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Downtown outdoor ice rink draws in hundreds

Posted at 10:42 PM, Dec 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 15:04:29-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It was another packed day at the downtown outdoor ice rink!

People of all ages and abilities were sliding on their skates today at the rink located at 45 N. 5th Avenue (MLK Lot/Depot Garage Lot).

Given the success of the rink, staff members told KGUN9 they feel the turn-out is a good sign this rink will be a yearly tradition.

Glenn Grapski with the Tucson Convention Center couldn’t be more thrilled.

“It's been sensational. We've had a great turnout. Today's been very steady, yesterday was fantastic,” he said.

First timers like 8-year-old Mika Grijalva said ice skating is harder than it looks.

“It's really fun but I fall a lot,” said Grijalva.

Adriana Jimenez also got cozy with the ice.

“So far I've hit the floor more times than I can count, but it's still pretty fun. I mean I keep trying, going around the circles,” added Jimenez.

Among the beginners was Matthew Lundgren, a native Tucsonan who has been skating for 37 years.

“I just love skating. It's like meditation. It's the most beautiful feeling,” he told KGUN9.

If you want to come out and skate there are a couple of ground rules. You have to have socks on in order to get your skates and gloves are highly recommended-- to keep warm and for protection.

Angel Olivares, who has been skating for several years, says ice being comfortable of the skates takes time.

“It's a lot of patience. A lot of balance. It's a lot of fun nonetheless,” he said.

In just a short time, folks we talked to say their experience at the rink was a dream come true.

“I'm really happy about it because it's in Tucson! We never get snow or any ice at all,” said Mika Grijalva.

Adriana Jimenez admitted she has always wanted to skate on an ice rink, so today’s adventure still seems surreal.

It's always something you watch on TV, and you're like...oh, I'd love to try that. So it's a really nice experience. Especially because I get to do it with my family,” said Jimenez.

Meantime, Matthew Lundgren says he has waited for an outdoor ice rink to open in Tucson since he was a little kid. When he found out about this rink opening up, he went to Goodwill to buy some skates. He had them on today.

“Having this ice here is a real treat. I don't get to skate on the ice very much here in Tucson so this is great,” Lundgren told KGUN9.

Glenn Grapski said the turnout has been better than what they had imagined.

“I think this is a new Tucson tradition. I we will see this for years and years. I can see this go where our kids will bring their kids in the future,” added Grapski.

While he thinks the rink will be brought out every year, he says the location may change to accommodate more people.

Open skate hours:

Mon- Fri: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday: Noon – 10 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 7 p.m.

The ice rink will be closed on New Year’s day and on Christmas day.

Hours are subject to change.


Open skate all-day admission: $15 for adults, $10 for children age 12 and under

Skate rental is included in the admission price.

There are no discounts for bringing your own skates.

For more information on how to rent skates, click here.