Popular downtown Modesto ice rink returns for a new season

Modesto On Ice will be back after not opening last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The downtown attraction, which attracts approximately 30,000 skaters as well as thousands of family members and other spectators, is scheduled to open on November 20 and end on January 17.

“To say I’m thrilled is an understatement,” said Kathy Halsey, owner of the rink with her husband, Dave. “We are impatiently awaiting its opening. We know the joy this brings.

The outdoor ice rink should also be a godsend for downtown restaurants, shops and other businesses, which are seeing even fewer customers.

Halsey said she expects skaters and spectators to come to Modesto On Ice even as the pandemic continues because it is an outdoor site.

She said she and her husband spoke to an epidemiologist, who told them operating an outside site was safe during the pandemic. Halsey said she also believed there was a pent-up demand for family rink recreation.

Modesto On Ice works with the Downtown Modesto Partnership, Visit Modesto, The Gallo Center, Brenden Theaters, The State Theater and Modesto View to publicize the upcoming season.

Halsey has stated that the rink’s title sponsor, Modesto Subaru – the official name is Modesto On Ice presented by Modesto Subaru – is back for another season. She added that she and her husband appreciate the support from the car dealership and other rink sponsors.

Halsey said the prices for a 90-minute skating session are not going up. For example, children (ages 3 to 12) pay $ 12 and adults (anyone 13 and over) pay $ 15. Skaters will also be able to purchase a 10 session pack ($ 80 for children and $ 100 for adults) and season passes ($ 240 for children and $ 300 for adults).

Halsey encouraged skaters to purchase tickets on the rink website, www.modestoonice.com. They are not yet available but will be soon. She said skaters can register on the website to receive email updates on the upcoming season by clicking on the “save my spot” icon.

The rink employs approximately three dozen temporary part-time employees during its season. This includes employees at the ticket office and snack bar, as well as those who help people with their skates and on the ice. Employees also help people who have rented the rink reception tent for birthdays and other celebrations.

Halsey said about 10 of the rink’s seasonal workers are returning and a two-day hiring event will be held downtown October 19-20. More details on this will be on the website in the coming days.

The Halseys bought the rink in 2020 from Jerome and Andrea Murray, who opened it in 2015.

The ice rink operates in part of the city parking lot at 11th streets and K. Modesto On Ice rents the space to the city for a nominal fee.

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Kevin Valine covers local government, homelessness, and general assignment for The Modesto Bee. He graduated from San José State University.

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