Yes, it’s possible to ice skate in Israel! And especially now, in the hot summer days, there’s nothing more refreshing than dreaming of the Winter Olympics.
The most well known ice ring in Israel lies in the northern town of Metulla, just below the Hermon mount on the northeastern border. But for many years, we had used to have a large ice ring in the outskirts of Tel Aviv as well. It was called “Ach’la-Ke’rach”, which translates to “Cool Ice” in Hebrew. However, about five-six years ago, the place was burnt to the ground. Ironically, the ice could not stop the fire.
From that point on, residents in the center of Israel were left without an ice skating solution.
In 2004, Cellcom, one of the biggest cellular networks in Israel, erected a temporary ice ring in Rabin Square for two weeks. I personally remember how fun it was skating there with my younger brother, and perhaps this initiative was the thing that convinced several entrepreneurs to try and establish a new ice ring in Tel Aviv.
Two years ago, we saw the establishment of a small ice ring in Joshua Parks. However it didn’t survive long, and was forced to shut down after several months. Apparently it wasn’t profitable enough at the time.
And now, the final installment of our story…
This last September, the old Amusement Park in Tel Aviv, known as the Luna Park, inaugurated a new ice ring within the park grounds, titled iSkate. It measures 800 square meters in surface, and it operates 7 days a week. Nevertheless, admission prices are ridiculously high, at 70 shekels an hour, and when I came to check out their facility a few weeks back, the place was “dead empty”.
Will it manage to survive? Will the residents of Tel Aviv rediscover the joy of ice skating? I don’t know. Personally, I’m into rollerblading these days.