In addition to Pershing Square's ice-skating rink, downtown L.A. will soon be home to a sparkling new rink at L.A. Live — one that, according to the Downtown News, seeks to recreate the holiday season vibe of New York's Rockefeller Center. As opposed, say, to Pershing Square's feedlot-with-benches ambiance. Which do you think people will go to?
Sadly, that unsettling noise you hear is the sound of money being sucked from the city core to the new hospitality precinct that's risen around the Staples and L.A. Convention centers, our own Forbidden City south of Olympic Boulevard. The new rink won't be a complement to Pershing Square, it will be its competition. That's because the L.A. Kings hockey club is yanking its 10-year corporate sponsorship for the rink in front of the Biltmore Hotel to create its own rink, to be called Kings Holiday Ice. The Kings' rink, which will be a temporary feature in Nokia Plaza, opens with L.A. Live's Christmas tree lighting ceremony and will also feature hockey clinics.
The Pershing Square rink, the DN says, pledges to will remain open this holiday season with or without corporate or city funding. But Pershing's survivability depends not just on funding but on whether it can draw crowds. The Laemmle's Grande 4-Plex recently announced it was throwing in the towel because its owners knew it couldn't compete with a shiny new Regal 14 multiplex that will open in the very same area as the new rink — and on the same day. (Come to think of it, the Biltmore can't be viewing the Ritz-Carlton's new glass dagger at L.A. Live with equanimity, either.)
For a comparison of the two rinks and amenities offered by their respective neighborhoods, see a summary prepared by BlogDowtown.