Skate season

Butte County ice rinks open for the holiday season

The Chico Ice Rink in the Plaza (pictured) is returning for its second year. The City of Chico is again partnering with the Downtown Chico Business Association, which will manage the temporary rink in the City Plaza Nov. 17-Jan. 9.

Last year, the ice rink attracted more than 20,000 visitors, as well as some controversy. Among the criticisms was the fact that the effort ultimately brought in less money than the $300,000 cost to the city’s general fund, and that a temporary fence kept non-skating visitors out of the park for months.

The plaza will be closed Nov. 1-17 to prepare for installation. A fence will surround the property during this period, but will be taken down while the rink is in operation.

Chico City Manager Mark Sorensen said he hopes “attendance and sponsorship will be better this year so it pays for itself or comes close to breaking even. … It’s a heckuva good community event that drives a lot of folks to downtown businesses.”

The long-running Paradise Ice Rink is also open again for the holidays, starting Nov. 11 and continuing through Jan. 8.

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