With the Mansfield Borders closed in 2011, the leaders at WS Development, owners of Mansfield Crossing, decided they needed to fill the space. But the question was what objectives should they take and how best could they help the community.
With the unseasonable warm weather this winter, ice skating has been reserved to the indoor rinks around the area, leaving Mansfield in the cold (or warm, depending on your point of view).
"We wanted to use the space and give something unique to the community," director of marketing at WS Development David Fleming said.
So Mansfield Crossing's Regional Director of Management/Marketing Ellyne Fleshner and Marketing & Social Media Allison Yee contacted Fleming, with the idea for an indoor rink.
“It was really their vision, creativity and hard work,” Fleming said.
"Another big component of that was transforming an empty 22,000 square foot store into a winter wonderland," Fleming said. "I thought Ellyne did a really good job working with a local artist to do some painting around the walls and to build [winter-themed] benches. Those were all around, hand made and hand painted. That was a big piece of it as well."
Flemming estimated that about 150 people came to the opening on Thursday.
The food and drink for Thursday's opening night was provided by local retailers. The rink features an artificial ice rink, which is made of synthetic ice that does not require the same temperature.
"The idea was to work with local vendors, retailers and restaurants to make it a great and memorable experience," Fleming said.
The rink will be open for the next three weekends in March, and will feature different events each weekend. Each Sunday there will be a horse drawn carriage to give rides around Mansfield Crossing and balloon animals from Art on the Spot. Fridays will feature a live performance by Stacey Peasley’s Children’s Music, Saturdays will feature face painting and a live performance by Far From Eden, and Sunday