Nearly 10,000 skaters visited David Street Station this season

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Nearly 10,000 skaters have slipped their way through the ice rink at David Street Station this season, according to Downtown Development Authority operations manager Jackie Landess.

“It’s amazing, honestly,” said Landess. “Considering it’s our first year, we’re pretty excited about that.”

The rink opened just after Thanksgiving last year and has seen steady business since, according to Landess, who cites the various organized activities such as movie and theme nights held there.

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“We’ve had a great response from the community,” said Landess.

The winter fun ends in less than a month, on Feb. 14th to be exact.

“The plan is to go to Valentine’s Day, the chiller is being picked up on the 15th so the 14th will be the last day,” said Landess.

Crews will dismantle and take back the large chiller, which is a leased unit. The dasher boards will be removed and the ice will melt.

Some of the dasher boards were damaged by flying skates, so Landess says they’re looking into stronger plexiglass before next year.

While Landess won’t give exact figures from entry and rental fees, she says they hope it will be enough to pay the enormous energy costs of running the chiller and the fire pit.

Operating the rink and skate rentals also demanded more employees, going from 3 during the summer to 15. Many of the winter employees were high school age hired on a temporary basis, said Landess.

Before saying goodbye to the ice, Casper will say goodbye to the large Christmas three. It’s scheduled to be removed next Wednesday if Casper’s winds cooperate.

“We’ve had a great response from the community,” said Landess on the first season of the skating rink. “People love it, I see families coming back all the time.”

After the ice is melted, families will have to wait until June 1st for the splash pad to open and usher in the summer season at David Street Station.