EastWest Ice Palace – Ice Skating Rink Opens in Artesia
- Monday, May 16 – An enthusiastic crowd of 300 people celebrated the grand opening ceremony of the East West Ice Palace, home of Michelle Kwan, bringing the city of Artesia into the national limelight.
Michelle Kwan, Olympic medalist and champion figure skater, was joined by L.A. Kings hockey player Luc Robitaille, Artesia’s Mayor Larry R. Nelson and city council, a representative of Senator Alan Lowenthal, East West Bank chairman Dominic Ng, and Los Angeles Kings announcer Bob Miller. The crowd listened to Kwan, Mayor Nelson, Bob Miller, Dominic Ng, and Alan Lowenthal’s representative. The mayor and city council posed with Kwan during the ribbon cutting ceremony and afterwards, Kwan and Robitaille put on a show for the guests.
“There are thousands of mayors of little towns just like Artesia that would love this opportunity … a family business,” said Nelson during his speech. The mayor followed up with a history of the site where the ice rink is located. “This used to be a dairy … we’ve had opportunities to develop this property before … but [we] wanted to wait for something phenomenal,” said Nelson.
The EastWest Ice Palace is located at 11446 Artesia Boulevard, between Pioneer and Gridley, in Artesia.
Artesia council members were unanimous in their sentiments. “This is awesome for our community,” said councilmember Martins, “I’m excited for Artesia.”
“This is a great victory for Artesia,” added councilmember Mendoza, “it provides an activity for kids to stay off streets.”
Council members were also adamant about the prospect of attracting more businesses to the area.
Michelle Kwan also spoke, giving credit to her father. “My dad should be up here. Besides me and my sister, this facility is their baby … I’m proud of the role the Ice Palace will play in the community. ”Kwan then closed her speech by saying, “Let the fun begin.”
Kwan treated spectators to quite a show as she demonstrated her graceful figure skating skills. Luc Robitaille of the L.A. Kings hockey team also passed the puck around with Kwan, a comedic sight as Kwan, who isn’t a hockey player, missed the puck a few times. Both Robitaille and Kwan hit the puck into the goalie net.
Robitaille commented on Kwan’s puck handling skills afterward. “I’ve seen this before when figure skaters try to handle a puck … it almost looks like they’re just learning to skate. However, you can notice that her balance is much better [than hockey players] because she never falls.”
Following the hockey demonstration, children from Burbank Elementary stormed the ice and got a chance to ice skate with Kwan and Robitaille. Many children were falling down everywhere, so Kwan, Robitaille, and Ice Palace employees helped out, giving to many children what may have been their first ice skating lesson.
Sandwiches and refreshments were given to guests afterward.
The ice rink sports a hockey sized rink, a gym, a “pro shop” that sells hockey or ice skating equipment, refreshments, and rentals. Programs for aerobics, yoga, cardio, ice skating and hockey lessons are available in their skating school. There is also a gallery displaying Michelle Kwan’s trophies, photos, and memorabilia. Admission will be seven dollars, skate rentals are three dollars. For more information, please call (562) 809-6200.