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.