A big sheet of ice is headed for downtown Napa.

Crews began assembling the 70-by-90-foot ice skating rink Monday, building the frame that will hold several inches worth of ice and, next week, crowds of skaters. The Napa on Ice rink is returning for its second holiday season and will be more than 1,500 square feet larger than its predecessor.

“It’s going to be really different this year,” said Peter Mott, the man who first decided to bring a seasonal rink downtown. “It’s going to be bigger and better.”

This year’s rink, which will be more accessible to people with physical disabilities, will be open from Nov. 16 to mid-January. It will be surrounded by a “much larger” viewing deck, according to architect Chris Craiker.

“Our desire and hope is to be finished (with construction) in 10 days,” Craiker said.

Crews will also build three sheds that will replace the tents that housed admissions, skate rentals and a place for skaters to change into and out of skates. Mott said the sheds will be nicer than the tents, will be raised from the ground so there is no rain damage and will be used year after year.

The rental skates this year should fit better and be easier to put on and remove, as they do not have laces like the style used last year, Craiker said.

The rink itself will be constructed much like the city’s 2011 rink. The frame will be filled with sand, then tubular chilling mechanisms that will keep the water frozen. Mott said the ice will be made later next week, just in time for Friday’s opening.

“We’re doing a little bit of a different look with lighting. We’ll have string lights up with bulbs,” Mott said. “We’re really trying to improve it this year.”

After his experience with bringing the ice rink downtown last year, Mott started a company to help other cities bring seasonal rinks to their towns. This year, he is working on bringing a rink to the Northgate mall in Terra Linda Marin County.

“I just really enjoy it,” Mott said. “I think it’s a great way for kids to celebrate the holidays.

Napa on Ice is being made into a nonprofit, Mott said. Next year, all the proceeds will go to programs for children.

(4) comments


Yes they should! So it takes up some parking I think all the smiling faces on the kids and grown-ups make that OK.


That end of DT needs all the foot traffic they can get and that rink is helping pull in shoppers from the surrounding towns in addition to locals....while the kids skate they shop.
Mr Mott and all those who help his efforts should be commended….


Taking up 30+ parking spaces during the prime shopping season does not make any sense to me. According to the merchants downtown they did not see any increases in their revenues from last years ice rink, which was the main reason it was put there. I'm all for Napa City Councilman Peter Mott's ice rink but not in a place that takes up prime parking spaces, leads to the traffic congestion it did last year,( Second street is one of the main artieries into downtown Napa), and forces those who want to shop downtown to circle around and around looking for parking that is taken up by the rink and by those who skate and go home. The rink has been mentioned one way or another in the Napa Register over 200 times in the past year. As a business owner I can only speak for myself but I would love the Napa Register to "mention" my business in their paper even half that many times for free and can bet other business owners would love the same.


I'm so happy to see this back for the holidays !

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