Outdoor ice rink proposed for Jim Thorpe
Carbon County officials are looking to see how they can help a Jim Thorpe group create an ice rink in the downtown area this winter.
Last week, Jennifer Christman, president of the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, approached the board of commissioners with a proposal to install a 52-by-104-foot ice skating rink at the end of the county parking lot, near the Route 903 bridge. The rink would be similar in size to Rockefeller Center in New York City and would be installed from December through March.
Christman said a number of businesses have been discussing the possibility as a way to fill the void over the Christmas holiday since Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway will not be operating.
“One thing that just keeps coming up over and over is how to have an ice rink in town,” she said.
She then provided the commissioners with a proposal for the 13,000-gallon rink, noting that it would cost the county nothing besides a few parking spaces that typically aren’t used in the winter, since the rink would be constructed and maintained by volunteers.
The board seemed receptive to the idea of the rink, with Commissioner William O’Gurek suggesting it be closer to town, rather than at the far end of the lot.
“When you talk about the ambience of what you’re offering with Christmas in Jim Thorpe, I don’t know if you would want the ice skating rink 500 yards away,” he said.
The board said that it will look at other places, possibly near the pedestrian bridge if there is enough room, as a location for the rink.
Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein hopes to provide Christman with more information on the board’s decision on location this Thursday.
He said that the project, he feels, is a good idea, as long as the county can get the insurance for it.