If you’re from Arizona, chances are you haven’t experienced Jack Frost nipping at your nose while skating around an outdoor rink.
Bust out your mittens, hats and scarves, Arizonans, because that’s about to change.
Olympic ice dancer Ryan O’Meara is bringing winter fun to downtown Scottsdale. The rink will sit outside of Palavela Home, the interior design store he owns with his mother Sue O’Meara, for the month of December, and is open to the public.
“For me it’s so different skating outside,” O’Meara says. “[I’ve] spent pretty much my whole life on a skating rink. … [But] it’s completely different feel.”
The rink isn’t just about family fun, it’s also about bringing attention to downtown Scottsdale retail stores in a rough economy, O’Meara says. With an outdoor rink, customers get a chance to explore the shopping opportunities while having fun, he says.
The rink is “a way to boost the downtown Scottsdale area, as well as giving back to the community,” O’Meara says.
O’Meara teamed the rink up with four local charities, giving each charity a week in December to call their own. Each week 15 percent of store and ice rink sales will be donated to the designated charity. The charities, in order, are Homeward Bound, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, the Arizona Chapter of The ALS Association and Ryan House.
O’Meara will be out on the ice with his partner, Emily Nussear, and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. a local amateur skaters will put on a free show.
But if you’re looking to stake out a piece of the ice to practice your triple salchow or quadruple lutz, you should call ahead. The rink can hold only 40 skaters at a time, and O’Meara strongly suggests you reserve a spot.
This is a unique opportunity to skate outdoors in winter weather that doesn’t give you instant frostbite, O’Meara says.
Wondering how the ice is going to stay frozen? The rink will be made of synthetic ice, which allows skaters to glide around as if on real ice, but without the added cost of refrigeration.
On a side note, Palavela Home is named for the arena O’Meara skated in during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. After retiring from skating, O’Meara transitioned to a career as an interior designer.
If You Go:
4222 N. Marshall Way
Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251
Hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, except Dec. 23–25
Cost: $15 per 45-minute session–skates included
Reservations: 480-946-1006 or firstname.lastname@example.org