KUSA - No need to pack up the ice skates. Denver International Airport opens its latest attraction of an ice rink with free skate rentals starting Friday morning.
This week kicks off the holiday travel rush that won't let up until the new year. For many people that means long hours spent at airports. If you're traveling through Denver, the new addition might just cheer you up.
The rink opens Friday, Nov. 25 and will stay at the airport until Jan. 1. A Denver International Airport spokesperson said it's not using public money for the project. United Airlines is sponsoring the rink and a contract company will operate it.
"We actually have a free ice skate rental on site and we also have an area for shoes and your bags, kind of a changing area so you can have all your stuff comfortably close to you but also have a lot of fun at the same time," said Heath Montgomery, spokesperson for the airport.
Most travelers expect to see lines and delays at airports this holiday season. When people hear of ice, it's not a good thing, until now.
"I think that this is probably a first. I'm not aware of any airports in the world that have an ice rink and we're really excited to be maybe the first one ever," said Montgomery.
DIA is trying to become a destination and change the perception of air travel.
"It's not just people going from point A to point B anymore. Around the world airports are offering amazing experiences whether it's waterfalls and botanic gardens inside the terminal. So you look at what airports around the globe are doing and Denver wanted to up its game," said Montgomery.
Got some extra time or a layover? Hit the ice.
Our awesome ice rink opens this Friday! pic.twitter.com/qMjrlNDilt— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) November 21, 2016
"Especially people coming from out of town that are maybe connecting a flight here and have time to kill. That would be a wonderful thing," said Breckenridge resident Amy Slaugh.
She said she wouldn't travel to the airport just for the attraction but would arrive earlier.
"Really cool idea," said Eleanor Malcolm, 12, of Boulder. "Everyone would have a great time coming here early to do that."
The rink is just the latest in DIA events aimed at entertaining travelers and attracting locals to the airport. Within the past year, DIA held a summer beer garden and free movie screenings. Along with the rink, carolers and a winter holiday market are planned for December.
"I think it's a new concept to have an attraction at an airport," said traveler Mark Haeg.
It's something Dallas residents Candice and ML Gladney said they don't have in Texas.
"We don't have that, no. Unfortunately. Y'all got us on that," said ML. "Probably gonna get some people off their phones for a while and socializing, so that's always good."
It's something new that the airport hopes will put them on the map.
"How can we make this the coolest airport ever and this is one of those ways," said Montgomery.
DIA Upcoming Events:
Free Ice Skating Rink
Nov. 25-Jan. 1
9 a.m.-9 p.m.
DPS @ DEN Performance Series
Denver Public School students from Noel Community Arts School choir and dance team will perform
Winter Holiday Market
Outdoor holiday marketplace
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ugly Holiday Sweater Party and Film on the Fly
Featuring “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
4 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
Local choirs, caroling groups, singer/songwriter musicians, pianists, brass band and dance groups
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
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