Township, Woodlands Pavilion looking to partner for permanent ice rink

Talks between The Woodlands Township and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion could lead to a permanent home for the popular ice skating rink. The skating rink is constructed and housed every year from November through January in a temporary facility at the corner of Lake Robbins Drive and Six Pines Drive.

Nick Wolda, spokesman for The Woodlands Township and president of The Woodlands Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said discussions have taken place between the township and representatives with the Pavilion to construct a multipurpose facility in which to hold the rink in November and December. However, an ice rink that is open year-round is not being discussed by the township or CVB.

Wolda said the ice skating rink, now in its 13th year, would benefit from a permanent site. The rink's current location is one of many where the rink has been housed over the years.

Jerry MacDonald, CEO of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, said the site housing the ice rink is owned by, and will likely soon be developed by, The Woodlands Development Company, making a permanent site a necessity.

"When The Woodlands Development Company develops that site, it will no longer be available," he said. "They're not saying when it will be developed, but at some point it will be developed."

MacDonald said the township has indicated to the Pavilion that one of the sites it is considering for a permanent ice rink is the location of the House of Blues hospitality tent at the Pavilion. The Pavilion uses the tent to offer concert-goers a place to visit before and after concerts for food and drinks, live music and televised sporting events. The HOB tent is only open during concert events, MacDonald said.

"The HOB tent is about 6,000 square feet and the township has indicated to the Pavilion that they would need a structure about 18,000–20,000 square feet," MacDonald said. "The rink would be completely financed by the township."

The rink would be open during the winter when there are no events at the Pavilion, MacDonald said. During the concert season when the rink is not in operation, some of the space inside the facility would be used for the hospitality tent.

"We would need the space for our hospitality tent, but we wouldn't have access during ice skating season," MacDonald said.

Discussions between the township and the pavilion are in the early stages, Wolda said, and are centered on the possible formation of a public-private partnership for project. He said depending on what the project includes, the cost of a permanent facility could be about $1.8 million.

If all sides agree, the earliest the facility would be ready is the 2014 season, and any construction would take place after the concert season, MacDonald said. Construction could not begin until after November 2013 and would take six months.

The Woodlands Ice Rink

Open now through Jan. 21

Hours

  • Mon.–Thur.: 3–9 p.m.
  • Fri.: 3–11 p.m.
  • Sat.: 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Sun.: Noon–7 p.m.

Holiday hours

  • Dec. 24: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Dec. 25: 2–8 p.m.
  • Dec. 31: Noon–1 a.m.
  • Jan. 1: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Cost

  • Monday–Friday
  • $9.50, $5 for children 5 and under
  • All prices include $2.50 skate rental
  • Saturday, Sunday
  • $10.50, $6 for children 5 and under
  • 9606 Six Pines Drive, 281-419-5630

www.thewoodlandsicerink.com