HONOLULU (KHON2) — One of the coolest places on Oahu has a target for reopening after two and a half years of shuttered doors.

The Ice Palace has been closed since March, 2020 and KHON2 got an exclusive look at what has taken them so long to welcome locals back.

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“Pretty much everybody I know has some sort of a memory here,” said Ryan Quinto, Ice Palace project manager.

Quinto said everyone at the Ice Palace is excited to show off the results of their much-needed repair job.

“Like the snack bar, you know, we kind of gave the bleachers a facelift,” Quinto said. “Upstairs, the pizza kitchen, we put down a new floor, all new counters.”

New ice was still being layered onto the rink on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The vice president said the initial closure due to COVID-19 was the perfect opportunity to renovate.

“Because we weren’t able to have this closure prior, we took this time to really repair things that needed to repaired,” Mika Lazo said.

“Oh my God, it feels really nice. You know, it feels really nice to have a facelift into this nostalgic place.”

Mika Lazo, Ice Palace vice president

The ice on the rink itself is actually not yet “skate-able,” but onsite staff did let KHON2 walk around. The rink will be about three inches higher when they open to the public.

“Right now, we’re somewhere around maybe, I don’t know, half an inch. So, we plan to build it up a few more inches,” Quinto said.

The rink will function the same; There will be a small area for beginners and a larger one for those who are more experienced. The disco balls still work, too.

“I believe we all had memories here, our fair share of memories here, so, I myself had a few here and there,” Lazo said.

Lazo said entry prices are expected to go up from $11.50 due to inflation — they are still working on a final number. The sign out front still says “Opening this fall,” but Lazo said she can guarantee the doors will open by Christmas Eve.

“I just want to thank our skating community and the general public for being so patient with us with this opening,” she said, “we were saying we were gonna open prior, but it didn’t happen, so now I believe it’s finally here.”

The inside of the Ice Palace is kept at about 55 degrees and it is even cooler on the rink, so bundle up before lacing up.

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“Sharpen your skates,” Quinto said, “it’s gonna open soon!”