Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 24, 2013

Real spirit comes with ice rink

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It's really shaping up to be a true community effort with Pauls Valley's newest holiday attraction — an old fashioned ice rink.

City officials are hoping its new rink, complete with artificial ice, will offer the public not only something new but add to the festive spirit this Christmas in the downtown area.

The rink also represents an opportunity for local groups to join in and help out at the new attraction as a way to raise money for their various causes.

City workers were busy this week getting a platform built for the rink to be placed right in the middle of the local train depot’s parking lot.

In just a few days — Friday, Nov. 29 to be exact — the rink is set to accept its first skaters.

The anticipation has for some been building as there are many hoping it will be a big holiday hit once it begins renting skates for a whirl around the rink.

Included in that group is Erin Creach, tourism director for the city of Pauls Valley.

“The city thinks this ice skating rink will be a great asset for tourism,” Creach said.

“It's also giving non-profit organizations the chance to fundraise during the holidays,” she said. “They can help be a part of the rink and take tickets at the gate.

“In return they get a portion of the proceeds for that night. If they choose to work concessions they get 100 percent of those proceeds.

“It's a win-win for the community.”

The city rink is 37 feet by 52 feet in size and can comfortably fit 55 skaters at one time.

Once open at the depot the rink is expected to keep going through late December.

The idea behind getting a rink in the first place was born when earlier this year a new city committee was formed to look at ways to offer even more holiday cheer when the season rolled around in PV.

At first the committee was looking at the possibility of creating a new drive-thru holiday lights attraction here.

Instead, they hit upon a totally new idea of establishing something unique to the area — an old fashioned ice rink.

“We did some research and looked at all our different options,” Creach said.

“We found for a fraction of the cost we could do the skating rink,” she said.

“We chose artificial over real ice because of the maintenance, and you don't have to worry about the weather. The weather doesn’t dictate when people can skate.”

The hope is the ice skating will add to the festive holiday feel of Pauls Valley's downtown, along with bringing more shoppers to check out the businesses there.

“Yes we want this to benefit local businesses by having more people downtown,” Creach added.

“We also wanted Pauls Valley to be more of a destination for shoppers,” she said. “We wanted to add to what Pauls Valley already does for the holidays.”

By the way, the cost to skate is $8, which includes the skates.