By Viollette Doloricon,
On Friday, Nov. 22, Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy of Burbank held a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to commemorate its first official outdoor skating rink. The Rink is located adjacent to City Hall (Third Street and Orange Grove) and has had nothing but positive feedback from both visitors and local residents since opening day.
Mary Hamzoian, Economic Development Manager for the city, is confident this will have a positive impact on Burbank. “The goals of establishing The Rink in Downtown Burbank are to attract more visitors, as well as to promote more of an awareness of the city. We want to create an overall experience where people can easily park, visit the rink, continue to shop and dine in the area, and ultimately increase revenue to all of the neighboring merchants – everyone is a winner.”
The Downtown Burbank Partnership, a non-profit mutual benefit corporation in partnership with the City of Burbank, has been considering this concept for the past year and hopes to continue it for years to come. “The Partnership has been around for 10 years, and by developing projects like The Rink they strive towards their vision of Burbank’s success: to decrease vacancy rates, to continue upkeep and cleanliness, and to entice more people and business to the downtown area,” says Mary.
So why was this 2013 Holiday Season the right time for a coming out such as this? Mary keeps it pure: “It’s a new and exciting event for the city that can capture a wide demographic. We hope to draw more outside families and individuals, as well as provide a source of entertainment for residents that is a break from the norm. We figured other cities have done it so why can’t we?”
Mary further advocates, “Burbank is the best location for something like this because of its centrality. Many people from the San Fernando Valley can access it, as well as people from the other side of the hill. And believe it or not, Burbank has become a destination spot for tourism given all of the studios and local attractions. Burbank has established a name for itself, and this skating rink is another amenity for our residents.”
This has been such an exciting event that Olympic Champion Kristi Yamaguchi found time to make a special appearance this past week to help get local children excited not just about skating, but also about literacy: she read from her best seller Dream Big, Little Pig.
Get in to the true Holiday Spirit by making your way to The Rink in Downtown Burbank, where you can work on your freestyle or master your version of an axel maneuver while having a ton of fun in the outside sun – winter can’t get more California-style than that!
Visit downtown-burbank.org for more information.