Kent Town Center Ice Rink opens this weekend

Kent, Kent State University and surrounding communities can travel to downtown Kent to ice skate, thanks to Kent Skates presented by AMETEK.

This special attraction was created through a partnership between the City of Kent, the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Kent and Kent State.

Kent Skates is a new outdoor public ice rink that will be open until February 28, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Use of the ice rink is free, including free skate rental. This seasonal ice rink is located on a section of East Erie Street in downtown Kent between Route 59 (Haymaker Parkway) and South Depeyster Street, which is between the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) parking lot and Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. This section of East Erie Street is closed from October 15 to March 15 to allow for the installation and dismantling of the rink.

“The idea of ​​a downtown ice rink to encourage visitors and businesses has been around for several years,” said Doug Pearson, Ph.D., associate vice president for planning and operations at Kent. State. “Then, unfortunately, the pandemic happened, so we had to postpone it for a year. So this year, we piqued everyone’s interest, solicited a few more partners and made it a reality.

“AMETEK has been a part of the Kent community for over 100 years,” said Matthew French, senior vice president and general manager of AMETEK. “Kent isn’t just where we work, it’s where many of us live, socialize and raise families. A vibrant, diverse and growing community is vital to all of us, and we are excited about this inaugural season for Kent Skates, a place where the community will come together. We hope to see it become a tradition that many families in Northeast Ohio will enjoy for years to come. “

An event like this helps to strengthen the community and serves to reach several groups in the Kent community, including students and local families.

“As a community, we’re always looking to host events downtown that we can support and help grow,” said Lawrence Carter, asset manager at Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. “The rink is a perfect draw to bring people from downtown – both the university and the community – to interact and create positive memories, which hopefully makes Kent the place to be. you have to be to work, play or stay. “

The rink will add to the options the downtown has to offer, and the participating entities hope it will connect students and community members in a fun and inclusive environment.

“From a city perspective, on behalf of the mayor and city council, they are just very excited to give residents the opportunity to be downtown and give them something else to do, but also to have the interaction with the university and the students there, ”said Melanie Baker, Director of Services for the City of Kent.

“It will be an additional destination and another reason to come downtown for our Kent State and its community, as well as visitors to Kent,” said Michelle Hartman, Acting Executive Director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. “We already have many great reasons to come to Kent, but now the fact that we have an outdoor ice rink as part of our downtown mix for all ages to enjoy this winter makes it even more exciting,” and the excitement filters. quick.”

The location will offer food and drink at a snack bar, the Zamboni Café, and food truck tours. In addition, the restaurants and shops of Kent town center are within walking distance.

“Downtown restaurants and businesses will benefit from the people who come to the rink and experience all that Kent has to offer,” Carter said.

Plus, no skating expertise is required for attendees to benefit from this event, meaning almost anyone can join in and find something for them.

“Even if you’re not a skater, it will still be fun to be here to walk around with your friends and family,” Carter said.

“We want students to attend not only individually but also as a group,” said Dana Lawless-Andric, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic outreach and engagement at Kent State. “What they can expect is an extension of how they feel on campus, that this is their home and that The Flashes take care of the Flashes, which is felt throughout the town of Kent . “

A rink opening celebration will be held on December 2 at 5:30 pm There will be free gifts for those in attendance.

To find out more about Kent Skates, all the activities going on this holiday season or to plan your private group activity, visit www.kent.edu/kentskates for details.

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