The Roller Skating Place at ODAS Park is getting a makeover. The entire floor surface has been stripped down to its original base that was laid down about 50 years ago.
“We are building it back up so it will last for years to come,” says general manager Erin Abbott.
The rink will also be getting a fresh paint job and some new arcade games.
“People who don’t skate come to hang out with their friends,” Abbott explained. “So, we will be looking for some activities for those people to do as well while they are here.”
The floor renovations are set to cost the Orillia and District Agricultural Society — the owners and caretakers of the property — about $70,000.
“We are a non-profit organization,” Abbott said. “All of our funds come from the events here. Things like the Severn Rodeo, the fall fair, the winter fest, weddings, and Jack and Jills.”
The renovations were something ODAS Park couldn’t afford to put off any longer.
“It was dire,” Abbott said. “Pre-COVID we did patch work in there, and we did have the floor re-done 10 years ago, but it wasn’t taken down to the base, so parts of it were pealing up and it was dangerous.”
The Roller Skating Place is still vibrant, attracting upwards of 200 skaters every Friday and Saturday night from October to April. The rink is also used for baseball training, pickleball, and cornhole, just to name a few of the many activities that it facilitates.
“I think it’s becoming more popular now,” Abbott said. “We are one of the only rinks left in Ontario, but in the States, it’s still very popular.”
Abbott hopes that the renovations breathe new life into the Roller Skating Place.
“We have people say they are coming from Sudbury when we reopen,” she said. “After being closed for two years during COVID and losing a lot of money, hopefully, this is going to bring a lot of people back.”
The Roller Skating Place will reopen Friday, Aug. 12. A grand reopening will follow in the middle of September when all the new features will be unveiled. Admission is $10 for a three-hour session and includes skate rental.