Center Ice at Bass Street Landing is hoping the third time is a charm, with the new outdoor skating rink now gearing up for Wednesday as opening day.
After not having enough ice to open Saturday as first planned, the rink rescheduled its opening for Monday. But at noon Monday, Larry Rosmilso, the operations director, was staring at less ice than he had when the day began.
The delays have been caused by the chiller equipment, which freezes fluid that runs in the pipes beneath the ice and creates the frozen surface above. But the chiller had not been freezing ice at the rate the installation crew expected.
Rosmilso said the crews located a more powerful chiller, which arrived early Monday.
“But we were down from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. as they changed out the machine with the new one,” he said, adding that a couple of inches of ice melted in the meantime.
He said the weather has not caused situation, but the unseasonably warm temperatures “certainly aren’t helping.”
While the new chiller was getting the fluid back to freezing temperatures, he said the “top layer of ice was melting from the weather.” Had the rink had a deeper base of ice, he said the upper layers might not have been so affected by fall-like temperatures.
“They put up these rinks in Florida, so it’s going to work,” Rosmilso said.
Fortunately, he said many visitors have been stopping by to check on the status, “including parents with kids, so that’s good.”
“And the phone has been ringing off the hook,” he said.
Center Ice, owned by Plaza Ice LLC, now hopes to open at noon Wednesday.
For more information
Call Center Ice at 309-517-1930 or visit CenterIce-BassStreet.com.