You can't sell ice to Eskimos, but you can sell snow to Eilat. Next Passover will see the opening of a huge ice rink and mall in the city famous for its heat.
Developer Nissim Yaniv, who set up the huge student accommodation complex at Givat Shmuel near Bar-Ilan University, has turned his attention to Eilat and is constructing the compound near the Kings City site.
The project will include a range of attractions including an Olympic ice rink covering 1,800 square meters (19,375 square feet), scheduled to host international competitions, ice hockey tournaments, sledges for kids, and ice shows. Ice skating lessons will also be offered, with instructors from Israel and abroad, and in the evening professional performances will be presented.
The mall around the rink will include two floors, and will be an attraction in itself, housing leading fashion chains and designer stores from Israel and abroad. Among those expected to open branches are Swatch, Michal Negrin, Renuar and Marie Shoes. Most stores will be relatively small, but a few flagship stores will also be opened, including Zara and Fox.
The mall will cover some 7,200 square meters (77,500 square feet) and will be managed by Promall Mall Management, which already handles a number of malls in Israel, under Ofer Shechter, CEO.
"Eilat's disadvantage is the lack of attractions," said Amir Ben Shahar, CEO of Chemansky Ben Shahar Consulting. "Those visiting the city find themselves with nothing to do, so that there is no reason for visitors to return. The new attraction will attract more visitors."
Yair Sagi contributed to this report