Summerville’s first outdoor ice skating rink is open for business as of Monday.
A soft opening took place after Summerville DREAM was forced to delay its original opening date due to a pump malfunction that prevented ice from building up. Steven Doniger, executive director of Summerville DREAM, said a temporary pump was brought in allowing work to continue.
“We had to fight through a lot of construction things but everybody rose to the occasion to make it happen,” Doniger said.
Located downtown at 208 S. Cedar Street, the 40- by 80-foot unit was constructed by the company, Ice Games 88, and funded in part by $130,000 of Summerville’s hospitality tax money. Summerville DREAM will be paying back 90 percent of its net revenue back to the Town when the ice skating season comes to a close in January.
To complete the festive scene, a few finishing touches will be added later this week including more Christmas trees and lights.
“It won’t look like a construction site as it goes on but today we have a few people on the books and are going to get them skating,” Doniger said.
Plenty of families turned out for the soft opening Monday evening and before long bleachers adjacent to the rink were full of parents watching their children progress from a shaky, nervous start to a confident glide across the ice.
Max Hollifield fastened a helmet on his son, Noah, 13, before encouraging him to step out on the ice and steady himself. Noah previously skated at the Carolina Ice Palace in North Charleston. Hollifield said he was excited to learn about Summerville Skates and eager to bring Noah out on the first day of the ice skating season.
“We wanted to support the town,” Hollifield said. “Anything that goes on around here…Third Thursday, any of the events- we support it,” Hollifield said.
Skating prices are $8 to skate plus an additional $4 to rent skates. The season remains open until Jan. 11.