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grock

Rink and Festival of Light Coming to Bushnell Park

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I've only been to the festival of lights once and it was close to 10 years ago. But this may be just the change I needed to begin going often. My daughter would love to see it and if I can get her and my wife on the ice, this would be a ton of fun.

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This is such a no-brainer, it should have happened 20 years ago. Bushnell park is a better place for the tree because it is a real park that is used by thousands of people, rather than a stark, isolated, and empty plaza. As for the ice skating rink - these things are hugely popular wherever they are. It will bring people into the city on nights and weekends, which is exactly what the city needs.

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Another blow to Constitution Plaza...

I think Constitution Plaza is a beautiful pedestrian space that could actually be a huge asset to the city. However I don't think anything they do, they do right. It is a poorly run property.

They have a hotel on the plaza a block away from the Convention Center that has been empty for 15 years. A developer was allowed to tear down the broadcast house without having the proper financing to rebuild. The only restaurant on the plaza has one foot out the door which will leave another empty space and a complex of 7 or so office buildings with no restaurant. The outdoor club events that used to take place on the plaza for years have been cancelled by CP management and don't happen anymore. Taste of Hartford stopped years ago. And now the Festival of Lights is leaving.

Don't get me wrong, I think the festival is better off at Bushnell Park as well. But can someone at CP step it up and make the Plaza realize its potential???. They probably LIKE the fact that nothing goes on there anymore because it is that much easier for them. This is usually the case when you have an absentee out-of-state property owner

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Another blow to Constitution Plaza...

I think Constitution Plaza is a beautiful pedestrian space that could actually be a huge asset to the city. However I don't think anything they do, they do right. It is a poorly run property.

They have a hotel on the plaza a block away from the Convention Center that has been empty for 15 years. A developer was allowed to tear down the broadcast house without having the proper financing to rebuild. The only restaurant on the plaza has one foot out the door which will leave another empty space and a complex of 7 or so office buildings with no restaurant. The outdoor club events that used to take place on the plaza for years have been cancelled by CP management and don't happen anymore. Taste of Hartford stopped years ago. And now the Festival of Lights is leaving.

Don't get me wrong, I think the festival is better off at Bushnell Park as well. But can someone at CP step it up and make the Plaza realize its potential???. They probably LIKE the fact that nothing goes on there anymore because it is that much easier for them. This is usually the case when you have an absentee out-of-state property owner

Maybe I'm naive, but wouldnt it make more sense to have tenants who are paying you to be there, than it is to have empty buildings where you dont have to do much? I dont understand what their reasoning would be to NOT want to have tenants. I never realized there was an empty hotel there. Are they asking too much to allow another hotel to move in? Or do they not want anyone to move in at all?

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The huge mistake that CC s paying for to this day. No apartment building. It is not a mixed use development , it is just and urban office park.

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Constitution College, that's all I have to say....

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While I agree Constitution Plaza is very unperforming asset for the city, none of the above stated faults can be placed on the current owners. They were not around when the 1960's choice to abandon housing and an arena were made. They do not own the vacant hotel, some wacky Indian relgious guru does and refuses to sell because he can't get 10 times what the property is worth. They don't own the channel 3 property and the city gave all the demo permits for that. The taste of Hartford was an event run by the arts council who decided it wasn't working for the city and changed it to its current format. From what I can see the festival of light being moved was made bythe arts council, business for downtown and the mayor with cp being left with no choice

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While I agree Constitution Plaza is very unperforming asset for the city, none of the above stated faults can be placed on the current owners. They were not around when the 1960's choice to abandon housing and an arena were made. They do not own the vacant hotel, some wacky Indian relgious guru does and refuses to sell because he can't get 10 times what the property is worth. They don't own the channel 3 property and the city gave all the demo permits for that. The taste of Hartford was an event run by the arts council who decided it wasn't working for the city and changed it to its current format. From what I can see the festival of light being moved was made bythe arts council, business for downtown and the mayor with cp being left with no choice

You are correct in that the hotel and the Broadcast House projevt are out of the hands of CP ownership. But what do they really do to work with the city to bring people downtown? Have they worked with the city to try to find a solution to the blighted properties? Nothing really happens at the Plaza anymore and that can be blamed on no one else. In the summer, this award winning space should host events/entertainment every weekend.

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... or at least entertainment during lunch hour. Where are the jugglers, mimes, and magicians?

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... or at least entertainment during lunch hour. Where are the jugglers, mimes, and magicians?

I think a more appropriate person to ask this to is Larry G. who continues to lose tenants on Pratt Street and that is the best location in downtown for jugglers, mimes, magicians etc.

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I think a more appropriate person to ask this to is Larry G. who continues to lose tenants on Pratt Street and that is the best location in downtown for jugglers, mimes, magicians etc.

I saw some of those Statue People over the summer on Main St and there is a guy with a guitar an amp that sets up and sings in front of City Place and on Main St by SHS sometimes. All of this is extremely rare though. The guy with the guitar isn't that bad either.

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Total disaster, screwing up a Succesful event and making it not 1/10 as good as it was. The end of Hartford's longest running event, joining Taste of Hartford, Twain Days, Fiddle Fest, South End Italian Fest, etc. Probably soon to be followed by Riverfest and First Night.

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Total disaster, screwing up a Succesful event and making it not 1/10 as good as it was. The end of Hartford's longest running event, joining Taste of Hartford, Twain Days, Fiddle Fest, South End Italian Fest, etc. Probably soon to be followed by Riverfest and First Night.

Yeah, I'm very disappointed with what they ended up with. From what I've read and seen I'm glad I didn't go down there to see that and be disappointed in person. The need to move it back to the Plaza next year and maybe try something completely new for the park but it seems like messing with a longstanding tradition was certainly a huge mistake.

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i think the city made a mistake in the way they delivered this, but I also thing that the people are big whiners.

seriously, in a deep recession when everyone complains about the cities and state spending money on anything its awfully tough for a municipality to do anything like this at all.

its like a bunch of kids that complain because the birthday gifts they got were not as amazing as they hoped and then had a good cry.

now on to the error part. the city really.... and I mean really....really! should have had the rink up and running for this event with the Santa as well.

apparently that part starts next week, and in order for anything to be a show or a spectacle, I think you have to go all out at once. Now I get that the plan was to lure people downtown multiple times, it was even stated in press releases, but its a shame that people were offended or let down to the point of not wanting to come to the 2nd or 3rd phase of the thing.

I hope the city keeps this in the park, and I hope they keep the rink in the park each and every winter. this really has the potential to be a really great improvement for the city

put nightly holiday music in the little band shell as well and get a few food carts near the rink to sell kettlecorn, roasted chestnuts,coffee cocoa and the like.

I was actually thinking that this would br a great opportuity for one of Hartfords big companies to get some great cheap PR and goodwill.

Travelers should swoop in and "rescue" this, by giving a couple million buy lights and to to the provide the music and vendors to go with the rink and santa for a few years.

this could really really catch on I think.

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As someone who experienced the event Friday I don't think people making noise about this are "big whiners." Christmas decorations aren't necessarily expensive or complicated. Put up some pretty lights and most people are satisfied. Stick to the publicized times and you're fine.

The economy being referenced in this is a complete and total cop-out. If you don't have the money, say so. If you don't have the money to make a significant change then don't make the change. There was no desperate need to rebrand at this point. No one was asking for this. Someone decided they wanted to make a splash and they did not deliver.

i think the city made a mistake in the way they delivered this, but I also thing that the people are big whiners.

seriously, in a deep recession when everyone complains about the cities and state spending money on anything its awfully tough for a municipality to do anything like this at all.

its like a bunch of kids that complain because the birthday gifts they got were not as amazing as they hoped and then had a good cry.

now on to the error part. the city really.... and I mean really....really! should have had the rink up and running for this event with the Santa as well.

apparently that part starts next week, and in order for anything to be a show or a spectacle, I think you have to go all out at once. Now I get that the plan was to lure people downtown multiple times, it was even stated in press releases, but its a shame that people were offended or let down to the point of not wanting to come to the 2nd or 3rd phase of the thing.

I hope the city keeps this in the park, and I hope they keep the rink in the park each and every winter. this really has the potential to be a really great improvement for the city

put nightly holiday music in the little band shell as well and get a few food carts near the rink to sell kettlecorn, roasted chestnuts,coffee cocoa and the like.

I was actually thinking that this would br a great opportuity for one of Hartfords big companies to get some great cheap PR and goodwill.

Travelers should swoop in and "rescue" this, by giving a couple million buy lights and to to the provide the music and vendors to go with the rink and santa for a few years.

this could really really catch on I think.

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Even if the ceremony itself is less well attended, I still think that having the tree in Busnell Park is better for the city because of its increased visibility. I mean which is more important to NYC, the one-off tree lighting ceremony or the month long atmosphere created in Rockefeller Center? I'm not trying to say that Busnell Park is the same as Rockefeller Center, but in my mind a large display in the center of town that is visible to everyone is far superior to a good ceremony that occurs on one night and is then forgotten about because the plaza is pretty much hidden from the rest of the city.

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http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-hartford-ice-rink-1206-20101206,0,6439689.story

This is a story about the rink.

I think this is the best part of the festival of light being in the park.

I do however hope that the city is serious about adding lights to the trees in the park. I hope this "take 2" get it right and brings people downtown every weekend leading thru the holidays

if only there was a MACYS or something downtown... but I digress

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so I was downtown on Friday night as I often am, and I have to say that the ice rink is a major shot in the Arm for downtown.

are there 2000 people down there? NO, but people are constantly walking down there and back and i njecting additional life into the park and by extention downtown Hartford.

The streets were alive and vibrant at 7PM and 11PM the two times I went walking, and I have to say that the only "event" in Hartford that night was a hockey game, so its not like there was a "Major draw"

this would be IMO a fairly typical weekend night in the winter.

I would love to see the rink open every winter for 2 months. 2 weeks is NOT LONG ENOUGH!!!!!!!

this could become a great hartford tradition

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I was downtown last Friday night and more people were ice skating on the pond in the park as opposed to the rink. Why didn't the city just use the pond for skating? Its much better looking and much larger and would probably cost a fraction of what it costs to set up a temporary rink.

I agree VOR. What I would like to see is the festival moved back to CP and the fountain redesigned to accommodate skaters in the winter. It would give the plaza a real Rockefeller Center kind of feel with the tree, the decorations and the rink. This of course would take some vision and planning.

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I was downtown last Friday night and more people were ice skating on the pond in the park as opposed to the rink. Why didn't the city just use the pond for skating? Its much better looking and much larger and would probably cost a fraction of what it costs to set up a temporary rink.

I agree VOR. What I would like to see is the festival moved back to CP and the fountain redesigned to accommodate skaters in the winter. It would give the plaza a real Rockefeller Center kind of feel with the tree, the decorations and the rink. This of course would take some vision and planning.

well I disagree with CP, but heres why...

when people go to CP, they walk away from the lights and pass nothing on the way to their cars. its un-inviting around the plaza, but the park has a few places that say... come here(Vito's/Salute), and a street that is well lit and inviting calling for you to walk up it towards other interesting things(TK, the XL Center, downtown in general)

it might be the same distance to walk, but the feel is totally different. from the plaza if you walk from say Phoenix up towards travelers and you parked in the gold building you literally pass nothing interesting, but you do also pass pus stops and a CVS and more bus stops. nothing to keep you downtown.

if you walk down the stairs to market street, you walk past.... bus stops, a tiker tape, a close breakfast place, if you walk up temple you actually will find DD'd City Steam and Dish, and life in general. If you walk to the Morgan St garage you get more and more of nothing till you get nothing in the end.

if you walk up state house square you pass mortons then finally at Asylum you are likely almost at your car, but you see Koji and Feng, but in general its all not inviting link the park.

sure in the park you can walk towards nothing.... (the hilton lot) but even from the hilton lot you can see pigh eye/black eyed sallys, and the life down Ann street.

who knows...

btw, they built the rink, because we could have a warm streak and no skating would happen at all. i think we were lucky it was cold this year. remember 2-3 years ago it was 80 in december? crazyness!

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I was downtown last Friday night and more people were ice skating on the pond in the park as opposed to the rink. Why didn't the city just use the pond for skating? Its much better looking and much larger and would probably cost a fraction of what it costs to set up a temporary rink.

I agree VOR. What I would like to see is the festival moved back to CP and the fountain redesigned to accommodate skaters in the winter. It would give the plaza a real Rockefeller Center kind of feel with the tree, the decorations and the rink. This of course would take some vision and planning.

The CP fountain is way too small, plus there is a huge stone sculpture in the middle of it. Instead, they could just freeze over the empty pit where Channel 3 was, that's plenty big. :angry:

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