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Union Square skating rink releases app to deliver special offers

December 6, 2013

San Francisco’s Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square has launched a mobile application to spice up the holiday season with mobile offers and a virtual queue.

While consumers wait in a virtual line to skate, they can shop and dine in Union Square using special offers from the app. The ice rink’s app is sponsored by a number of companies including Safeway, Alaska Airlines, Capital One 360, Kaiser Permanente and Macy’s.

“San Francisco is a very tech-savvy city and we wanted to reflect that culture at our ice rink,” said Willy Bietak, producer and president of Willy Bietak Productions, Santa Monica. “We wanted to make our own mark on the app map.

“The ice rink would not be possible without our generous and committed sponsors,” he said. “We wanted to include them in the app and offer users the opportunity to experience the products and services they offer. Patrons will have access to special offers from our sponsors, many found right in Union Square, like a complimentary beverage from Capital One 360 Café.”

The rink is presented by Alaska Airlines and produced by Willy Bietak Productions.

Holiday offers
The Holiday Ice Rink app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Once consumers download the Holiday Ice Rink app, they can access coupons from local retailers.

One offer includes a complimentary beverage from Capital One 360 Café. The offer is limited to one per person and excludes bottled beverages.

When consumers open the app, they can click on offers to view the different deals. They can then show the cashier at the café the screen and then tap “Use coupon.”

The app also provides information about the ice rink such as hours and pricing. There is also a link that leads to the rink’s site to purchase tickets online.

Additionally, consumers can share the app on Facebook or rate the app.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square will be open through Jan. 20, 2014.

A screenshot of the app

Virtual queue
Around the holidays consumers are especially busy and looking for ways to save on time.

The holiday ice rink is catering to this common desire by taking away the need to wait in long lines to skate.

Consumers can be put on a virtual standby list if their desired skating session is sold out. They will the receive a push notification when it is their turn to skate.

Then they simply return to the Online Ticket Window to pay for admission and skate rentals. This way they can avoid the lines altogether.

“The app allows patrons to wait in a virtual queue which allows them the freedom to explore Union Square while waiting for their turn to skate,” Mr. Bietak said. “We want visitors to have a festive experience and so the app allows them the opportunity to enjoy other activities while they wait like Macy’s Great Tree, the decorated cable cars or grab a meal with friends.

“The app is important because it provides users with more control over their holiday scheduling. Users can finish their holiday shopping or enjoy Union Square holiday festivities while they wait for their turn.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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