A popular ice rink in Brentwood was forced to close Saturday and remained closed Sunday after vandals opened a valve on the chiller, causing the ice to melt.
The closure extended into Sunday as workers installed a new chiller but had to work through some technical glitches.
"We're hoping to make ice at some point today," owner Tom Gregory said. "Once a breaker comes in, we will set the chiller as low as about 8 degrees, and we will start 24 hours a day walking in circles spraying hoses in the air to try and build the ice back up."
Running a seasonal ice rink in downtown Brentwood had been Gregory’s dream, but the Brentwood native arrived Saturday to find water running down the street—at the worst possible timing. Not only did Gregory have back-to-back birthday parties scheduled throughout the day, but the town’s parade was scheduled to make a stop at the ice rink Saturday night. Typically, this is the rink's busiest night of the year, with an expected 4,000 customers.
“It’s complete horror,” Gregory said. “This was supposed to be our busiest day. We had people lined up here at 9 a.m. to use the rink, and we had birthday parties scheduled back to back.”
Gregory initially said that he may not be able to open until Tuesday or Wednesday. He said that the community rallied to support him so he could reopen.
"The support has just been incredible," he said. "For me, it's just been the Christmas spirit; this is a holiday event, it's about supporting the community."
Gregory said Friday night a customer stole a pair of skates, and police are investigating whether that might be the same person involved with the vandalism.