Phoenix, AZ– Installation will begin next week at the newly opened CityScape project in downtown Phoenix on a special holiday treat for Phoenix citizens: a frozen ice skating rink, open to the public. The rink, sponsored by NRG Thermal – the energy company which operates the city’s cooperative underground downtown air conditioning and cooling system – will open on Saturday, November 27 and operate through January 15, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. every evening Monday through Friday, and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The rink has special holiday hours opening from 3p.m to 11:00 p.m. every day December 18 until January 1, 2011.
The rink, located on the western block of the project, between Central and First Avenue in Patriots Square, will include real ice – the kind usually found only in refrigerator freezers in Phoenix. Local residents will have the opportunity to rent skates or bring their own and glide across the surface of a (size) rink, set up for holiday celebration, adjacent to a new municipal Christmas Tree dedicated to the citizens of Phoenix.
“We want this to be an annual tradition,” said Mike Ebert, of RED Development, operator of CityScape. “Our goal is to make CityScape not only the geographic center of downtown Phoenix, but the heartbeat of activity in downtown, as well. It’s a place for the community to gather and we felt like an ice skating rink at the holidays is really a fun thing to share with people.”
The ice rink will be supplied and operated by American Skating Entertainment Centers, the largest independent operator of ice rink facilities in the United States – including Seasonal outdoor rinks in Los Angeles, Raleigh, N.C., Denver and Washington D.C.
Brad Berman, ASEC President, “The NRG CityScape ice rink will offer skaters the unique experience of skating while overlooking the new municipal Christmas tree. The rink will be built on the elevated portion of the plaza, at 36 feet wide and 60 feet long, over 100 people can skate at a time while enjoying holiday music and decorations”.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said he was thrilled to see the public space at CityScape being put to use so quickly and in such a creative manner.
“The goal for this project was to breathe life into the center of downtown and to revitalize a public space that had been neglected and forgotten,” Mayor Gordon said. “There is no better time for the community to come together than at the holidays and there is no finer tradition for holiday celebration than a Christmas Tree and an ice skating rink. I don’t know how they do it, but I am very excited to see it.”
“As for skating on it – I’ll leave that to my son Jake.”
NRG Thermal, the new owner and operator of the Northwind cooling project in downtown Phoenix and a tenant at CityScape, answered the call when the developer asked for sponsors of the rink.
“We think this will be a really fun way for people to enjoy the holidays in a way unique to Phoenix, and if they get to know who we are along the way, so much the better” said Jim Lodge of NRG Thermal. “We’re part of the downtown community and we just want to do our little piece to help. We’re all about cooling, and nothing says that better than ice. “
CityScape is a two-block, mixed use urban project located at the very center of Downtown Phoenix. The combination of commercial, retail, residential and hotel development is the focal point for urban living and community activity in a revitalized downtown Phoenix, nestled between the city’s entertainment, education, business and government institutions. Bordered on three sides by the city’s new light rail transit system, the project’s neighbors include the US Airways Center, Chase Field, the Phoenix Convention Center, Arizona State University’s 15,000-student downtown Phoenix campus, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, City Hall and the Maricopa County administrative and court complex. www.cityscapephoenix.com