Thanks to Southwest Airlines, LUV was in the air in Downtown Denver this winter! For the second straight season, the Downtown Denver Partnership was proud to work with Southwest Airlines and Denver Parks & Recreation to bring the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park to our city center. We closed out the 2011-2012 season on Southwest Airlines’ favorite holiday—Valentine’s Day! We encouraged skaters to take a free photo in the LUV-themed photo booth to be entered to win one of ten pairs of roundtrip tickets to any of Southwest's 73 destinations, including new service to Atlanta. 2011-2012 Season by the numbers: This season at the Southwest Rink was a huge success: even more days of skating, even more skaters, even more marriage proposals and even more free skating lessons! A few highlights –
Total Attendance: 42,826 (that’s more than 11,000 skaters over last year’s total!) Kids 12 and under who skated free on Sundays: 3011 Adults and kids who participated in the free Learn to Skate Lessons on Saturday mornings: 364 Adults and kids who skated FREE from various coupons, through their schools and special events: 4719 Marriage proposals: 8 Broomball Challenge 24 broomball teams during the 2012 Broomball Challenge 87 goals scored in 12 games $5,100 raised for charity (Volunteers of America and Parade of Lights)
Skating Mascots: 1 (Miles the Broncos Mascot) Skating fruit: 1 (Georgia Peach promoting Southwest Airlines new DEN-ATL route) Live animals: 2 (Pete & Penny Penguin from Sea World San Diego) Skate N’ Flicks Movies shown: 5 Photos Taken in Photo Booth: 2628 Surrounded by Denver’s urban core, the Southwest Rink was located in Skyline Park next to the historic Daniels and Fisher Clock Tower near the intersection of 16th Street and Arapahoe. With FREE skating for the public with the option to bring skates or rent a pair for just $2, the Rink played host to families and friends enjoying a free or low-cost afternoon. The Southwest Rink has contributed to a vibrant Downtown atmosphere through activities for all ages, from Learn to Skate for kids and adults to Broomball Challenges for the business community. Thank you to Southwest Airlines for LUVing Downtown Denver for the second skating season!
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On behalf of the Downtown Denver Partnership and thousands of Denver ice skaters, we’re thrilled for Southwest Airlines to sponsor the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park for the second year. Last year, during our 65 days of skating, 31,726 skaters took to the ice. From family outings to broomball games to “Date and Skate” nights, people of all ages were drawn to Downtown Denver, a key goal of the Downtown Denver Partnership. It makes me smile to think of all those people creating memories at the Southwest Rink. Surrounded by Denver’s urban core, the Southwest Rink played host to families and friends enjoying a free or low-cost afternoon, six marriage proposals, birthday and company parties, a wedding photo shoot, and children learning to skate for free. I can’t wait to see what happens this winter! Again this year, skate rental is just $2, or bring your own skates and skate for free any day or night. The rink will be open Nov. 25 through Feb. 14. Come skate seven days a week, and look for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each week: Every Friday night: DJs Every Saturday 9am-10am: Learn to skate Every Saturday night: Live music Every Sunday afternoon: Family entertainment I’m looking forward to lacing up my skates again this year, and I know others are, too. Last year we asked skaters to write notes to Southwest Airlines about the Rink, and one of them, invoking Southwest Airlines’ “Say yes, Denver” advertising campaign, wrote, “Say yes, Southwest! Please bring this back next year!” Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for your partnership in reviving a Denver tradition from the 1950s and 1960s that’s still just as much fun today. For more information on the Rink hours and events, visit http://www.southwestrink.com. Photos by Larry Laszlo, CoMedia
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This winter, Southwest Airlines teamed up with the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) to restore one of Denver’s favorite traditions by bringing back an outdoor ice rink to Downtown Denver. Tami Door serves as President and CEO of the DDP, and she shares with us her unique insight into the success of the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park in her blog post below. Linda Rutherford, Southwest’s Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach: “Our goal with the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park was to give a gift to the city that would enrich Denver’s vibrant downtown and bring the community together. The ice rink enabled us to connect with our Customers where they work and live, and I think by all accounts, it was a tremendous success.” Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership: A friend of mine was standing in the chairlift line at a Colorado ski resort the other weekend. She overheard the following conversation: “Have you been to the skating rink in Downtown Denver?” “No – is it worth checking out?” “Definitely, our family goes all the time. We make a night of it.” When I first heard this story it was music to my ears. It meant we had successfully accomplished one of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s most important goals – attracting families to Downtown Denver. Many locals remember the tradition of ice skating at Zeckendorf Plaza in the late 1950s and 1960s. The popularity of this rink confirmed that Downtown Denver was a place where people wanted to congregate with their families and friends. So we made it our mission to find a way to get a rink back in our urban core. Enter Southwest Airlines… Since opening in late November, the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park has rented more than 26,300 pairs of skates to more than 27,500 skaters – including groups from across the Denver Metro area, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Joshua Station Youth Group, MLK Young Life, Colorado School for the Deaf & Blind and Colorado School of English and many more. We organized live concerts, celebrity DJ appearances, broomball games and skating performances. We partnered with nearby restaurants for “Date and Skate” nights, offering discounted meals and free skating for all participants. We kept the cost of skate rental at the very reasonable price of $2, and encouraged people to bring their own skates and skate for free on any night. The fun didn’t stop at the rink either—the Southwest Porch at Skyline Park was also a huge success, selling 2,500 cups of hot chocolate and 1,500 pizzas. It was a wonderful place to refuel before hitting the ice, and to gather under the heating lamps. It was also fun to see what kinds of spontaneous occurrences took place at the rink. We had six marriage proposals, a wedding party photo shoot, the national snowboarding team from the Netherlands, Colorado Avalanche player interviews and a whole slew of birthday and company parties. The rink literally became our Field of Dreams self-fulfilling prophecy of “if you build it, they will come.” The overwhelming success of the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park would not have been possible without the generosity of Southwest Airlines. Their cheerful corporate philosophy was infused in all aspects of the rink and its operations. They even flew staff out from their headquarters to teach the on-site rink employees their unique customer service model. On a personal level, it has been such a pleasure working with Southwest to reinstate the tradition of ice skating in Downtown. This experience has become one of my most rewarding in my years as President and CEO of this organization. So come out and enjoy the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park while you still can – for more information on Rink hours and this week’s events, visit http://www.southwestrink.com/. Photos by Larry Laszlo, CoMedia
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