Outlaw Square Glice Rink delivery turns into a slippery slope

Work continues at Outlaw Square in preparation for this winter’s crowning moment — the Glice Rink installation. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD Historically, it seems that most ventures associated with Deadwood are storied. So why not the arrival of its new synthetic ice rink, currently bobbing around on the high seas, as well?

While a slick proposition at first blush, actually getting Outlaw Square’s Glice Rink delivered from overseas is turning into, well, a bit of a slippery slope.

Originally anticipated for delivery the week of Nov. 13 from Lucerne, Switzerland, Deadwood Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said delivery of the shipping container containing the Outlaw Square synthetic ice-constructed Glice Rink has all changed a bit.

“On Thursday, Nov. 14, I received an email from the CEO of Glice USA stating that he’s glad to hear the weather in Deadwood has improved, but an unexpected delay at the port of Barcelona had occurred, due to a labor strike that he did not know about and landing of the container scheduled for Chicago had been pushed back several weeks, now arriving Dec. 2,” Kuchenbecker said.

Based on emails received by the Historic Preservation office, city officials believed the container was already in customs Nov. 1 in Chicago, so Kuchenbecker called for an update. 

A new plan was revealed.

“They’re now going to be intercepting shipment at the Port of New York and transloading the original container into two standard containers that will be shipped via semi directly to Deadwood,” Kuchenbecker said. “The original container ended up being too tall to make it from New York to Deadwood because of overpasses and bridges.”

Kuchenbecker expressed to Glice that he was very disappointed, as based on emails he received, his understanding was that once the container got to New York, it would be loaded on a train to Chicago in an effort to expedite it.

“We’ve been assured it will be here for the opening and set up,” Kuchenbecker said.

The shipping container includes all the components for the Glice Rink, which comes at a cost of around $150,000 and is made of synthetic ice, a zero energy, zero water, alternative to traditional ice rinks.

By means of friction, blades cut open molecules on the synthetic ice which release a lubricant creating the glide effect, which is only 2% slower than conventional ice.

Plastic ice comes in synthetic ice panels, or ice sheets, which are connected via tongue- and-groove, dovetail or puzzle system. The panel connections are 100% seamless.

Monday, Deadwood City Commissioners approved the following expenditures in anticipation of Outlaw Square’s opening: $8,953 for the fabrication and installation of canvas curtains for the gazebo; $7,054 for the installation of a door access control system to be paid from HP capital assets; $11,909 for installation of 13 security cameras, the payment to be split among public buildings, police, and parking and transportation equipment budgets.

A public hearing for the Outlaw Square grand opening Dec. 6 and for the square’s first event, Kris Kringle’s Market Dec. 14, was also held, with Outlaw Square Director Bobby Rock addressing the commission.

“This is for the grand opening. We are going to be closing Deadwood Street, with the bollards put up approximately around 4 p.m. on that day and the street will be reopened right around between 8 and 9 p.m., when everything is all completed,” Rock said. “This is going to be a community Christmas tree lighting, events going on onstage, with dignitaries speaking. We’ll have the community invited, along with the dignitaries, and it’s all going to take place on that day – rain or shine or snow.”

On Dec. 6 and Dec. 13-14 street closures.

“This is the first event we are doing and we’re pretty excited about it,” Rock said. 

The Dec. 13-14 open container request is for Belle Jolie, which will offer wine samples. Open container will be only in the square zone that was also approved. 

Mayor David Ruth, Jr. asked Rock to communicate with the school, as school buses will be unable come up Deadwood Street during the closures. 

“I prefer that it stay as anytime we close a street that we have a public hearing, so that residents have the ability to still come in and say, ‘Don’t do it on this day,’ because of something going on,” Ruth said, as not every Outlaw Square event will require closure of Deadwood Street.

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