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King's Skate Country to be Reopened as 'The Rink'

A new owner has been found for the iconic roller skating rink.

After sitting dark for about a month, the landmark roller skating rink formerly known as will reopen in two weeks, one of its new owners has announced.

The space will be leased by three businessmen who met at the Bradshaw Road rink 25 years ago.

"Our passion is for King's Skate Country and the friends that we’ve met here," said Brad Armstrong, one of the new owners. "That’s the reason that we’re 'saving' King's Skate Country."

The business' new name will be The Rink, and it will open with an all-night skating session April 15.

Armstrong, 40, currently owns and operates Roller Kingdom, a roller rink in Reno. The other owners will be Rich Jordan of Baker Burglar Alarm in Rancho Cordova, and Alex Johnson, who Armstrong described as a "handyman."

Armstrong said his first time on roller skates was at King's Skate Country when he was just 5 years old.

"My first time ever on the skating floor, I stepped on the floor and I fell, and a kid laughed at me," he said. "And my mission from then on was to trip him, and then we became good friends..."

He said the trio has already started remodeling, starting with new tile in all the bathrooms. They'll also add video monitors, new lights and fog machines, and bring back a regular adults-only skate night.

"We're definitely going to futurize it," Armstrong said.

Residents who have suggestions for The Rink are asked to text message 916-880-6881.

The trio has signed a three-year lease, and Armstrong, whose first job was at King's Skate Country, isn't concerned about the economy impacting business at The Rink.

"It's actually better in the bad economy, because you can't take your kids to Disneyland these days, but they still have to have a birthday [party]," he said.

Armstrong said he's looking forward to inviting local schools and sports teams to the rink, as well as holding concerts and bringing in roller derby matches.

"It means a lot to everybody who's a part of the alumni of King's Skate Country," he said. "They all have a place to go [now]. There are always other skating rinks but you always have loyalty to the rink you grew up in."

Armstrong was grateful to businesses that have donated supplies or provided discounts to the new owners, such as Sherwin Williams, Cortopassi Tile & Stone and Tommy Lane Painting.

Judi April 02, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Thank you for bringing skating back to the area. With little to do for our kids this gi es parents one more option for a fun activity and safe too! Also Thank you for having one night for adults to be able to enjoy too! You are awesome and I know this will be a huge success!
Delaypat April 02, 2011 at 08:40 PM
Live music..You gotta have live music!!!
Cody Kitaura (Editor) April 02, 2011 at 08:59 PM
Thanks for the comments, folks. Are you confident that The Rink will be able to succeed? What else do you think the new owners should add?
Julie A. Thompson April 03, 2011 at 07:56 AM
1. Security! We need to be able to send our kids and teens to a safe environment. Keep out the trouble makers. 2. Family nights, encouraging family time is a must. 3. Movie night, maybe combining two types of events in a 4 hour span would increase interest. Or a game night, like Monte Carlo night for adults while the kids skate. 4. Healthy choice in food, such as fruit, juices, popcorn...options other than junk. 5. Air hockey! 6. Good music. variety be eclectic. 7. Raffles or lotteries, to give back to those coming in. You could give a free skate night or food and drink. Encourages returns. 8. Dance off...again...mixing dancing with skating could encourage more interest. 9. Talent show once a month or once in awhile. 10. Photographer or photo booth.
Amanda April 03, 2011 at 07:55 PM
I'm not really sure why you have such a negative view on this. Julie gave some great ideas and even though some of them may not be do-able, well at least she gave some positive opinions which is what they are asking for. Being someone who grew up going to King Skate it was nice to have games like red light green light or limbo or speed skating etc... skating around in a circle is only fun for so long. it was nice to take a break and play the game or sit down and take a rest. Also I am pretty sure that it is not illegal to have a raffle if you don't have to pay for the ticket. and if you do have to pay for your raffle ticket then you need a special permit. Same goes for the movie, They can get a special permit. I am sure you have heard the phrase "you need to spend money to make money"
Julie A. Thompson April 03, 2011 at 07:59 PM
WOW! Ask for ideans and then get blasted publicly for brainstorming. First of all I was simply thinking about what could bring in more business. As we know King Skate failed like many other oldie, but goody pastimes. I know many parents and older teens don't want to lace up and skate. So thinking outside the Rink, but inside the building, where those who don't want to skate can engage in the atmosphere, and still have a blast. Personally some of the illegalities you mention are done at other venues, such as movies in the park, for example. I did not suggest that they would all work, nor that they were even good ideas...just ideas to get the conversation started. As a DJ I would think that yes popular music is the current culture, but introduction to a variety, the Standards or Old School R&B provides a more diverse epilogue. I know I learned from listening to my parents and older siblings and that is how I taught my sons now 21 & 17. They know of everything from the Beatles, the Stones, to Luther, Elvis, and everything 80's which is my era of music. Anyway enough said! Moving on!
Julie A. Thompson April 03, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Thanks Amanda you got exactly what I was trying to say. Having a variety of things to do on and off the rink. Keeping the kids and adults interested in coming back! I also noticed that while Michael was knocking and mocking my ideas, he offered NONE! Oh and by the way Michael the FBI warning you speak of is only copyright law for those copying the movie and distributing not viewing at a public location. The High School even has movies in the quad. This is exactly why people don't want to get involved or offer ideas.
brad armstrong April 03, 2011 at 11:45 PM
Brad armstrong here.... thanks for all the ideas I think you all will be happy with the changes... keep in mind however only 3 yrs is guaranteed so far so please don't have too high of standards.... groups , schools, and organazations may contact us at the text # provided ... we will call you back... thanks for your interest in "THE RINK" and for being patient as we get things rolling... get it??
Mike Grady April 04, 2011 at 05:24 AM
I'm very grateful that "you guys" are doing this. I used to skate from my house (on Georgetown Drive) to Kings and skate sessions, including all nighters. I skated for the speed team for a while and I have a lot of memories there. From around 1979 to 1986 I was there at least once a week.
Renee April 04, 2011 at 06:06 AM
I spent many a night at kings skate, it was the place to be! I think I saw some great ideas put out there, can't wait to see if any get used! I think it would be awesome to see coupons in the entertainment book(for sessions AND merchandise!)I can't wait to have my sons bday party there, I had about ten of mine there!!
Steve April 04, 2011 at 07:35 AM
"Armstrong said he's looking forward to inviting local schools and sports teams to the rink, as well as holding concerts and bringing in roller derby matches." These are my exact 2 ideas I've had for bringing more people into KSC for years. Now combine the 2 and have live bands play at roller derby matches and I will be there religiously. I learned to skate at King's Skate as a little kid and had and attended many birthday parties there. I was sad to hear about it closing. Last skate was on my 30th Birthday. Sounds like the new owners have the right idea. I agree about air hockey being a must. Some good old school pinball machines would also be awesome. (The Simpsons Pinball is my personal favorite) I know the new games are the real moneymakers but some other old games in the arcade would be great.
Geoffrey Harris April 05, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Geoffrey Harris This is a big deal to me and actually quite a few people. I can feel very positive about this.
Geoffrey Harris April 05, 2011 at 03:10 AM
Actually, think part of the problem why King's did not make it was because a lot of time the building sat empty unlike a motel for example. Perhaps, the floor could be used for martial arts, gymnastics, or dancing in the off hours. Folks do dancing at Sunrise and there are morning and afternoon sessions there during the weekdays that help bring in revenue. Folks at King's liked the games like PaddleTag and Battle Ball and also liked the fast skates and backward skates. If one owns a business outright or is in a partnership, one has a certain degree of flexibility that is lacking in a corporation or a franchise.
Lori O'Brien April 08, 2011 at 04:34 AM
1. How about a Wednesday evening adult only skate. 2. Some type of weekend morning "rollerskating as exercise" class. 3. A VARIETY of music... not the same thing over and over. 4. Love the live music idea. 5. A roller derby team!
Hayden Yamamoto April 08, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Looking forward to Opening Nite Hayden Y
Connie April 10, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Thanks guys for making this happen for our community! A nice simple rink that is safe and affordable is awesome. Have you thought about bringing Roller Derby to the rink? Thank you, Connie
Cindy Peloquin April 10, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Brad - did you happen to be one of the DJ's on Thursday's Family Nights, by any chance? I was a regular (and a member of the Artistic Club), and I remember 3 DJs from that night - Tim, Brad, and Jason. As for my suggestion: I would love an adult night that didn't strictly play R&B like Sunrise does on Wednesday nights. Most of us who would go to an adult night grew up in the 80's, so why not a variety of 80's music, such as New Wave, Pop, Rock, etc. Sunrise's night is fun, but I bring my iPod. Oh, and not having the Adult Night on a Weds would probably be a good idea, as to not compete with Sunrise for patrons.

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