice changing to the beat of the music coming from the DJ booth at one end of the rink. Lights hanging overhead twinkle, often attracting deer from the nearby forest, Murray said.

Setting up was an exhausting process, said Murray, but the space turned out to be better than he imagined.

“We want something that becomes a tradition for families,” Murray said.

The rink opens Saturday for Halloween weekend and is expected to remain open seven days a week until New Years Day.

Tickets for the 90-minute skating sessions are available online at cdaonice.com. Tickets, including skate rentals, cost $ 12 for children 12 and under and $ 16 for 13 and over.

The ice rink is available for birthdays and parties, as well as for other events.

This weekend, patrons are encouraged to step into the spooky season by donning their Halloween costumes for a ride around the ice. This is likely the first in a series of themed skates, Murray said.

On Friday afternoon, Murray and his team put the finishing touches on the ice before opening day. The Wake Up Call double-decker cafe bus sat next to the ice rink, ready to open, the concession stand was ready to serve popcorn, hot chocolate and other snacks, and the skates lined up neatly. on the shelves.

“It’s just a great place to live,” Murray said, watching the ice with a smile on his face.

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