San Jose officials hope the Aloha Downtown Skate Rink will bring people back to town and boost small businesses


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — After a tough few years, downtown San Jose is alive again and rolling towards the holiday season.

After opening to the public over the weekend, city officials and residents descended on the Aloha Downtown Ice Rink at the Circle of the Palms Plaza.

LISTING: San Francisco Bay Area 2022 Holiday Events

Along with providing residents with a good time, one of the rink’s main goals is to encourage people to spend more time this holiday season shopping and eating locally.

Not just downtown, but all over San Jose.

Incumbent Mayor Sam Liccardo says he hopes it will give a boost to small businesses – many of which are still struggling.

“Being able to bring people back to sidewalks, to public spaces, also helps revitalize our stores. And we want people to shop locally, not just sit behind a screen,” Liccardo said.

In the past, it was the site of the town’s skating rink. But this year, due to various factors, people are hanging up their ice skates for roller skates.

“It’s been a little bit better for the land. It’s been a lot more doable for the downtown association as well. The rink was costing a lot of money. There were a lot of logistical challenges,” Liccardo said.

But the change appeared to be a success for many people we spoke with on Tuesday.

“I would say inline skating is better because I’m a little bit better at it,” skater Max Hernandez said.

So whether you’re lacing up your old skates for a spin on the rink or trying to check things off your holiday shopping list, city leaders say they hope you do in San Jose.

Fueling a sense of community like nowhere else in the Bay Area.

“San Jose is such a unique place in the sense that you have people who have been here for generations. But one of the things I’ve found is that there are so many people coming to San Jose. Jose who are relatively new, and they’re like, wow this place is amazing. This place feels like home,” said Gumby Marques of the San Jose Downtown Association.

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