Where else can you go and watch serious competitive athletes training, little kids starting out for the first time on the ice, grandmothers who have skated their whole lives, hockey kids and adults, teenagers on dates or in groups hanging out, having fun and getting a little exercise - all in one place at the same time???!!!
Talk about unique!!
And right here in the heart of Portland!
So the rink at the Lloyd Center is going to be part of a very very large remodel of the mall. That in itself is not such a big deal - of course it will be difficult for those skaters who are used to having a Portland ice-rink or for those who may have obstacles to transportation and use public transport - Lloyd Center Ice is so centrally located!
Sure, we will have to go elsewhere to skate, to get our very good exercise, to socialize with our old friends. That is fine. That is part of life and is to be expected. We have lived through similar times (Valley Ice arena for instance - was down for months for a remodel!)
But this size change business - and shape change!! What is the point of that really?
To make the rink more visually appealing. So the shoppers can see the rink from all three levels of the mall. The rink will be the centerpiece of the mall.
Okay, I can see that - everyone (I hope) loves the rink at the Lloyd Center. For some, that is the only reason they go there - to skate, or to watch the skaters ... skating!! But if there is no one there who can skate, skaters who have gone to other cities to skate, then who will the watchers be watching? Most likely people who can't skate and I don't imagine that will be interesting for very long.
While you are at the mall for skating you might notice that this centrally located mall is a community center of sorts - where all sorts of people, many cultures meet to shop, dine and hang out - and yes, to watch the skaters!!
I am hoping somehow that the new mall owners - Cypress Equities - a large corporation, or Waterleaf Architects - a local Portland architectural firm, will compromise on this rink shrinkage (and shape-change) idea - give us 20 more feet than planned and don't make it oval!! In the overall scheme of the changes that are proposed is this really a big deal?
It is not about competitive skating orice-dancing or US Figure Skating tests. It is about skating itself - how fun is it to skate really fast - no matter the skill level and have the room to really move? How fun is that???Shrinking the rink is a bad idea all around.