TwitterREVIEW of The Depot Minneapolis
@DepotMpls – Thanks for having us today, this is an exciting time of year for us!
Q – #1 So @DepotMpls, what is some of your history? How old are you and when did your use as a building change to what you are today?
A: The old MKE Road Depot was constructed in 1899 & remains 1 of the last long-span, truss-roofed sheds in the nation
The most activity was 1920′s when the Milling District & the trains were busling w/ activity. This was the hub of Mpls!
Last trains left in 1971 & it set empty for several years til Gary Holmes (CSM Corp) came up with an idea for it.
Here’s a cool pic of The Depot back in it’s prime day bustling w/ activity. http://twitpic.com/398kue
CSM proposed 2 hotels, mtg space, restaurant, bar, indoor ice rink & waterpark for the space.
Interestingly, 1 of components of the city accepting the idea was the Ice Rink! They wanted a “Rockefeller of Mpls”.
The original train shed & clocktower were renovated to ice rink/ mtg space & historic suites. Rest of Depot was built.
Pic of the clocktower bldg back in the day (former offices for railroad & ticket counters). http://twitpic.com/398mdk
Q – #2 When were the renovations done, and is the clock-tower open to the public to tour?
A: CSM renovated & built The Depot in 2000 and opened in July 2001. We’re getting ready to celebrate 10 yrs!
The clocktower is pretty amazing, but very difficult to get up so we aren’t able to offer tours of the tower.
You can tour the bldg, which features our “Great Hall”, original marble floor, gold leaf plated ceilings & woodwork.
If you pay close attention, you’ll even feel dips in the marble floor where ppl lined up to buy tickets & caused wear.
Q – #3 So what special opening is happening on WED Nov 24th?
A: Every year we turn the “Depot Pavilion” into an indoor ice rink for a few months. Wed, Nov. 24th is opening day!
Here’s what skating looks like, you can see all the original truss work & smoke stacks. http://twitpic.com/398p7n
It’s a holiday tradition & we see many families come each yr. Skate rental is available from kids 10 to adult 14.
We even get an occasional proposal on the ice & we’re happy to play a special song & clear the ice upon request. :-)
Q – #4 Better to have a proposal on the ice instead of being on “the rocks” right? :) Any wedding ever done there?
A: We haven’t had an actual wdng on ice (great idea tho), BUT we’ve had wdng parties skate after the I do’s still dressed
Q – #5 What other kind of events to you have at @DepotMpls, and when it’s not frozen over, what is the Depot Pavillion used for?
A: We host a lot of gala’s, awards ceremonies, wdngs, team building events, etc… in both Great Hall & Pavilion (rink).
Even w/ ice we have a temp floor + carpet we can put down in hrs & convert rink to this: http://twitpic.com/398t9x
Because the ice is cooled from below, room temp can be warmed for other events & most have no idea they are on ice!
Q – #6 I missed asking this earlier, what are the hours that the skating rink is open and what are the fees?
A: The ice rink is open a variety of hrs, always check DepotRink.com to verify. Admission is $8 (adults), $7 rental.
For all of our twitter followers & those that read your blog, here’s a $2 off admission/person coupon! http://is.gd/hmbKd
And new this year, we’re adding special treats to those that check in on @foursquare & possibly others. So check in there too!
Q – #7 That’s a nice offer! What are the less crowded times of day to come, and are skating lessons available?
A: Mornings are the least crowded. We don’t offer lessons, but you can rent a “walker” which really helps beginners!
Interesting point: Depot Rink reuses all its ice (scraped during season) to cool the heating equipment in the Depot!
Q – #8 Any tips or suggestions on how to dress for an indoor skating rink?
A: We keep the rink at 55 degrees, so it’s fairly comfortable w/ a sweater & jeans & maybe light gloves.
@JoelECarlson – Great! Thanks for your history lesson about the @DepotMpls and have another great season with the ice rink!
@DepotMpls – THANK YOU for having us, there really is a lot of fun history around here. If you come, explore the whole complex.