A section of the Auburn Mall parking lot will be transformed into a public ice rink this holiday season.
The Auburn City Council voted Tuesday to authorize a contract with the Auburn Mall to set up the ice rink in the parking lot in front of the old J.C. Penney store. The rink is scheduled to be open from Thanksgiving weekend to President’s Day on Feb. 18, 2019, although City Manager Jim Buston expressed doubt that the rink setup would be completed by the scheduled opening date.
Patrons will pay a fee to the vendor to use the ice rink.
Last year, the city installed a skating rink downtown on South Gay Street, but Buston said the Auburn Mall rink will be different.
“This is an actual real ice rink,” Buston said. “It’s bigger than what we had down on Gay. It’s real ice.”
The city will not have to pay for use of the space, but will pay for the utilities needed for the setup, such as water, power and the tent structure. The city will also provide one person on staff at the rink.
The City of Opelika, the Tourism Bureau and the City of Auburn are collaborating on the ice rink.
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