Reporting Ron Jones
ELK GROVE (CBS13) – A little-known secret is bringing new life and business to old town Elk Grove as city leaders promoted the new ice rink for weeks, hoping to cash in on the holiday spirit.
Now they’re beginning to see a return on their investment
“It’s been awesome for us,” said Kristy Peck, who works at Embellish Fine Gifts.
In old town Elk Grove families are lacing up their skates, hitting the ice and bringing in cold hard cash.
“I live in old town and I love old town,” said Sasha Gareau, at Forget Me Not Consignment Boutique.
Business owners say the new ice skating rink is injecting new life to this least traveled part of town.
“People come in and comment that they didn’t know there was an old town in Elk Grove,” said Gareau.
Now a lot of people do. City officials are trying to take advantage of the holiday spirit by introducing old town to shoppers using the skating rink as a hook. It seems to be working.
“There’s been lots more traffic in old town since the ice skating rink,” said Gareau.
The city invested $150,000 into the rink, and they hope to get their money back. They estimate each visitor spends an average of $5 to $10 outside the rink at the quaint little shops that dot Elk Grove Boulevard; but it’s all in the marketing.
“It’s really made it come to life with all the lights, the action and music. Something is just magical about the Christmas season,” said Peck.
“They love being in a more family atmosphere, a little more festive, a little more quaint,” said Geno Cassella, Brick House Restaurant & Lounge. “I think when you go ice skating you’re looking for that type of environment.”
So far, so good, but business owners are hoping for more.
“We’re hoping that with the ice skating rink that it gets more people out on the streets walking up and down, visiting, and seeing what types of businesses are out here,” said Gareau.
The ice rink will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, it will be closed on Christmas.