Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Too soon? PPG Place ice rink manage does not think so

Photo by Michelangelo Pellis
The PPG Place holiday tree stands tall as the ice rink is being completed.

The Christmas tree has been put up in PPG Place and, while the manager of the ice-skating rink has a reason for its placement in October, some Point Park Students think that it’s too early. 

Andre Sanders, the manager of the ice-skating rink at PPG place, says it’s not too early.  

“Two years ago, we switched to a new LED tree which is much more energy efficient,” Sanders said. “Because of that, the tree has to go up before the ice rink is built.” 

Sanders, who is originally from Pittsburgh, has been involved with the rink at PPG place since 2004. He travels all over the country to various rinks but returned in 2019 to manage the rink at PPG.  

Sanders said that the new LED tree is more visually appealing and saves a lot of electricity but has altered the schedule for the rink.  

“Well in the past, the tree wouldn’t be put up until November,” Sanders said. “The rink would be built and then the tree would be put up. However, [the process of] building the rink will go into November. So, to open in time, we have to have the tree up in October.”

Some students disagree with the timing, however.   

“I was genuinely confused when I walked past the tree,” Carrie Lombardi said, a sophomore early childhood education major. “It’s October, and most stores don’t even have Christmas stuff for sale yet.” 

Sydney Schulz, a freshman dance major, said that there’s no question that the tree is up too early. “I simply don’t get it. It’s not even Halloween yet and I feel like [the Christmas tree] ruins the spirit of the holiday season. There’s no magic,”  Schulz said. 

Katie Moffat, a senior dance major who works at the rink, sees both sides of the issue. 

“I think it’s a little early to have the Christmas tree up, but due to the process of building the rink and the goal of having everything ready for light-up night, it’s kind of the only option we have,” Moffat said.

Moffat, who is from California, says that working at the ice-skating rink is an experience unique to Pittsburgh. She has seen people from all over the area coming into the city just to ice skate.  

Moffat said she thinks that everyone working at the rink takes the job seriously and has a shared goal of creating a special experience for all of the guests. So, ensuring that everything is ready in time takes precedence over whether or not it’s “too early.”  

Another employee at the rink, Austin Breinig from Pittsburgh, said that the tree is not up too early. “I know a lot of people say it’s up too early, but it takes time to get the rink operational. Most businesses start putting out Christmas décor this month. I think people are just shocked how fast time is going,” said Breinig.

Light up night and the beginning of the PPG place ice-skating rink season will begin on November 18. 

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