City votes to keep Main Street ice rink open two more weeks

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The City of Columbia has voted to extend the number of operating days for the installed ice rink on Main Street.

Council voted to allow the rink to stay open for an additional two weeks until January 21. The contract was extended through January 27 for tear down of the facility.

The city's Main Street ice rink has generated approximately $200,000 for hospitality-related businesses since its opening on Thanksgiving, according to the Columbia Convention and Visitors Board.

Figures provided to WIS Tuesday show that the visitors bureau estimates a total economic impact from the rink to be a little over $318,000. That total includes money spent for food, beverage, and incidentals near the rink and ticket sales.

Estimates were based on calculated expenditures of visitors to the rink and their guests.

The city has spent approximately $190k to run the rink so far. Ticket sales have covered a portion of that expense. According to the city's profit/loss calculation, the project is about $70k in the red.

The cost of the extension will be an additional $20,000. Senior Assistant City Manager S. Allison Baker said he believes ticket sales for the two weeks will cover the additional expense.

New hours of operation will be as follows:

Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.

The rink will operate on special hours on closing day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Skating fees will include skate rentals and will remain at $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and under. Special senior and military discounts will be offered.

City leaders say the rink has brought over 14,000 visitors to the Main Street area.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.