Two new “firsts” were unveiled in Limassol, Cyprus recently, ushering a new wave of economic development and leisurely pastime for the island of Aphrodite. In an elaborate opening “on ice” gala ceremony, Tiffany Investments LTD inaugurated My Mall Limassol, Cyprus’ largest shopping complex and architectural structure to date, and Cyprus On Ice its 430 square-metre circular ice-skating rink.
Located at the base and center of the Guggenheim-esque designed mall, Cyprus on Ice is sure to be a main attraction in Limassol, a town that boasts a gamma of expatriates and tourists from countries with ice skating tradition, more specifically, Britain and Russia.
“We expect over 1 million visitors to the mall in just the first year,” said Dr. Alex Raz, My Mall Limassol’s founder & managing director. “The concept of the ice rink stemmed from the mall’s circular design that affords visitors the pleasure of viewing the rink from each floor, while offering ice skaters the freedom to skate. All without disrupting the shopper’s shopping experience,” he explained.
The rink is brought to My Mall Limassol by onice.gr, a leading mobile and permanent ice rink provider based in Athens, Greece. According to the company’s spokesperson, the installation of the ice skating rink at the mall comes at a time of overall growth for ice skating rinks, thanks to state-of-the art technologies that allow countries with warmer climates to develop and maintain mobile and permanent outdoor ice -skating rinks, thus raising the demand for indoor rinks.
This has become apparent in neighboring Greece. What began as a seasonal holiday centerpiece at town squares, has suddenly taken on a “build it and they will come” character, a so-called magnet made of ice, that, according to experts, has many socioeconomic benefits for individuals both inside and outside the rink.
Just a few days before the opening of the My Mall Limassol rink, onice.gr completed Greece’s largest indoor ice skating rink, transforming the former Olympic Judo and Wrestling Stadium into an International Ice Hockey Federation-regulated rink. Built in a matter of days, the temporary project was created to house the 2009 Ice Hockey Championships and raise awareness and support from the various governing bodies to support the World Championships to be held at the site in 2010.
Onice.gr plans to raise awareness of the sport and pastime in Cyprus as well. Cyprus on Ice will offer various forms of “ice entertainment” such as ice shows and events and ice hockey demonstrations in addition to ice skating familiarity sessions by instructors on site. Skates and ice hockey accessories and apparel will also available to be ordered at the rink, as is the booking of “Parties on Ice.”