The Forum on Ice opens to the public Saturday morning at 10 a.m. but the rink will be ready Thursday night when Vargo Orthodontics has rented the rink for its clients to get a jump start on the holidays.  Friday a special Taste & Toast event will be held at the Forum where guests who have bought tickets to enjoy samples from some of Rome's finest eateries will also be able to skate.

Once public skating begins, people will pay $10 and receive an armband that will be good for skating all day.  Children 4 and younger can skate for $3. There will be times however when the rink is rented that it may not be available for public skating, depending on the size of the group renting the rink.

Thomas Kislat, the marketing assistant at The Forum River Center, said he got the idea for the rink while taking his family to skate in previous years at rinks in Atlanta and Chattanooga.  He thought, why not Rome?

“I pitched the idea to Safari Hospitality (which manages the Forum for Floyd County) and to Lisa (Smith) at the convention bureau and they were all very supportive," Kislat said. "So we just made it happen."

The Forum will have 300 pairs of skates available in a wide range of sizes.  Visitors can skate, then go Christmas shopping or out to enjoy one of the downtown restaurants, then come back and skate some more, all for that initial $10 fee,  before they call it a day.

Kislat said that people who just want to watch people skate can do so for free, and enjoy some concessions while they're in the building.

For those who have never been to an indoor rink, make sure to bring a coat as the temperature in the building is cool so as to not slush up the ice.

The rink will be available for public skating seven days a week through Dec. 29, however it will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays