Napa’s first outdoor ice rink melted away more than a month ago, but event organizers are already collaborating on how to make the hit attraction even better next winter.

During its two-month season, 17,000 skaters took to the ice, said Peter Mott, who organized the rink. They were accompanied by 10,000 to 12,000 spectators, he estimated.

Ticket sales, combined with sponsorships and donations, left Napa on Ice with $25,000 in the bank, giving it a jump-start on fundraising for the 2012 rink, Mott said.

“We’re already having conversations about a bigger and better rink,” he said.

The rink may take up more of the public parking lot on the corner of Second and Coombs streets, Mott said. Additionally, skate rentals and the admissions booth will likely be housed in a trailer rather than tents, as they were last year.

“We were really lucky that we didn’t have a lot of rain but if we had, it would go right into the tents,” Mott said.

Additionally, a trailer would block noise from the rink’s chiller, create a heated environment for employees and better protect the rink’s rental skates, said Mott, a Napa council member.

Though the rink ended its first season with all of the 300 skates it started with, there was at least one incident where someone took a pair of skates after the rink was closed and skated in the dark, Mott said.

Workers had cleaned the ice before they left one night. In the morning, they found skate tracks. A pair of rental skates was found in the rental tent, but out of place.

Besides a larger rink, Napa on Ice plans to change the type of skates it uses, switching from lace-up skates to ones with buckles, similar to snowboarding boots, Mott said. Some people reported having trouble lacing the skates tight enough, so the buckles should help, he said.

Spectators may also benefit next season from more viewing room surrounding the rink, Mott said.

(11) comments


JonC, there were plenty of times that you could have gone skating without a child in sight. Before the kids get out of school for the day, or later at night, for example.

Catstew, there were plenty of fieldtrips for schools, parties for groups, etc. My kids went to a few parties and one went on a fieldtrip. Lots of fun for everyone!


Theme nights would be great- kids night, teen, adults etc, field trips during the day for local schools? scout day, etc


I love the fact that Napa had an ice rink this year. I live near the rink location, and I wanted to try it, but every time I passed by it was overcrowded with obnoxious, screaming children. No, thanks. Maybe schedule some adult sessions next time?


Have to say that larger would be nicer, but even then it's going to be crowded. Along with skating in town, we visited the "Snoopy" rink in SR over Christmas vacation. 4 adults, 6 kids skated and yes it was really crowded even there. They had to stop admitting folks early on in the session. Can't wait for next year!


Have a fund raiser, secure sponsors and build a permanent ice skating rink, downtown, not out on the fringes. Big mistake moving the new movie theater to the outskirts of town.

John Richards
John Richards

The small size of the skating rink was its main deficiency, and what kept me from trying it.


Being I'm terrible at skating and need space to learn I never did get a chance to try it out. Hopefully if it is done again next year it'll be placed inside a large building where a much larger rink can be put together.

I really would rather not be falling down or running into small children.


It was a real joy to see people of all ages having such a good time skating. It was just good to see kids and teens enjoying something other than video games or movies. This was an overwhelming success and thanks to the Mott family,sponsors, donors and volunteers who made this possible.


The ice rink I managed in Sunriver, OR had almost all buckle up rental skates. A lot more ankle support and easier to put on. A good idea.


Of course it was a sucess. The equipment came from Florida and it used a lot of enengry. Pretty soon everyone will have there own ice skating rink. Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, San Diego. Five dollar a gallon gas and ice for everyone.

Enjoy life ride a bicycle and See you in San Francisco


The ice rink was a complete success! Well done for those who were involved in this process. I also like how everyone is reflecting on how to even make it better. Peter Mott for President!

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