Securing ice time at the World Arena's trio of rinks might be a challenge this week.
More than 500 skaters of all ages and skill levels are in town for the Broadmoor Open, which runs Wednesday through Saturday, and all three of the World Arena's rinks will see a flurry of nonstop activity. From 2-year-olds to adults, skaters will be taking to the ice to show their skills and test themselves against their peers in the four-day event, which is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating.
"It's a well-run competition in a beautiful rink with a fabulous (judging) panel," event co-chair David Hamula said. "There are probably 400 to 500 non-qualifying events each year, and this is in everyone's top five, as far as prestige goes. We have a very prestigious technical panel and group of judges, and it's just a great event."
Featured skaters include junior ladies national champion Polina Edmunds, junior world silver medalist Jason Brown and U.S. world team member Brandon Mroz. In addition, the pairing of Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim - the senior national silver medalists - will perform an exhibition.
Nearly 30 states and roughly five other countries will be represented by skaters taking part in the prestigious competition, which is free to the public. It's an event that gives elite skaters a chance to test themselves against some of the nation's best.
"Many skaters are trying out new programs, and this is about the first time they really get their programs together," Hamula said. "This is the first major competition where skaters can test themselves, and some of them will travel across the country (to do so)."
With skating going on from the early morning hours until approximately 9 each night, even the most dedicated skating enthusiasts will get their fill of action and pageantry. The Open is also a great place for families to enjoy a good time in a festival-type atmosphere, according to Hamula.
"It's a fun time for families," he said. "It's free, there's wonderful music and acoustics and great costumes. Everything is set to music now, and it's much more family friendly and fan-friendly."
The Broadmoor Skating Club, which conducts the event, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. There will be a special banquet Aug. 11-12 to commemorate the milestone, and the club will set up an information and memorabilia booth at the World Arena during the Open.