Friday, October 19, 2018

Temporary Olympia Ice Rink Coming Soon

Above: Scheduled to open November 16, a temporary ice rink currently being installed in downtown Olympia is anticipated to draw families and improve business in the downtown area.

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

Superhero Night? Rock n' Roll Live Music Night? Princess Night with the Lakefair Court? 

Get ready for some fun times in downtown Olympia this winter. 

A new park located on the isthmus at 529 4th Avenue West will become a covered, temporary ice rink from November 16 through January 6.

The rink area is 4,000 sq. ft. and will hold a maximum capacity of 125 skaters. 

In comparison, the iconic Rockefeller Center ice rink in Midtown Manhattan is a little over 7,000 square feet and has a capacity of 150 skaters at one time. 

So move over New York - here comes Oly on Ice!

When the City of Olympia held a brief event this past July in 91 degree weather to celebrate the beginning of the project, it was hard to imagine.

But now, cooler, foggy mornings have set in and City of Olympia Parks & Recreation staff are busy setting up the tent and equipment.

General admission prices with skates range from $12 and lower for youth, toddlers, foster, military, first responder families, and seniors. There will be day time skating hours, cheap skate nights, 10-skate passes and group rates.

Free public parking will be available at the two lots to the immediate east and west of the ice rink. Free street parking can be found along Capitol Lake. During evening and weekend hours, additional free parking is available at all City of Olympia managed lots and metered spots. There are also pay-to-park lots neighboring the rink.

There is no ice rink parking across the street at Bayview Thriftway or other private lots adjacent to the rink.

Temporary restrooms will be available during the run of the ice rink.

To offset the rink’s costs and keep admission fees accessible, the city actively gathered partnerships to pull it all off.

Community sponsors include a mix of large and small local and regional businesses, including the Olympia AutoMall, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network, Propel Construction, TwinStar Credit Union, Browsers Bookshop, OBEE Credit Union, Graphic Communications, Capital Medical Center, Anthony’s Homeport/Hearthfire, and the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation, among others.

Business sponsorship categories ranged between $400 and $10,000. Depending on the amount contributed, businesses have at least one opportunity to have a table or tent set up at the venue sometime during the run of the ice rink.

“We definitely see this project as a great way to involve local businesses and organizations,” said Anna Robinson, marketing program specialist with City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation.

“Even the businesses that aren’t in a position to join us as sponsors are really excited about it. Bringing a fun, family-friendly activity to downtown during what is normally a pretty quiet time of year around here really seemed to resonate with people,” she said.

At the ceremony in July, former City of Olympia Mayor Bob Jacobs spoke on behalf of the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation. The space that became a park was the result of a lot of hard work.

Jacobs thanked the Trust for Public Lands for their assistance in obtaining a $600,000 grant from the Thurston County Conservation Futures Fund, which the Foundation turned over to the city for capital expenditures at the park.

Foundation board members and other donors also provided a $100,000 cash donation to the city for the park’s capital expenses. He also thanked parks staff for working with the Foundation on park design and improvements.

The park is so far unnamed. At the time, Jacobs suggested that it be called the Capitol Olympic Vista Park, in honor of it being in the center of the beautiful view from the State Capitol Building to the Olympic Mountains.

The park is near the privately owned nine story Views on 5th, a mixed use development currently under construction.

The city estimates that 10,000 skaters will visit the rink over the course of the seven week season.

Above: Former City of Olympia mayor Bob Jacobs, right, plays a game of bean bag toss with Luke Burns, City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation staff, on July 26 at the city’s new park on the isthmus in downtown Olympia.

For more information about hours and other frequently asked questions, go to

For more information about downtown Olympia, the area known as the isthmus, the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation, parks, and Views on 5th, go to Little Hollywood at and use the search button to type in key words.