The Carmel Christindlmarkt and The Ice at Center Green had a very strong opening week. The five days that the market and ice were open attracted more than 48,000 people.
“It is heart-warming to see the number of families and friends enjoying time together this winter at the market and skating on The Ice. The memories being made will last a lifetime and many will create traditions around this venue that they will look forward to from year to year,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.
The Ice at Center Green welcomed about 4,000 skaters, with some popular session times selling out. To accommodate the large crowds, some adjustments have been made to take affect this week. Visitors will now be able to purchase any session for the current day they are there. This will allow families to shop and know that they have secured ice time for later that day. Signage will also alert those in line which sessions are still available for sale. However, skaters will still have to wait to get their skates until right before their session. In addition, after seeing how the Ice handles the volume of skaters, the capacity has been adjusted from 150 per session to 200. This will also allow more skaters through per day.
Shopping at the market has been robust as well with more than $410,000 in sales during the five days it has been open. This includes fees for skate sessions and rentals.
“We are very encouraged by the number of visitors to the market and the sales we are experiencing. We are already reordering some of our most popular items. Visitors are truly enjoying the opportunity to get some unique authentic hand-crafted gifts,” said Maria Murphy, Market Master.
Another suggestion we heard frequently was the need for bottled water, which will now be available at the Groomsville Popcorn hut.
More signs were added directing visitors to the Veterans Way Parking Garage to encourage its use and relieve congestion on 3rd Avenue SW.
“We appreciate the feedback we received and have been able to make some initial changes to address specific issues. We added a second Gluhwein booth when we saw the enthusiastic response and long lines this vendor experienced. The additional hut is located at the southeast end of the market to relieve some of the congestion around the ice. Overall, we are thrilled with the outdoor winter activities that we have been able to create. Never before have so many people been drawn to our community and we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that makes Carmel a great place to live, work and enjoy life,” said Mayor Brainard.