City hopes Main Street Ice will boost downtown business - - Columbia, South Carolina |

City hopes Main Street Ice will boost downtown business

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Columbia's ice rink experiment is off to a new start and so far appears to be drawing plenty of interest.

But as much fun as skating can be, there's another purpose for the rink at Boyd Plaza.

It has already introduced ice skating to some young visitors reintroduced skating to some adults who grew up in icier environments.

It worked for Angela Johnson and her son Dalton. She's a Columbia native now living in the Boston area.

'We're definitely going to have lunch downtown today," Dalton said. "It gets people to come down here and enjoy the downtown area. It's a great idea."

And while that's cool, the other reason for the rink is to try to generate interest in downtown Columbia.

The city had been making a major effort over the past few years to revitalize main.

That effort has met with a lot of success lately with major projects to create new places to shop and dine.

And the new student housing complex in the old Scana headquarters will bring some 850 students directly to main. All of that now creating a new image for downtown Columbia and visitors are taking notice.

Columbia native Bill Stevens now lives in Greenville.

He's impressed with that city's downtown development, but thinks Columbia might be starting to catch up.

"The thing I noticed walking up and down the streets was the new restaurants and that's what's been so great about Greenville," Stevens said.

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