COVID-19 has been tough on the roller rink business, and decades-old San Ramon roller rink Golden Skate says it’s hanging up its skates after the year’s end.
There remains a somewhat healthy roller skating scene in San Francisco, with that Sunday roller disco party popping up every weekend in Golden Gate Park. But that’s not the kind of thing you’re going to shlep a van full of nine-year-olds to for a birthday party, and the old-time roller rink many of us grew up with is now nearly extinct. COVID-19 has accelerated that process, making these cavernous facilities either shutter or operate at limited capacity, and KTVU reports that a last-of-the-dying-breed Golden Skate in San Ramon will permanently close sometime around the end of the year.
The announcement actually came in late October. “The enormous financial damages that we suffered due to COVID have made the continued operation of the Golden Skate infeasible and so it is with a great deal of sadness that I must announce that The Golden Skate will cease its operations,” the rink’s owner Dr. Hassan Sharifi said in a letter posted to their website. ”We reopened the rink in May of 2021 and were hopeful that we could regain enough income at a break even or better, but it has become clear that our hope is unrealistic.”
In terms of a specific closing date, the rink’s management has merely said in Facebook comments that “We don’t have a closing date yet. We will still be open throughout the holiday season this year.”
One silver lining, should you be a roller skating enthusiast, is that the Golden Skate is doing 50% off sales on their remaining stock of rental skates.
In terms of the remaining roller rinks in the Bay Area, there are still a couple. The Fillmore’s cult-hit Church of 8 Wheels reopened in the spring, and is still open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, though it’s a remodeled church, not a proper roller rink. There’s one in Antioch called Paradise Skate, and otherwise San Jose has an Aloha Roller Rink, and Rohnert Park is home to a Cal Skate.
Image: The Golden Skate via Facebook