GALLIPOLIS — Skatesville USA opened its doors again Friday in Gallipolis for the first time in 11 years.
“I’ve got birthdays and private parties booked up for the next two or three weekends,” Patti Filie, 53, of Gallipolis and skating rink owner, said. “I’ve had schools calling me for parties. So, I’m hoping now that we’re back in the community that they will love us.”
Filie noted the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce had been helpful in assisting the business with its setup, as well as a slew of volunteers who had once skated the hall during the 1980s and ’90s.
“I felt bummed when I left here because people didn’t care that we left,”Filie said. “But everywhere I go people are always telling me we should open the rink again.”
According to Filie, the business was first opened by her family in February 1982. It closed in 2005 during some family complications. The family then rented the building as a gymnastics and tumbling school. Once the previous tenant decided to not resign the school’s lease in April, Filie decided to reopen the rink.
Friends networked over social media and a following of users announced their enthusiasm of the decision.
Filie said she was blessed to have one assistant return after being with the business for 22 years because she knew the routine of skating business.
“We have added some new lights. We’ve put more glow-in-the-dark lights in. We have more neon lights,” Filie said. “We’re also getting ready to put in a new video screen so the kids can see themselves as they’re skating.”
Filie said more work will be done on the exterior of the building over time.
“We just needed to get the doors open, but we’re planning in the next two months to paint the outside and give it a good face lift out front,” Filie said. “When I left here and I thought I was top dog, we were using CDs. We originally had turntables, then cassettes and then CDs. Now we’ve got all our music done on computer.”
Filie said she had many of her lights synced to computers and music. She listened to some of her younger volunteers and employees for help in current music trends and tastes for playlists.
Filie said that the Skatesville USA roller rink kangaroo mascot, Roller Roo, would come out for private parties and to occasionally interact with children during the rink’s open times.
“We have Throwback Tuesday, which plays 80s and 90s music,” Filie said. “We are open to the public Tuesday night, 7 to 9, Friday and Saturday night 8 to 10:30 and then Saturday afternoon 2 to 4. Roller derby is Wednesday night. They practice from 6 to 8 and Sunday 6 to 8.”
Filie said the rink is available for private parties. A birthday package is $85 for two hours. Parties are open to the public, but party rooms are reserved for individuals. That includes skate rentals, admission, one pizza, a pitcher of soda, table settings and a free pass for the birthday child.
“We ran the place strictly before and we’ll probably run it that way again. We want it to be a safe place,” Filie said. “We are going to make it nice.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.