Grand opening of the Ice at Canalside

Posted at 11:27 PM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-13 23:27:54-05

It took a little bit of music from the band Neon Trees, a quick snip of the ribbon by large scissors, and a flick of a switch to light the 30 foot Christmas tree, and "The Ice at Canalside" was officially opened to the public.

"This is right up there with the rinks in New York City and cities around the country," Joel Milleville said.

More than a thousand people came out to lace up their skates or ride the unique ice bikes around Buffalo's newest attraction, many with complimentary things to say.

"When you saw all the older buildings down here you never thought you'd see this change happening. So it's really exciting the things that are going on around here," Chris Stack of Hamburg said.

"I'm enjoying it. I'm glad Buffalo has something in the winter time so I'm excited for it," Jaleesa Banks of Buffalo added.

The site was originally planned as the home of Bass Pro Shops, then several more delays came from a new contractor, but after plenty of delays, the opening came, to the excitement of members of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

"But here we are right. And you look at the smiles on everybody's faces and you realize that it's been worth the wait. We're thrilled because it's absolutely jaw dropping, it's inspiring to be on this site and recognize how unique it is," ECHDC President Tom Dee said.

A unique site and a space for everyone, from curlers to broom-ballers, figure skaters and Sabres legends, to those taking it one step at a time.

This is not the end of development at this site. Several shops and a restaurant will be in the works and the Explore and More Children's museum is set to open in 2016.

For more info on skating and all the other activities on the ice at Canalside, head to www.canalsidebuffalo.com