With little fanfare, a 200- by 85-foot ice skating rink in a 36,000-square-foot facility opened in Sandy Springs on Dec. 20.
“The soft launch went great with a few hundred customers showing up, not knowing the skating was free,” said Michelle McIntosh, who bought the land for Center Ice Arena on Roswell Road alongside I-285 earlier this year.
“We’re expecting to ramp up today,” McIntosh said during the facility’s first Monday of operations following the weekend opening. She expects that some 300 to 400 customers will come in per public skate session.
McIntosh bought the land for the facility in March with her business partner, Stephane Normandeau, who has previously run hockey rinks in the Atlanta area for the last 15 years.
The land was purchased from Mike Aldredge, president of Squire Inn Inc., who is a partner in the business and last year had secured city approvals for the facility.
The rink was built on vacant land that Squire Inn owned that most recently had been the site of a Days Inn hotel, demolished in 2007. Aldredge had said his company had been looking for the right opportunity to redevelop the land.
McIntosh said that Normandeau had researched places to build an ice rink, and that Sandy Springs was a good fit.
“You can’t get better than right inside the Perimeter,” she said.
The arena will be open year-round. Skating and youth and adult hockey clinics will start in early January, with the Atlanta Amateur Hockey League playing there starting Jan. 3 and a youth hockey league starting in March, McIntosh said.
For more information, visit www.centericearena.org.