Roller skating rinks hope to get boost in business after surge in popularity

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Skate rink owners are hoping the popularity of the sport found during the pandemic translates into business dollars as rinks reopen under phase 2.5.

SkyVue Skateland in Rocky Mount and Jellybeans Super Skate Center in Cary told ABC11 business was up in the early months of the year compared to the same time last year.

"And then the rug just got ripped out for under us," Bill Farley, the owner of Jellybeans Super Skate Center said.

Owners say they think social media could be the reason for the growing popularity. "Roller skating is the original social network," Denise Watkins, owner of SkyVue Skateland said. "We tend to be the community hub."

As rinks open under a reduced capacity for the first time since March, Bill and Denise hope enthusiasm for the sport moves indoor. "We know it will happen," Bill said. "It's just getting the public comfortable coming back into this type of facility."

With a smooth, consistent surface, heating and air, rinks know their benefits to new skaters.

"We need the public. We need revenue to come in for these rinks to survive," Bill said.

Rink owners forecast that skates could be a hot-ticket item for kids this Christmas. They said skate makers are preparing.

"We're hoping to have a good supply by Christmas," Denise said.
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