With the $71 million Riverfront Park Redevelopment project, downtown Spokane’s urban park is being transformed. Since its transformation from a railyard in 1974 to the the site of World’s Fair (Expo ’74) and then Riverfront Park in 1976, the 100-acre park has not seen a substantial capital reinvestment in over 40 years. The Redevelopment is expected to be fully complete by the Spring of 2019 and will bring updated facilities, new events and new attractions into the heart of the city.
The first project to open is the celebrated Ice Ribbon. Since opening day on December 8, 2017, the Ice Ribbon has attracted over 33,000 skaters, more than tripling attendance to the previous Ice Palace skate rink. By relocating the Ice Ribbon from out under a pavilion located in the center of the Park, to a prominent urban corner along Post and Spokane Falls Boulevard, the park is now activated at its edge and is driving greater pedestrian traffic and sales into adjacent businesses in downtown.
“We are excited to see the impact that the Ice Ribbon is having on downtown businesses. Many are seeing their best winter sales to date with the opening of the ribbon,” says Mark Richard, President of the Downtown Spokane Partnership.
The Ice Ribbon is the first of its kind to open in the western United States. The Ice Ribbon is different from a traditional ice rink in that way that it creates a wandering pathway integrated into the landscape. Skaters experience slight inclines and declines as they make their way around a path of ice surrounded by beautiful Northwest inspired landscape including basalt columns and a diversity of trees. In the summer will host activities such as roller skating, strider biking, art walks and food truck rallies.
The ice ribbon shares a ticketing facility with the SkyRide that includes a café with a variety of delicious food and large windowed dining area.