PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Cooler weather finally made it possible to open the rink in PPG Place to skaters Wednesday morning.

Manager Harry Datz says the rink has been expanded by 25 percent.

“We are bigger by about 2,600 square feet,” he adds. “That will accommodate about a hundred more skaters than we had before.”

The weather is finally cool enough to maintain ice that is artificially refrigerated. And skaters were eager to test it.

Lisette Barton tightened the skates for her nephew. She says she just flew in from Florida.

“We water ski and Jet Ski and paddle board, so it’s definitely not the same thing in Florida,” she says.

Is there any carryover? She’s about to find out.

Meanwhile, an 8-year-old skater named Lauren Vail has some advice for beginners.

“Skating,” she states, “is like walking, but you slip and slide just like that.”

For skaters who filled the expanded rink, that slipping and sliding has been a long time coming.

It really doesn’t matter how good you are. Datz says you can practice seven days a week.

“We’re a rare business. We sell tickets that last you the whole entire day,” he says. “So when you pay your admission fee, you’re more than welcome to come and skate on your lunch hour, go back to work, and come back for happy hour.”

As for that neophyte skater from Florida, Barton says, “My ears are pretty cold. I haven’t fallen yet. But I took it pretty slow.”

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