Lufkin’s indoor skating made a huge holiday season hit

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin had a big success for their first ever ‘Ice Skating in the Pines’ indoor ice skating rink they brought for the holiday season.

“Lufkin is now a Christmas destination,” said Visit Lufkin director Tara Hendrix. This was the first time Lufkin had a genuine ice-skating rink measuring at 3,000 square feet of solid ice.

Hendrix said they sold over 7,000 tickets and seeing people all over from Angelina and the surrounding Deep East Texas counties.

Skaters like Raysen Phillips said it was his first time skating at the indoor skating rink. “I like rollerblading and I’m used to that, and this is just a little bit slicker so it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it.”

Phillips and his friends Mason Duke and Marty Martin learned to get back right up after each fall.

“I’ve fallen like five times,” said Phillips. “I’ve fallen on the ice. I fell and ran into someone,” said Martin. “I fell 10 times,” said Duke.

Hendrix said the event has been a great promoter for the city’s travel and tourism. “We’ve seen an increase of almost 999% of our visitors to resident’s ratio from this year to last year.” Hendrix said they averaged 150,000 visitors into Lufkin each day and 50% of those visitors being overnight guest spending an average of $97 in the city.

“To know there’s that many people shopping, buying gas, staying in hotels, working with our different merchants. That’s a huge increase in our sales tax and our hotel-motel tax for the month of December,” Hendrix said.

Mariela Gonzalez

Mariela Gonzalez

Mariela Gonzalez is a KTRE multimedia journalist.