Crown Center Ice Terrace: A family tradition


With close to 1,000 visitors a day, Crown Center is the place for ice skaters over the holidaysA family favorite for 42 years, Crown Center hosts the mayor’s tree lighting, Santa’s gingerbread station and public skating until mid-March. For the ice terrace to be completely up and running by November, a team of workers for the ice terrace begin a month in advance. The team makes their own ice over approximately two and a half days, then they prepare the concession and skate rental areas.

“We have to clean everything out, sharpen all the skates, lace on the skates, replace broken skates, put the boards up,” manager Alfred Baca said. “Get all the leaves swept up because it never fails that leaves like to fall while you’re making ice.”

Baca has been a part of the ice terrace team for six years along with his assistant manager, Ali Clauss. The two deal with scheduling events, overseeing their coworkers and managing customer needs, which can be difficult at times.

“ the dads that forget what shoes their child has,” Baca said. “The dad that says, ‘Honey what shoes did our daughter have on because I don’t think these are hers,’ and the wife is like, ‘No they’re her shoes’.”

Everyday demands can be challenging, but the two enjoy their jobs at the ice terrace.

“The coolest thing I’ve seen working here actually is whole families who’ve grown up coming on certain days of the year,” Baca said. “You’ll see kids grow up as they come through here and you’ll see people come in who are like, ‘Oh I used to come every year with my family and now I bring my kids every year’, and it’s just a family tradition, everybody brings their kids and then their kids will bring their kids and it’s really cool.”