Business rolls back in for Valley skating rinks

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The music is playing again and the skates are hitting the rink at Roller Towne in Visalia.

The business is slowly recovering from a difficult year and was greatly impacted by the shutdowns.

"I'm a very happy person, but that took a toll on me because to me, this is my life, but we got through it," said Alice Mendoza, Roller Towne Visalia General Manager.

Roller Towne in Visalia has been around for almost 47 years and Mendoza has been there from the start.

She's happy to see employees back to work.

Last year, she remembers when the money stopped coming in, bills piled up and they had to get creative to stay afloat.

"We decided to do scholar day camp and we got shut down with that, but someone in the Tulare County Health Department helped us get back open and it wasn't a lot of kids, but it supported my employees and supported us to stay open," Mendoza said.

The Valley is home to a few surviving skating rinks: Visalia, Clovis and Merced.

We reached out to United Skates of America Clovis.

They declined to speak on camera, but told us they're customers can choose to rent the rink.

In Madera, Miracle Skate Madera closed before the pandemic, but the owner says he is looking to reopen the business in a new location.

In Merced, Rollerland's Facebook says it is open with limits.

As for the Visalia skating rink, they've added hand sanitizer and put up plexiglass for protection.

They've also done a number of private parties and events,

"With the community and Visalia and the people surrounding us, supporting us made me get stronger and pull through this," Mendoza said.

A South Valley business serving generations of skaters and a place where memories are made.

Roller Towne will have day camps this summer. They are open 7 days a week, hours vary.
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