BID to Build Synthetic Ice-Skating Rink Downtown

"BID to Build Synthetic Ice-Skating Rink Downtown," Copyright

November 16, 2010. Story by Denise Civiletti, photo taken by Peter Blasl.

An all-weather ice rink will be open for business in downtown Riverhead for the start of the winter season, according to Riverhead BID president Raymond Pickersgill.

The BID management association is proposing to build an ice rink where a driveway currently connects Main Street to the Peconic Riverfront parking lot, running between the Riverhead Grill and the former West Marine store on the south side of the street.

Pickersgill met this afternoon with the Riverhead Parking District board and got the parking district's blessing for the plan.

The rink would be 60 feet wide by 110 feet long, Pickersgill said. The BID management association will pay for and operate the rink, including ice skate rentals.

"The unique thing about our rink is that it could be an all-weather destination, even during warm weather," Pickersgill said, "because we plan to install a synthetic ice surface rather than freezing water."  Having a natural ice surface limits the number of days an ice rink can operate, and requires more maintenance, he said.

Councilman George Gabrielsen said he thinks this is a great idea and said he would introduce a Town Board resolution authorizing the solicitation of bids for the rink and synthetic ice surface. He said he even hoped to get the resolution on the agenda for tonight's Town Board meeting.

If need be, Pickersgill said he'd ask the supervisor to call a special board meeting to get the plan moving.

"This will be a home run for downtown," said Pickersgill, who owns Robert James Salon and Spa on East Main Street. "It will be a family attraction and a regional destination, espe

cially if Riverhead's the only place offering an outdoor ice-skating rink year round. Just think of it," he said.

BID president Raymond Pickersgill and Councilman George Gabrielsen with a sample sheet of the synthetic ice they want to use for a downtown ice rink. Photo by Peter Blasl.