The Watergate Hotel, featured in the 1974 downfall of President Richard Nixon, is aiming to reinvent itself as a hip hangout, complete with a rooftop 'ice' rink and a whiskey bar with faux 'igloos'. Gavino Garay reports.
The Watergate Hotel has a slick new installment on the roof... a synthetic ice rink that visitors say feels 'real'. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEXANDRA WALD, WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA RESIDENT, SAYING: "I've never done it. I didn't know it was synthetic. It's different. It's interesting. You don't go as fast." (SOUNDBITE) (English) DALTON SHAUGHNESSY, WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA RESIDENT, SAYING: "No, (it's not as slick as real ice). You can't hockey stop. You can't do a triple lutz, you can't do a triple salchow." The Watergate made headlines with the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee, which had its headquarters in the hotel. It was a scandal that brought down then President Richard Nixon….although hotel Managing Director Jeff David says today's Watergate guests won't have to worry about skating on any thin ice. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WATERGATE HOTEL MANAGING DIRECTOR JEFF DAVID SAYING: "If you can imagine a white cutting board, it's just basically a dense wax that's slick. The solvent, like I said, really just reduces that 'coefficient of friction', so to speak. And it basically seasons it throughout the season, so the more of the solvent, the slicker gets. Almost like WD 40 on a cutting board." After being closed for nearly a decade, the newly renovated hotel reopened around a year-and-a-half ago under new management. Apart from the rink there are ski chalet-style food and drinks on offer.. And for $200 a pop, you can also chill out in a faux 'igloo'…a cool addition to one of Washington's most storied hotels.