Ice at Canalside needs to be open longer hours
Imagine the Ice at Canalside run more like a public park and less like a for-profit amusement ride.
Feel like skating? The ice is now open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. five days a week, until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., one half is open for pond hockey, the other for general skating.
Imagine that since the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.’s statement of waterfront principles pledges to “Work to increase the access, use and enjoyment of Canalside,” officials decide that a nonprofit business model best serves the public. Signs at Canalside announce: “Our Winter. Our Waterfront.”
Imagine that with more hours of operation, less expensive rates and lower-priced concessions, signs would proclaim: “Our-family friendly fun rink.”
With only about a hundred days to enjoy our glorious frozen pond, we deserve to be able to squeeze as much fun out of it as possible, and not be limited by a calculus that prioritizes profit.
Like any red-blooded skater, when I walk by a beautiful icy expanse, I have an intense desire to strap on the skates and have at it.
Question: Was the Ice at Canalside created for public enjoyment or private profit? Should we pay a skeleton crew to allow skaters greater access, or pay security personnel to prevent its use?
Instead of just imagining “Our family-friendly fun rink,” let’s make it happen.
Marty J. Walters