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.