MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You’ve probably heard by now The Depot Skating Rink in downtown Minneapolis closes this weekend.
The rink, named one of the best in North America, has been around for 15 years, but now it will be turned into event space full time.
Whatever draws you into The Depot, people agree the space is special.
“This is a real jewel. I mean look at this place, those two things are where the chimneys, the old steam engines used to pump up their exhaust while they sat here. This is history,” Mark Werges said.
Werges has skated at the rink since it opened in 2001. That’s when CSM Corporation took the abandoned Milwaukee Road Depot built at the turn of the previous century, and turned it into the skating rink.
“This project was a really important project historically. Before this project was redeveloped a lot of this area didn’t exist this was one of those catalyst projects that really helped the rest of the area take off,” CSM representative Mike Zipko said.
And it’s some of that history that has pulled people in, even first timers in the final days.
“It was one of those things you live in Minnesota you kind of have, you always hear about it. You kind of want to do it once,” Jake Daninger said.
Others had to take one last lap.
“One last time to come here,” said one from a group of St. Michael girls.
The rink has been a back drop for proposals, and a place where dads and daughters made lasting memories.
Marianna Schottler said what makes it special is “that we get to be here together and skate.”
“This is one of the special things we do together, we look forward to it all during the year,” her father Shawn Schottler said.
While many wish the rink would remain a staple in downtown Minneapolis, skaters are glad they had it while it lasted.
“Sentimental reasons. It’s just a fun place to come. I’ll miss it a lot, of course I will,” Werges said.
The Depot Skating Rink is open until 11:30 p.m. Friday night. Saturday is the final day. The hours are 10 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.
The expansion will begin in 2018 right after the Super Bowl.