Sound Transit is working to build a new $90 million light rail station that will deliver thousands of riders a day to and from Broadway by 2016 but the agency is working on another package to be unwrapped on Capitol Hill just in time for *this* holiday shopping season. CHS has learned of plans to host an outdoor, all-weather ice skating rink in Cal Anderson Park that is intended to draw thousands of holiday revelers to Capitol Hill for three weeks in December.
The temporary rink has not yet been formally announced but CHS has examined marketing materials related to the project and confirmed the location of the rink with Seattle Parks:
The 1st Annual Capitol Hill Ice Rink is created and executed by local community members wanting to provide a fun outdoor activity for all ages in a beautiful park underused in the winter months. All proceeds will support Cal Anderson Park and the surrounding community.We hope the inaugural year is successful and will return for years to come.
We’re told the project is being driven by local developer and property manager Hunters Capital and includes Sound Transit as it’s lead sponsor. Sound Transit has earmarked some $2.6 million in business mitigation money to support the Capitol Hill business community through the duration of the U-Link light rail construction. We documented some of the ways that money has been deployed over the years here. We don’t know how much is being spent on the ice rink project.
CHS’s business listings are sponsored by the Sound Transit mitigation funding.
In 2009, the skating was free (Image: CHS)
Other sponsors listed in early marketing materials include construction firm SKANSKA, a company that had been in on bidding for construction of the light rail station, Elliott Bay Book Co., Blick Art Materials, and First Hill’s Sorrento Hotel. Oddfellows and the Northwest School are also listed as supporters. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Cal Anderson Park Alliance.
According to those familiar with the project, the original proposal was to locate the temporary rink in the water pool in Cal Anderson above the underground reservoir but the city nixed that idea. We’re told the rink will instead be located near the park’s wading pool. The artist’s rendering above places the rink at the Cal Anderson basketball court but Parks says it will not be located there. UPDATE: This just in from Parks:
Regarding the Capitol Hill Blog article on the skating rink in Cal Anderson Park: Sorry for the confusion, but the rink will, in fact, be on the basketball court, not the wading pool. This was a last minute change and not all Parks folks were aware.
Marketing materials are recommending visitors use nearby street and paid parking areas.
The area around Cal Anderson’s wading pool and bathrooms was identified as a problem area for homeless people and drug users during this summer’s “safety emphasis” effort in the park. With the change in seasons, the area is mostly empty of the day campers that lead to the complaints.
The tented rink is scheduled to debut Tuesday, December 6th and will be open every day through Christmas Eve. Hours are 11a to 10p. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids six and under for one hour on the ice and skate rentals. Any Johnny Weirs out there with their own skates are welcome to use them — for the same price. You can also rent the entire rink for two hours of personal use — price tag: $2k.
The project will apparently give Seattle its only major outdoor ice rink this season and will compete with Bellevue’s Group Health-backed “Magic Season” ice rink to draw skaters and shoppers to the Hill. Seattle Center also hosts a temporary indoor rink.