Classic roller rink finds new generation of fun-seekers
Aug. 11, 2021
It’s a little like taking a step — or maybe a skate — back in time.
Some things haven’t changed much at Sioux Falls’ only roller-skating rink, which has been welcoming skaters for nearly 50 years.
Skate City, which was bought and rebranded in 2015, still offers a vintage feel, with colorful lights, neon signs and a snack stand offering the classics.
Birthday and school parties are still among some of the most popular events, general manager Tony Herr said. But with new partnerships and programs, the demographic is starting to change.
The roller rink at 2901 W. Third St. now partners with GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness to offer a discount nearly every day.
Skate City also has implemented several nights a week geared toward a specific group of people, like the very first Sensory Skate, which took place July 25. Sensory Skate focuses on children with sensory issues and features quieter music and less noise from other guests.
Herr said the idea behind the event, which he created, was to offer a more inclusive space for those who may not enjoy the traditionally loud, exciting environment at Skate City.
“I just really wanted to give kids, no matter where they’re coming from, an opportunity to enjoy a lot of the same things that everyone else does. I know sometimes we focus so much on an overly fun atmosphere as far as music, lights and everything else,” Herr said. “For some, that may be a little bit too much to handle, whether that’s flashing lights, the music being too loud.”
Skate City also hosts a Teen Night, a Ladies Night and a Family Night.
These events have kept a strong tradition surrounding the roller-skating rink, but the recent partnership with GreatLIFE has brought new life to Skate City, Herr said. And not only that, but also a new swath of customers who are eager to use the discount provided and participate in a healthy activity.
“Roller-skating is really focused around fitness as well,” Herr said. “A lot of people think of it as just a fun activity, but one hour of skating typically burns 600 calories. So it really fits, I think, with GreatLIFE, as far as giving their members an opportunity to go somewhere that’s fun but also fitness-focused for them too.”
Experience director for GreatLIFE Krista Youngberg said the partnership with Skate City is rooted in working with local businesses and providing more options for GreatLIFE families.
“With our member benefits, we want to stay as ingrained in our community as we can,” Youngberg said. “Having another option for parents and children to be able to go out and do something active together, it’s just another opportunity for that.”
The current promotion for GreatLIFE members is $1 off skate time every day of the week except for Friday nights, and Herr said he hopes to provide more options for members in the future.
“I’m really hopeful that we’ll come up with some really fun activities that we can join in with GreatLIFE or maybe shoot some extra specials to the members as well,” Herr said.