CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Hockey Hut in Clifton Park officially opened its new, open-air ice skating pavilion Saturday morning. While the sub-freezing temperatures keep the ice in perfect condition during the winter, the decades-old business says the space will offer excitement throughout the year.

Hockey Hut owner Ron Kuhl says the pavilion aims to bring a pond hockey to feel to the Capital Region, “You know when we were kids, going out, shoveling the pond and playing outside in the fresh air. We’re very excited about it.”

The business has been part of the community since 1997, coaching kids of all ages and abilities. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Hockey Hut has continued to see success, including its new expansion.

“The support of the community has been incredible. The youth hockey community has just rallied around the Hockey Hut these last few years,” Kuhl said.

He says the pavilion will provide an exciting opportunity for kids and other members of the community to play the sport they love, “Really just want to make a difference in kids’ lives. Clearly over the last few years, if there was ever that time to make a difference in children’s lives and families’ lives, it was here at the Hockey Hut.”

A feeling echoed by those who stepped on the new ice for the first time Saturday, “It is just pretty fun. The whole point of the game is to have fun, play with your friends and learn new tricks,” said Hunter Caruso.

When the weather warms and the ice melts, the pavilion will be used for a variety of different sports, including pickleball, rollerblading, and street hockey.