NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s been a while since anyone has laced up skates at a Norwich rink, more than six months to be exact.
Hockey players and figure skaters are the first to take the brand new ice at what is now called the Norwich RoseGarden Ice Arena.
“Oh it’s wonderful, the ice is really good,” said Stonington resident Craig Bryant.
Just one of the noticeable improvements since a private management company out of Bridgeport took over the rink this summer.
“We have changed a lot of the color scheme,” said Tiesha DiMaggio. “We wanted people to come in and recognize that it was a new owner, a new beginning, a fresh start.”
Over $1.5 million in improvements include new benches and a redesigned lobby with Wi-Fi. DiMaggio says if something needed to be repaired, most of it was actually replaced. A new chiller is the biggest improvement and expense. A temporary chiller out back isn’t used to keep the ice cold anymore.
“We’ve actually prepared the floor and everything for the new machinery,” said DiMaggio.
The new ice refrigeration system is now online, and so far it seems to be scoring high marks. Many are excited to hit the ice after the six-month hiatus.
“The lighting is outstanding, so you really don’t lose the puck in the shadows like we used to,” said Bryant.
There’s a public skate Friday night, a laser skate, and then the rink officially opens this weekend.