At this time of year, the Plaza neighborhood of Las Vegas almost looks like it was taken from a darling Christmas movie. It helps draw visitors and shoppers to Old Town, but what about the Douglas Avenue corridor?
Mayor Louie Trujillo and Las Vegas City Council hope to draw locals and visitors to the city’s other venerable business district with a new synthetic ice rink, as well as music, food trucks, and maybe entertainment. other types of sellers.
Las Vegas City Council recently approved funding for the purchase of a 60-by-40-foot synthetic ice rink that will be placed in part of the parking lot near the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Seventh Street. The objective is to bring more people to the region, and to the city in general.
“We’re hoping to create a vacation destination for people to come and ice skate, and maybe even rent a room and enjoy beautiful Las Vegas,” Trujillo said.
The rink surface is made of a synthetic material that allows skaters to wear regular metal blade ice skates, but does not require cold temperatures or the maintenance that real ice does.
The rink can accommodate 45 to 50 skaters at a time, city manager Leo Maestas said at a special city council meeting on November 23. Skates will be available for hire on-site, although Trujillo told Optic the city is still working to determine rental prices.
The city will use $ 55,000 from its tenants’ tax fund to pay for the new rink, which is expected to last 12 to 15 years, according to Maestas. The city initially accepted offers for the rental of a synthetic ice rink, but at a cost of $ 38,000 for a 40-day rental, the council decided to purchase an ice rink instead.
Owning the mobile ice rink also allows the City to use it at any time of the year, and possibly in other places. And because the surface is synthetic, it could include summer skating. However, the city has no plans beyond the holiday season at the moment.
A third-party company will provide the rental skates and sharpeners, but the rental booth would be occupied by city employees, Trujillo said. He also plans to make the cost of renting skates “very affordable,” and for those who own ice skates, there will likely be no charge to use the rink.
Trujillo expected rental prices, hours of operation and other details to be settled within a few weeks. He would also like to cover the rink with a tent equipped with lights to allow night skating, and he would like to build a performing arts stage that could accommodate live bands or a DJ.
“There will probably be daytime, nighttime and nighttime hours. It won’t happen too late at night, ”Trujillo said. “This is turning out to be a very impressive vacation time for Las Vegas. “
While the rink may not be ready for skaters until the trees are lit and this Saturday’s electric light parade, this year’s festivities include plenty of other entertainment for locals and visitors alike.
Starting at 1 p.m. on December 4, Santa will be at Plaza Park welcoming children of all ages.
At around 4 p.m., the city will dedicate the Plaza Lookout to honor Cipriano M. Aguilar Jr., longtime radio presenter and master of ceremonies of the Las Vegas Fiestas. A longtime educator, in his later years Aguilar worked as a substitute teacher for Las Vegas City Schools. Aguilar died in December 2018.
After the dedication, around 5:30 p.m., the Plaza Park Christmas tree will be lit. This year’s tree is a blue spruce donated by Jane and Napoleon “Nappy” Quintana of Las Vegas.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., the annual Electric Light Parade will begin moving from Fifth Street and Friedman Avenue to the Plaza. As the parade travels through the city, it will move along Sixth Street to Douglas Avenue, then 12th Street to National Avenue, then along Bridge Street where it will end near the Plaza Hotel.