Ice skating will become part of the holiday season in downtown Clovis this winter, after the Clovis City Council agreed Monday to place a deposit on a portable ice rink.
The nearly 2,000-square-foot rink may be set up near the American Legion Hall parking lot between Fourth and Fifth streets and Woodworth Avenue, said Tina Sumner, the city's economic and community development director.
The city is proposing to keep the rink open for 23 days, from Dec. 11 to Jan. 2, Sumner said.
Funding for the project is coming from the Clovis Community Development Agency, the city's downtown redevelopment arm.
The Clovis council, voting as the agency's board, unanimously approved the down payment on the rink.
The city is paying a deposit of $11,396 to Crystal Ice Skating, an Anaheim company that owns and operates portable synthetic ice-skating rinks.
Company documents say the rink is made of plastic panels with a special polymer. It is covered with a water-based glide enhancer to provide a slippery surface.
The full cost is $45,584, which includes the cost of staffing the rink, ice skates for rentals, snow-making machines and set-up costs, Sumner said.
Sumner expects much of the cost to be covered by promotions, sponsorships and commercial revenue. KSKS FM, KISS Country, has agreed to promote and market the skating rink.
The plan is to make the rink one piece of a larger project that Sumner hopes will include a crafts fair and other holiday events.
"We want to create a month of Old Town holiday activities," she said. "I would love the opportunity to attract more people to Old Town and bring more people from the community to see it and experience it."
By drawing visitors, more people will remain in Clovis to eat meals or visit Old Town Clovis' specialty shops, she said.
The skating rink adds to the downtown holiday season events, such as One Enchanted Evening, the Children's Electrical Parade, Old Town trolley rides and annual Christmas tree lighting. The city also is in the process of adding a parade of Santas, a Christmas market/crafts fair and holiday drama productions.
Although some details remain to be worked out, Sumner said the rink will be operated with an admission fee for two-hour skating sessions.