By A. Jade Munsie
Edmonton will be rolling into nostalgia this weekend with the grand opening of Rollers Roller Rink along St. Albert Trail. Alberta’s only roller skating rink will open its doors Friday for the public to strap on some skates and roll their way around the three-story facility to music.
Claudia Garcia, owner of Rollers Roller Rink, is bringing her eternal passion to Edmonton’s northside with the hope people can get nostalgic and come together to socialize and enjoy something different — something new.
“Most people remember roller skating in the past. It’s very nostalgic to do that again with positive feelings of past experiences,” said Garcia.
Back in the day, roller skating arenas were the place to be. The music, the lights, the atmosphere of being a part of something special. It was a place to hang out with friends and maybe meet someone new.
“You’d spend weekends at the roller rink, and that’s how people met each other and you know, got married […] I’ve had quite a few customers who met at the roller rink,” said Garcia.
While roller skating may be associated with a different time, Garcia aims to bring the activity into the present for a new generation to enjoy. Roller skating has gained interest during the pandemic as it is a simple and fun recreation to pick up, and during the warmer months, it is a great way to get active outdoors.
However, while winter is upon us, roller skating proves to be difficult in the snow. The indoor rink allows guests to embrace the activity year-round.
“Right now there isn’t much option for roller skating […] It’s something to do for your health, not only your health but mentally – something that people can do physically, that’s indoors too […] you know when you think about it- it’s winter. It kind of gets cold, what are you going to do,” said Garcia.
Rollers Roller Rink is a one-of-a-kind facility designed for everyone’s enjoyment. With the main floor, a second-floor geared towards kids and birthday parties, and a third-floor gymnasium layout, there are plenty of rolling opportunities that cater to all.
The rink will offer the public a variety of roller skating services such as lessons, adult-only skating, party bookings, and a roller-skating pro shop for skate tune-ups and merchandise.
“We have tons of skates and helmets and safety gear right there that people can look at,” said Garcia.
In 2016, Garcia opened Toe Stop Derby Shop on Edmonton’s south side, catering to all roller skating needs. The shop has since moved into this new facility for visitors to buy their own roller gear if they choose not to rent.
Skates, helmets, knee pads and wrist guards are available for rent at the facility for $10. And if visitors bring a lock of their own, they can grab a locker for their things while they skate.
Lessons started this past weekend for people who want to skate for the first time or want a refresher and up their confidence on wheels. Visitors can expect a DJ, which will take music requests throughout the skate, flashing lights, and in the future, Garcia is hoping to incorporate theme nights into the mix for added fun.
Rollers Roller Rink is located at 13543 St. Albert Trail and is open 7 days a week with 18+ only skates on Friday and Saturday nights. Skate sessions are $25.