L’Auberge becomes winter wonderland

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

L'Auberge Casino Resort is gearing up for the holiday season with Wonderland on Ice, a public ice skating rink to open Saturday,

Nov. 17. Also on tap before the end of the year are a concert by Dionne Warwick and an Asian music concert and buffet.

Warwick, who racked up 56 singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998, will appear at a dinner concert in the

L’Auberge Event Center on Dec. 7. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and music at 8 p.m.

Live Asian music will be featured in the event center at 2 and 6 p.m. The Asian buffet will be served in the Sycamore Room

from noon to 9 p.m.

The skating rink, which will remain open through New Year’s Day, has been enlarged from last year’s as suggested by guests,

said Bill Belcher, director of retail operations for L’Auberge.

It is 50 by 70 feet, in contrast to 32

by 60 feet last year. Also added this year is a grill which will expand

the food offerings

for skaters and spectators.

Last year 10,700 skaters put on skates and got on the ice, Belcher said.

The rink is constructed under a large tent erected on the lawn of the pool area, he explained. The tent, as well as the rest

of the L’Auberge grounds and buildings, will be decorated in a Winter Wonderland theme.

A base of sand is laid down and tubes to be filled with a glycol solution are placed on top of that. A 130-ton chiller will

keep the tubes cold enough to freeze water.

Water is applied in layers, one on top of the other as the lower one freezes, he said. Before the final layer of water is

applied, the surface of the previous one is painted white, making the rink opaque.

The skating rink will be open for two or three three-hour sessions each day. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Santa’s Helpers

will join the skaters to help the kids, Belcher said.

Between sessions, a Zamboni machine on the rear of a golf cart will resurfaces the ice and lay down a new top layer, he said.

The operation takes about 45 minutes.