GAINESVILLE – In a move that’s sure to disappoint some locals, the opening of the temporary Plaza Ice Palace, in Gainesville’s Bo Diddley Community Plaza, has been cancelled.

The Gainesville rink was previously scheduled to open around Thanksgiving. However, due to technical difficulties, the opening of the rink was postponed and then cancelled.

The company ran into a number of technical difficulties with cutting down the pipes and the tubing necessary to chill the ice, said Russell Etling, Cultural Affairs program coordinator for the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

“Both sides were very disappointed that it did not work out because we wanted to provide something for the holiday season,” he said.

Midwest Display, Inc. was in charge of running the ice rink. The City of Gainesville had previously managed its own ice rink in 2007 and earlier, but was unable to continue managing a rink due to financial considerations, Etling said.

The company had approached the city to install the rink, and the city would have received 10 percent of the revenue from ticket sales. The fee to enter the ice rink would have been $10 per hour with a skate rental, Etling said.

The delays after Thanksgiving had caused the company to miss a key time of attendance, especially for students attending college. For next year Etling said the vendor expressed an interest in trying again.

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