The Tuesday after the ice rink opened for the season, dozens of residents and visitors put their skates to the ice for an afternoon of fun. Smiling faces and the sounds of laughter circled the rink, mingling with pop music piped in from the speaker system.
Longmont resident James Gay brought his daughter and her friends to the rink for the first time since moving from Florida in 2011.
“Today was my first day on skates in more than 30 years,” Gay said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the services that this city offers. It’s a very family-friendly town.”
The seasonal activity found itself imperiled last year when COVID hampered most large gatherings. According to city staff reports from the time, early season attendance in 2020 was nearly half of 2019’s turnout and reducing revenue for the pavilion along with it.
Residents lobbied to keep the Ice Pavilion open for youth hockey, free skating and other programs. On January 26, Longmont City Council voted to dip into its contingency fund and keep the Ice Pavilion open through mid-March. In September, city council once again approved the Ice Pavilion budget through March 2022, providing another full season for residents.
Stephen Passmore also hit the ice with his family Tuesday. Passmore’s wife grew up in Longmont, he said, and visiting her parents during the holidays is an annual tradition.
“We’ve never done this, it’s our first time,” Passmore said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s an awesome day to enjoy the weather.”
Passmore’s daughter came skating off the ice to echo her appreciation as well. Visiting from Houston, the Passmores don’t have many opportunities to skate back home, he said.
The Ice Pavilion offers regularly scheduled open skate sessions seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, though space is limited and reservations are recommended. Longmont Recreation Services also offers skate rentals at $3.50 a person, which can be reserved in advance.