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Buckhead’s luxury St. Regis Hotel opens 7th floor ice rink

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The St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead opened an ice rink on 7th floor terrace on Dec. 5, 2009. AJC/Elissa Eubanks

Ice skating at downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, a temporary rink known for craggy ice and a family friendly atmosphere: $9 for 90 minutes and skate rental.

Ice skating at the IceForum at Town Center, a permanent facility in Kennesaw with public skating sessions: $10 for up to two hours and skate rental.

Ice skating at the St. Regis Hotel’s new temporary rink on Buckhead hotel’s 7th floor terrace: $30 for one hour and skate rental.

Um. Wow. Maybe it’s a good thing I can’t skate.

Don’t get me wrong, the new rink that AJCer Katie Leslie wrote about in today’s paper sounds lovely, with a gentler crowd and curiosity-inducing location:

Organizers have created the rink atop a grassy lawn on the seventh floor terrace of the luxury building, next to its spacious pool and waterfall. Engineers from Ice Rink Events, partnering with event production firm The Maverick Group, began the installation in late November using massive cranes to lift materials and cooling systems to the top of an adjacent parking garage. The ice, about five inches thick, is created out of an intricate series of tubing and built in thin layers, explains Dave Pritchard of Ice Rink Events.

The idea of a hotel-based ice rink stems from St. Regis’ roots, said Simon Rusconi, general manager of St. Regis Atlanta. In the 1920s, the St. Regis New York had a ballroom ice skating rink, thus Atlanta’s version is named “the Astor Holiday Rink” after the founders of the hotels.

“It’s all about starting a new tradition for Atlanta,” Rusconi said. “We like to think of ourselves as an in-town resort … the ice skating rink is just the tip of the iceberg.”

But it also sounds really expensive for an hour of family entertainment. The word “luxury” touches everything at the St. Regis, it seems.

The ice is almost certainly a better quality than what you get from Centennial Olympic Park’s much-trafficked inches, and far more merry than what you’ll find every day at local sports facilities, but would you pay up to $30 to skate at the St. Regis? Do you expect this to become an Atlanta tradition, or a one-year stunt?

Want to go? Astor Holiday Rink at the St. Regis Hotel. Noon-8 p.m. in December. New sessions begin every hour, reservations encouraged. $30 per hour for adults, $15 per hour for people younger than 16. Price includes skate rental. 88 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 404-563-7950 to reserve time, www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis.

8 comments Add your comment

JD

December 11th, 2009
12:09 am

Um, I’d gladly pay $30 to avoid the punk kids at Centennial. The ones who think it’s funny to skate around you really fast and knock you down. And the nine thousand people they let on the ice. And the puddles that make your feet wet. Yeah. The St. Regis’s ice rink was WAAAY better than Centennial.

To do list: December 9 | Inside Access

December 9th, 2009
12:03 am

[...] For families: Ice skating at the St. Regis, noon-8 p.m., St. Regis Hotel-Buckhead, Atlanta. Read more. [...]

Riffraff

December 6th, 2009
5:18 pm

But what’l I do?

Jennifer

December 6th, 2009
2:42 pm

They need to alter their hours – open later than 8 PM. They may get a date crowd then. Ending at 8 PM ?

Buckhead Bob

December 6th, 2009
8:26 am

It might just get non skaters in to see this beautiful hotel. Watch the skaters and maybe have a drink, lunch or dinner. It would be a nice Christmas experience.

ATL GAL

December 6th, 2009
6:58 am

$30 may sound high, but gotta do something to keep out the riffraff.

Ole Guy

December 5th, 2009
9:42 pm

Some of the Hilton Embassys have a pond-like set-up in the atrium. Take out the gold fish, toss in a few ice cubes, and voila!

say what?

December 5th, 2009
9:21 pm

What makes it worth $30? I can see people who are staying in the hotel doing this, as visitors make wonderful targets, and if you are staying in the St. Regis price is no matter.

I choose the Ice Forum, at least it is permanent.