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Riverfront Park Skate Ribbon visitor numbers are down

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Skate Ribbon in Riverfront Park was met with opposition since its announcement during the pre-construction phase of the park's remodel. 

The idea of the ribbon was to make a more modern attraction for the park that could be used year-round (ice skating in the winter, roller skating/scootering in the summer). 

However, its first season last year was fraught with problems.

About a month after opening ice skating in December 2017, tragedy struck as a woman fell, hit her head, and later died as a result of the injury.

Then on February 3 of 2018, not even 3 months into it's premiere season, the ribbon had to close due to a mechanical issue that caused an ammonia leak (a chemical that helps keep the ice frozen). The ribbon reopened around summer time and transitioned into the roller skating park, but very few people used it for this purpose compared to ice skating.

On November 16, 2018, the ribbon reopened for ice skating. However, the numbers for the 2018-19 winter season are far behind last year's.

According to the city Parks and Recreation department, more people skated in the first month of the ribbon's 2017-18 winter season than the entire 2018-19 winter season thus far:

1 MONTH INTO 2017-18 WINTER SEASON

  • December 8, 2017 - January 7, 2018 = 41,288 visitors

ENTIRE 2018-19 WINTER SEASON SO FAR

  • November 16, 2018 - January 7, 2019 = 34,400 visitors

The same one month time frame in the 2018-19 winter season shows that the ribbon's numbers are trending behind significantly.

  • December 8, 2018 - January 7, 2019 = 25,914 visitors

This disparity could be due to the fact that there was more publicity for the attraction last year since it was brand new. However, the numbers for this season are still trending behind compared to last season.

ENTIRE 2017-18 WINTER SEASON

  • December 8, 2017 - February 3, 2018 = 53,338 visitors

To be fair, this season still has about two months left to bring in more people to try and match that 2017-18 number.

That being said, that number was obtained while the ribbon had been open for less than two months.

The ribbon has already been open for almost three months this season and has seen almost 19,000 less visitors overall.

However, according to Parks and Recreation Communications Manager Fianna Dickson, as long as the Skate Ribbon brings in more people than its predecessor, it can be considered a success.

In the Ice Palace's last season (2015-16), the skating rink saw 30,600 visitors. According to Dickson, this number was around the average for previous years as well.

The Skate Ribbon has already beat that number both this year and last.


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