Ice skating rink to open at Madonna Inn in December

clambert@thetribunenews.comAugust 20, 2012 

The Madonna Inn will host San Luis Obispo’s first ice skating rink for 17 days this December at the Alex Madonna Expo Center, according to a news release from Hansen Holliday Productions Inc., which is producing and managing the rink.

“We’ve always wanted ice skating at the inn,” said Clint Pearce, president of Madonna Enterprises. “This will be a great thing for people to enjoy at a time when the facility is pretty quiet.”

The rink will be open from Dec. 21 through Jan. 6, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the mentorship program Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County.

Event organizers hope to make “Winter WonderSLO” an annual tradition, said Holly Todd-Holliday, who owns the production company with Jon Hansen.

The last time county residents were able to ice skate during the holidays was a few years ago, when Hansen organized a rink in the Sunken Gardens in downtown Atascadero.

The San Luis Obispo rink will be larger, Todd-Holliday said, and located indoors, so any inclement weather won’t prevent people from skating.

She expects about 25,000 people to use the rink this year, based on the number that can safely skate per hour and past sales in Atascadero.

It will cost about $110,000 to produce the event, Todd-Holliday said. She expects net proceeds to total about $80,000.

Todd-Holliday plans to donate 10 percent of the net proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters and reinvest most of the money to produce the rink again next year.

“We’re thrilled that Big Brothers Big Sisters will benefit from this,” said Pearce, who is a member of the organization’s board of directors.

Tickets go on sale starting Nov. 10 and cost $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 12 and younger, including skate rental.

A season pass called the “golden ticket” will be sold starting Wednesday at www.winterwonderslo.com. The pass gives holders access to all 17 sessions for $100, with $10 benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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