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Burbank to skate into holidays with temporary ice-skating rink

October 15, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Winter lovers, rejoice.

The Burbank City Council signed off on plans to bring a temporary ice-skating rink to downtown Burbank through the holiday season, hailing the project as a “fresh idea” that will draw consumers to local businesses.

For six weeks, from Nov. 22 to Jan. 5, the parking lot behind City Hall will be transformed into a skating rink, which will be fully funded — to the tune of $170,000 — by the downtown Burbank property-based Business Improvement District.

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The rink will accommodate up to 165 skaters at a time, with each skating session lasting up to 90 minutes. A session, along with ice-skate rental, will cost each patron roughly $12.

The rink is slated to be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“We want to bring patrons to the city,” said Mary Hamzoian, the city's economic development manager. “We want them to ice skate; we want them to go back into the downtown area, shop, eat.”

Councilman Gary Bric called the plan a “phenomenal” idea.

“It's going to attract people — it's a fresh, new idea,” Bric said. “This is going to benefit the downtown overall and I guarantee they'll be crying for it to have it come back next year.”

The rink was approved in a 3-1 vote, with Councilman David Gordon being the sole dissenter. Gordon said he didn't think the City Hall parking lot was an appropriate venue for the project, noting parking and traffic concerns. Councilman Bob Frutos was absent.

More than 50 parking spaces will be unavailable while the rink is in operation, but city officials said roughly 1,200 parking spaces are available within a two-block radius.

While the rink is open, the Saint Joseph Medical Center Foundation Farmers Market — held behind City Hall on Sunday mornings — will be relocated to the parking lot at the Community Services Building, officials said.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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