This Rome, NY Man and His Family Make Backyard Ice Skating Rinks (Photo Gallery)
Now you can see some of the great skating rinks Ross Bartell and his family have been making. They have been creating the rinks for well over 50 years.
Ross Bartell shared his story on the radio about his family history with skating rinks. It started with his dad, decades ago. The rinks are great size for hockey and skating. Bartell said it's a labor of love to kick off the winter in Rome every year.
Believe it or not, the rinks have attracted neighbors, and neighboring countries and have featured hockey players who have gone on to play college, semi-pro and even pro.
The rectangular barrier is created, then a liner that costs about $350 is put in place. Next the water is added. Bartell said that each year they freeze a chunk of ice in the freezer. When the fill the rink the next year, a family ceremony with the young kids is held as they take last year's ice, now called "magic ice," and put it in with the new water. The magic ice helps keep the weather cold and the new ice perfect for skating.
Bartell says these ice skating rinks are the one thing that inspires kids to shovel without parents telling them to do it.
Does Bartell make a lot of money making these rinks? That might surprise you. Although he probably could, Bartell says he does it just for the cost of materials.
Ross and the Bartell family make a rink every year, and they help neighbors and friends do the same in the Rome, Westernville, and Delta Lake region of Upstate New York. If you want help making a rink of your own, it will cost far less than a new Playstation. Just call him at 315-525-0622. There's never a charge, the homeowner just covers the expenses. Ross is more than happy to spread the winter fun and his family's long-lasting tradition.