Fake ice? The region's first synthetic ice skating rink opens in Gladstone

GLADSTONE, Mo. - For the first time, people in Gladstone will get the chance to do a loop on the synthetic ice skating rink on Tuesday. The new rink looks like ice, but does not feel like ice. And, if you fall on it, it is still going to hurt.

"This is a half inch, high density, polyethylene plastic," said  Richard King, the public information officer with the city of Gladstone. "It is extremely durable and extremely hard. It goes together much like a jigsaw puzzle."

It is the first synthetic ice rink in our region, and is near Gladstone City Hall at NE 70th and N. Cherry.

"When I tell you it fits tight, it takes a sledgehammer and fiber blocks to put it together," King said.

It took crews almost two days to assemble the synthetic rink at a cost of about $100,000.

"It doesn't require a refrigeration system. There is no power to run that refrigeration system, there is no water being used," King said.

The rink has a life expectancy of 40 years.

Over at Crown Center, the ice terrace is open for its 40th season.

"I am going to try to skate," 5-year-old Bre Burton said.

This is Burton's first time ice skating. She's in town with her family from Atlanta.

"I think I am more nervous for us than I am for them," said Melissa Burton, Bre's mother.

Crown Center marketing manager Rick Brown said the warm weather has not been an issue in the almost three decades he has managed the rink.

"The nice thing about that ice rink is there is seven miles of freon tubing under that 105x105 foot slab," Brown said. "So it can take the warm weather very nicely."

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