The downtown ice rink CitySkate features a new 36-foot holiday tree featuring hourly light shows from 7-10 p.m. (Photo: CityScape Phoenix)
Holidays in Downtown are a whole lot cooler thanks to CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix. The Valley’s largest real outdoor ice rink started with just 2,000 square feet atop the splash pad in Patriots Parks. Since then, it’s grown into the 7,000-square-foot holiday tradition it is today, located on Central Avenue in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. “The ice rink is a celebration of everything we love about living in Arizona,” said Matt Bowman, marketing director for CityScape Phoenix, owned by RED Development. “Where else can you enjoy outdoor ice skating in 60-degree weather?” This year promises to be better than ever, with a new 36-foot holiday tree featuring hourly light shows from 7-10 p.m. and an enhanced audio experience, he said. Presented by APS, the rink is in fact made of real ice, which uses the same technology as the National Hockey League to ensure optimal skating temperatures. American Outdoor Skating Centers, LLC in Phoenix has been managing the ice skating rink since its inception. So how exactly does it work?
(Photo: CityScape Phoenix)
Bowman explained that underlying tubes of brine — a salt solution that doesn’t freeze — are connected to a massive chiller, which is enclosed on the southern end of the rink. As water pours over the tubes, it turns into ice and creates the top layer of the rink. “Sustainability is very important to us at CityScape,” Bowman said. That’s why materials like the sand used for leveling the base of the rink is recycled at the end of the season and the ice is filtered for debris before it’s drained into the sewer. APS provides the power for the chiller, much of which comes from renewable sources. According to Bowman, the chiller is one of the most efficient models available and many of the rinks’ other elements — the seating area and ticketing booth — are actually made of recycled materials. CityScape debuted its first ice rink in 2010 when RED’s Mike Ebert and Jeff Moloznik looked to create a unique holiday experience that would bring further attention to downtown. “The community has fully embraced the holiday rink,” Bowman said, “and because of their support, it has become one of the most celebrated holiday traditions in the Phoenix area.” CitySkate opens Saturday, Nov. 28 with a Grand Opening Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor Greg Stanton, ice skating performances, an appearance by Santa and more fun festivities. The rink will be open Monday through Sunday, though hours vary. Tickets to skate include rentals and are $12 weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and $15 nights and weekends. Tickets for children ages 4 to 8 are $8. You can purchase them online at www.cityskatephx.com