A staple of the Fort Collins holiday season will be painfully absent this year.

The popular ice rink in Old Town Square will not be used this year, due to budget concerns, according to the Coloradoan.

Last year, the ice rink brought joy to around 7,000 ice skaters; but the $40,000 cost of setting up and taking down the rink is just too much for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to handle this year.

Owners of some businesses along Old Town Square were unhappy to learn the ice rink would not be in its usual spot near Walnut Street this year.

The rink brought a lot people downtown and to nearby stores, said Lee Swanson, owner of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop.

[via The Coloradoan.]

The town of Estes Park has leased the ice rink for the year.  So if you really miss it that much, it's less than an hour drive away!

And even though the rink is gone, the iconic holiday lights that wrap around Old Town's trees and buildings will be out in full force this year.

Cindy Clarke, owner of the footwear and collectibles shop Specialities, said...having the holiday lights in place and fully funded will be positive for downtown.

“I think the lights are very important, too,” she said. “It would be horrible without the lights.”

[via The Coloradoan.]

Personally, I would also rather see the ice rink go than the lights.  Christmas just wouldn't be the same for me without them.

What do you think?  Would you rather see them keep the rink and nix the lights?  Let me know in the comments below!