| The Times-Reporter
For many, memories of Skate Place date to their childhood.
“I have so many memories here!” Lauren Rose told The Times-Reporter via Facebook. “When I was little at Indian Hills Christian School we would celebrate the 100th day of school here. In the morning we’d have a ‘read in.’ Kids got to curl up with books. We brought sleeping bags, blankets, pillows then in the afternoon we’d all head over to the Skate Place.”
“I spent almost every weekend there during my elementary years,” wrote Madison Page, who lived about five minutes away from the rink in New Philadelphia. “And I went regularly from 2011-2015.
“I loved going with my friends to a safe place to skate and have a good time. I loved the arcade games and food too. I learned to skate there, and now that I am in high school I bought my own skates to skate around town.
“If they reopened I would love to go again, as that was the only skating rink in our area.”
Sherrets said the Skate Place was inspired in part by the fact that he and his first wife Jeanie met when they skated at Memorial Hall in Dover and Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia. They wanted the same opportunity for daughters Tracy, now 55, and Amy, now 51. There were no skating rinks nearby. Sensing a business opportunity, Sherrets said, “We went for it.”
Sherrets said he was compelled to open the business before it was quite ready. In the week before it opened, he had to borrow money for groceries and gasoline from a friend. The former painting contractor and Timken Co. bearing grinder had sunk everything into the business that eventually lifted the spirits of countless visitors.
It’s a turnkey opportunity to reopen as a skating rink for an interested buyer. Although Sherrets said the rink was profitable, he doesn’t believe the property’s next owner will use it for the same purpose.
“I hope it stays a skating rink, really,” Sherrets said.
The recreation venue had fans young and old.
“My late father, Charles Eberle, was a regular there in his 60’s and maybe in his 70’s,” said Anne Hardesty. “I’m not sure when he stopped skating, but he really enjoyed the Skate Place.”
New Philadelphia native Rik Swartzwelder expressed his regret on Facebook at hearing of the rink’s closing.
“To a little kid from a small town in Ohio, this place was sacred ground,” he wrote. “Home of endless first crushes and many first fights … and untold mountains of quarters lost to video games and pinball machines. If you were ever there, you know. Thank you, Skate Place. R.I.P.”
Times-Reporter staff writer Lee Morrison contributed to this story.
Reach Nancy at 330-364-8402 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @nmolnarTR