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December 15, 2018 - March 10, 2019
All Day
Jackson, WY 83001
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Winter Wonderland - Ice Skating on the Town Square

Saturday, December 15, 2018


The Town Council approves requests for use of George Washington Memorial Park, use of Town equipment, and services of Town personnel.


Grand Teton Skating Association (GTSA), a local non-profit, is requesting Council permission to install an outdoor public skating rink in George Washington Memorial Park again this winter.  The applicant anticipates installing the skating rink in mid-December 2018 (depending on the weather) and opening for operation in late December.   The applicant understands that they will not be able to move into the Stage Stop Building until after the Chamber of Commerce finishes their “Santa on Town Square” special event.  The applicant will need to work with the Chamber of Commerce on a definitive move in date.  The applicant is requesting to begin skating operations on Friday, December 20, 2018.       

The applicant will charge $5 for skate rentals for locals and $10 for skate rentals for visitors.   The applicant has indicated that GTSA would be offering free “Learn to Skate” programs again this year on Saturdays or Sundays.   Last year over 100 people participated in these learn to skate programs.  The applicant also offered a free community viewing of the ice performance of Peter and the Wolf.    

The applicant plans on ceasing operations of the skating rink on or before March 17, 2019 (depending on the weather) and removing the skating rink prior to Easter.  In years past there has been concern of having the ice rink removed before Easter in preparation for the Town Square Easter Egg Hunt.  This upcoming year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 21.  If approved, staff recommends a condition of operation should include that the applicant must have ice removed with ample time for Parks and Recreation to prepare the turf for the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Town Square.  

A significant change from previous years is that the applicant is requesting to begin operation on December 20th - prior to the Chamber of Commerce moving out of the Stage Stop building for their use with Santa on the Square.  The applicant understands that the use of the Stage Stop building will not be available until after the Chamber of Commerce concludes their event.   The Chamber of Commerce is requesting the use of a 10’ by 20’ warming tent this year in the George Washington Memorial Park.   If approved, the Chamber of Commerce is open to the idea of GTSA utilizing a portion of the tent to rent out skates until the Stage Stop building becomes available.      

Additional requests include:

  • Council permission to rent ice skates and sell hot chocolate and stocking caps from the Stage Stop Building on holidays and weekends (from approximately noon to 9:00 P.M.), and Tuesdays through Fridays (from approximately 4:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.).  All sales directly benefit the applicant which is a local non-profit.  These are the same dates that were approved last year.  The public can skate on the rink on any day; however, the Stage Stop building will only be open for rentals on operating days.
  • If the Town Council approves the Chamber of Commerce’s request to utilize a warming tent in the Town Square then GTSA requests permission to rent ice skates and sell hot chocolate beginning on December 20, 2018 until they can move into the Stage Stop building upon the conclusion of Santa on the Town Square. 
  • Council permission to play amplified music of varying genres from approximately 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from approximately noon to 9:00 P.M. Saturdays,  Sundays, and holidays. 
  • Council permission for access to water to form the skating rink, two-hundred (200) feet of fire hose, a nozzle, a hydrant fitting, and wrench.  Depending on the time of day, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS will provide fire hydrant access at the corner of Center and Deloney streets and supply a water tender to deliver water for the initial freezing of the ice. 
  • Access to electricity in the park. 
  • Council permission to display up to four onsite banners.  One of these banners (3 feet by 6 feet) will remain on the outside of the Stage Stop building for the duration of the operation of the ice rink identifying this as “Winter Wonderland”.  This banner has been approved in years past. 

The other two smaller banners have been requested to be displayed on the Plexiglas over the winter season.   These two smaller banners would be different each week.  These two smaller banners would recognize local sponsors.  The sizes of these two smaller banners will vary from week to week, but their size would not exceed 3 feet by 5 feet.  These two smaller banners would be placed facing inwards on the Plexiglas which surrounds the ice rink.  Each week, two new banners would be placed on the Plexiglas during the hours of operation.  These banners would be on display only during operating hours.  These banners were approved last year.

A final banner request is a 3 foot by 5 foot banner with skate rental information to be hung on the back side of the Stage Stop Building (facing inwards towards the interior of the Town Square).  If approved, the staff would request that this banner only be displayed during operating hours.  This has been approved for the past two years.

  • Similar to last year, the applicant has requested permission to remove a segment of the fence from George Washington Memorial Park just off of the Stage Stop Building ramp so that patrons with rented ice skates on can access the skating rink more efficiently.  The applicant also requests permission to install an accessible ramp.  Several years ago Public Works constructed a ramp for the applicant.  The applicant indicated that this ramp worked well for their needs.
  • Snow Removal on the ice surface when snow accumulation is four inches (4”) or more.  This snow removal is to be provided once the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department has completed its regular sidewalk plowing routes, and as needed.  This is the same request as last year.


As in past years, the applicant will continue the following practices:

  • The applicant will install Plexiglas walls and an overlapping barrier on the ground and under the ice to mitigate any safety concerns and to block water from overflowing onto the boardwalks in the park. 
  • If bales of hay are used on the ice rink then the applicant will place a buffer material between the bales of hay and the ground so that they can be easily removed in the spring. 
  • Parks and Recreation will relocate the recycling cans near the skating rink as deemed necessary. 
  • Staff has recommended that the use of construction fencing and tape should not permitted.
  • The applicant will cover any and all jagged edges from the posts along the sides of the rink.

Additional considerations:

The Chamber of Commerce has indicated that they will allow the applicant to utilize the Stage Stop Building for skate rentals and hot chocolate sales subject to review of liability insurance.  However, in the past, the Chamber of Commerce has explored the idea of providing stagecoach rides during the winter.  If stagecoach rides are offered, the applicant would need to coordinate use of the Stage Stop Building so that the stagecoach concessionaire is also able to operate.  Staff recommends this be addressed in the agreement between the applicant and the Chamber of Commerce. 

Also, the Chamber of Commerce has indicated that they will be utilizing the Stage Stop Building for “Santa on the Town Square.”   Following this event the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to allow the use of the Stage Stop Building for Winter Wonderland.   The applicant will work with the Chamber of Commerce on an exact move in date. 

Staff concerns:
In the past the staff has raised concerns of the event potentially having an adverse effect on electrical in the Town Square; however, mitigation efforts were made three years ago and the Parks and Recreation Department indicated that there were not electrical issues since these mitigation efforts.  

Staff recommends that, if approved, the applicant take additional measures to ensure that any ice build-up on surrounding boardwalks, sidewalks and crosswalks be mitigated during the installation process of creating the rink.  Last year this concern was brought to the attention of staff.  

If the Town Council determines that the Town Square is an appropriate venue for the Winter Wonderland ice skating rink, then staff will continue to diligently work with the applicant to ensure that the project moves forward as best as possible.      


An outdoor rink and festive atmosphere is aligned with Town as Heart.



Memorandum of Understanding



Fiscal Impact is estimated at $2,200 for to provide snow removal.  Other potential financial impacts may be involved with any unforeseen complications encountered during the winter season this may include, but is not limited to, electrical system repair, turf replacement, and irrigation work. 


Parks and Recreation services to provide access from the Stage Stop Building, clear the ice of snow as needed, relocate the recycling containers, and provide access to electricity; Fire Department/Public Works services to assist with providing water to construct the skating rink.  Other potential staff impacts may be involved with any unforeseen complications encountered during the winter season this may include, but is not limited to, electrical system repair, turf replacement, and irrigation work. 


The Town Attorney has been recently provided with an updated MOU for the 2018/191   `q1``1` season.   The Town Attorney will need to review and make necessary changes to update the Memorandum of Understanding.


Should Council wish to approve the request, staff recommends that approval be subject to the execution of the attached Memorandum of Understanding which outlines terms of use. 


I move to approve the application made by Grand Teton Skating Association for the Winter Wonderland Special Event, subject to the conditions listed in the staff report and further approve the Memorandum of Understanding attached to the staff report subject to approval by the Town Attorney including any minor changes approved by the Town Attorney, and authorize the Mayor to execute the agreement.