Outdoor Ice Rink Excites Moline Businesses - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Outdoor Ice Rink Excites Moline Businesses

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A new project for the QCA and a new chance for more local business.

The ice rink at Bass Street Landing is almost ready for its debut despite about a two week delay.

The Texas company that builds the rinks couldn't get its crews off the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy devastated the region.

But they're here now.

And workers want to have the ice rink finished and open by this Saturday.

It's being built in the plaza behind the Bass Street landing and the Kone building.

Part of the Kone center's parking garage will hold retail space for the rink.

The water pipes are in place and the rink perimeter is being built.

Crews have also unloaded the big refrigerator unit that will keep the ice from melting once it's put into place.

The construction crews expect to have the rink built in about three days.

Allowing them to test the ice on Friday, with the plan to open to the public on Saturday.

That's only a portion of the work, the bathrooms, skate rental area, and ice rink pub still need to be built too.

Workers are building the walls inside the retail space that's attached to the parking garage.

It's all an exciting change of pace for the skate rinks manager.

"It's just a great thing, there's no other place to do public skating out doors, it's like the old tradition of us skating outside," says operations director Larry Rosmilso.

The prospect of drawing more people outside during the winter also excites the businesses just down the street from the ice rink.

Shop owners say crowds of people gather during the summer months, but it gets a little hit or miss when the weather turns.

They think keeping crowds coming downtown will keep business thriving.

"It started years ago with the opening of the I-Wireless Center and the John Deere Pavilion," says Watermark Corners owner Amy Trimble.

She says downtown Moline has really sprung to life over 14 years of redevelopment. There's more housing, the streets have been improved, and she believes the ice rink will continue building on that progress.

"There's an image that you have of an ice rink in the middle of winter especially around holiday time, brings families down, and people are outside and active it will just bring more people to the downtown," says Trimble.

People that will see the windows of the various stores, bars, and restaurants. Visibility Ducky's Formal Wear owner Steve Anthony says pays off.

"There's so much traffic, there's so much visibility to our windows, and all of the people over the Quad Cities know where we are because of the events at the I-Wireless Center," says Anthony.

He says outdoor events breathe life into a downtown.

"It's one thing to bring people to the mall and you can wander the mall but this brings people downtown, and it's so nice to see a downtown alive," says Anthony.

Isabel Bloom manager Yasmin Williams says, "I think when people come down they are definitely looking for more opportunities, little places like us to shop, so I think that's an area of opportunity for the city of Moline."

Williams says stores need new customers and a new ice rink could help bring them here.

"Anything that will bring people down to the area will be a good thing for us, hopefully encourages them to shop with us down here locally."

An attitude Trimble says all these businesses share.

"Anytime you can get more people walking around you're going to increase business."

Information about the rink's prices and hours can be found by clicking centerice-bassstreet.com.

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