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Outdoor ice rink open at the Galleria

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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The holiday season is beginning to take shape in Roseville, beginning with a holiday ice rink at the Galleria. The outdoor rink is located in the promenade area of the Westfield Galleria at Roseville and opened for the first ice skaters of the season last weekend. “We’ve been working on this for the last six or seven months to try and make it happen,” said Westfield Galleria general manager Gavin Farnam. “We are very excited about it.” Jen Oettle, of Newcastle, was getting an early start to the holiday season at the ice rink Tuesday taking her 6-year-old daughter Ella skating. “(The holiday season) seems to be starting early everywhere,” Oettle said. “But we love Christmas, so we’re ready for it.” Olympic champion ice skater Brian Boitano was on hand on Nov. 5 to celebrate the grand opening of the rink, which will be open daily through Jan. 16, come rain, sleet, snow or shine. The ice rink is a first for the Galleria and Farnam said it is a great way to generate revenue for Westfield and its vendors and also to celebrate the holidays with its customers. “I think it’s going to be a great traffic driver for us,” Farnam said. “It’s just an extra way to create a little more excitement.” The holiday ice rink will also open at midnight on Nov. 25, known to holiday shoppers as Black Friday, when many stores at the mall will open. “Anyone who is crazy enough to come out and join us for a little ice skate at midnight, we’ll be here,” Farnam said. “It should be fun.” Many retailers, including Macy’s, Gap and The Disney Store, are opening at midnight on Black Friday, with additional stores opening at 4 a.m. Shoppers who have recovered from their Tryptophan coma will get their chance at exclusive giveaways, food, music, entertainment and more. A complete list of opening times and giveaway details will be available closer to Nov. 25, according to Westfield representatives. Farnam said he expects to see a few hundred skaters visiting the ice rink each day as the holiday season gets closer, especially since it is the only outdoor holiday ice rink in the south Placer County region. Farnam said the ice rink is “definitely an investment,” but Westfield is sharing the cost of operating the rink with partner Ice America, a company which owns and operates ice rinks nationwide. Ice America offers portable ice rinks in a variety of sizes that are supplied ready-to-skate with perimeter boarding and a cooling system. According the company’s website, rinks from Ice America are up to 40 percent more economical in terms of energy consumption than traditional ice rinks that use either rubber or polyethylene. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.