Dec 18, 2012 8:50 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Most of us who have lived on the central coast have heard of micro-climates. It's a signature of our central coast weather patterns. You know how it can be 110 in Paso Robles and 55 in Morro Bay in the middle of Summer. Temperatures can vary widely within a few miles. That's certainly the case right now in Atascadero. We found a little micro-climate in Atascadero this week where it's downright arctic cold, and the holiday spirit is heating up because of it. It's more proof there's no place like home.
Just a few miles west of downtown Atascadero the temperature plummeted this past weekend. And, a winter wonderland arose in the 96-hundred block of Morro Road. "It's been a really great week. Everyone who's been coming through has been smiling." says Derek Ehinger who brought the rink to town.
It's actually the parking lot of the Crossroads Church, but for the next 3 or 4 months, it's a winter-playground not all that common to California kids. "At first I was really scared, but once I got the hang of it I was really going." says Chelsea Nickerson
Blades on Ice skating rink is the brainchild of Derek Ehinger. He started thinking about this five years ago when he took his daughters ice-skating on a trip to New York City. "When I saw how much my girls enjoyed the ice-skating I just thought bummer. I love living on the central coast but we dont' have ice skating."
Ehinger is in the electrical business and figured out how to get the electricity to make it feasible at the site, so now, no matter if kids are soaking up sunshine and surf a few miles away, it's Wintertime in this little Atascadero mountain gap. "We have sessions starting every 2 hours, we condition the ice between sessions, so you get about an hour and a half of ice time." says Ehinger.
9-year-old Katie Burson was thrilled to take her first spin on the ice. "I thought it was pretty cool, because I've seen it a lot and I wanted to skate."
If you think about it, every movie you see about the holidays has some ice-skating scene, which has been kind of hard to relate to for kids from the central coast. But thankfully, not anymore. Not this year. "I like it!" says Rylie Spears.
Kids are now getting to live the vision they've seen on the Silver Screen...even as they struggle to find their footing. Adults are getting the joy of experiencing it all with them.
And anyone who's lived with winter memories of doing this elsewhere is getting to relive that holiday magic, right in our own backyard. "It's so great this year, these kind of experiences and the fact that Atascadero has these things to offer just makes girl scouts so much fun." says Girl Scout Troop leader Shelly Stebles.
Certainly we want to capture the holidays." says Ehinger. "But we'd also like to generate some interest, because we'd like to have a permanent ice skating rink here on the central coast."
And judging by the smiles to be found on the ice already, so would a lot of people.
Right now there's a grand opening week special going on where you can get half off a ten-session-pass at Blades on Ice. And this Friday, the ice-skating rink at the Alex Madonna Expo Center opens and will remain open until January 6th.
For more information on the rink at the Alex Madonna Expo Center, click here.