SIDNEY – As the new owner of Rolling Hills Skating Rink, Dan Egbert wants to ensure kids, including his own, have a safe place where they can be active and have fun.
Egbert purchased the skating rink last week from Zach and Paula Hill. He hopes to expand the business’ clientele and create more entertainment opportunities for families.
“I’m still not very good at skating,” the rink’s new owner said, “but I enjoy the kids; they keep me young. And I feel like somebody needs to keep doing this because it seems like there’s getting less and less for the kids to do anymore that’s not a video game or not a sit in front of a TV set-type atmosphere.”
Egbert, a Botkins High School alumnus, has fond memories of going skating when he was a kid, even though he wasn’t a very good skater.
“I was one of them kids who always wanted to go to the skating rink and hang out with my friends, but I didn’t want to leave my skates on all night because I sucked at skating … still do, you know,” he said. “But I still wanted to go see my friends. So I’m kind of getting it to where any kid can come here now.”
To make Rolling Hills a place where all kids feel welcome, Egbert is putting his own touches on the rink and adding amenities. He’s bringing in new arcade games and a pool table and creating a space where guests can take their skates off and dance. He’s also added five new televisions with cable.
“That way the parents can watch the football games while the birthday parties are going on,” said Egbert, who also owns a concession business that travels to festivals throughout Ohio.
Egbert has installed new lights in the rink and plans to add a private party room. With cleaning and painting on top of everything else, Egbert said, he and some staff members have worked 12 to 15 hours a day since he purchased the business.
While it’s taking a lot of work to improve the rink and put his own spin on it, Egbert is excited about the possibilities it holds and the opportunity to spend more time with his kids.
“I’ve got a 5 year old and a 7 year old myself,” Egbert said of his children, Espn and Emmy. “So it’s going to be family oriented, that’s for sure.”
Along with creating an opportunity for his family to spend time together, Egbert also sees the business as a chance to give back to the community. The St. Marys resident wants to keep kids out of trouble, which he thinks will have long-term benefits.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of troubled youth out there anymore,” he said. “And if somebody don’t try to change that, or help with that, then my kids and my kids’ kids, they ain’t gonna have much of a future. I really am oriented with trying to help with that. That’s one of my main goals, is to try to look out for the upcoming generations to come because if we don’t take care of them, ain’t nobody gonna be there to take care of us when we get old.”
Rolling Hills Skating Rink’s first big community event since Egbert purchased the business will be Saturday night when the rink hosts a Halloween themed all-night staking party. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and last until 7 a.m. Sunday.
The costs is $20 per person or $15 for those who want to stay until 1 a.m. The price of admission includes skate rental, food and drinks.
There will be giveaways, a costume contest, dancing, dodgeball, capture the flag and more games along with skating. Guests also will have a chance to toilet paper the inside of the rink with more than 500 rolls of toilet paper.
“We’ll keep them pretty active all night playing games and everything,” Egbert said.
Rolling Hills Skating Rink also will have a launch party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16. The launch party will include free skating for the public.
Every week Rolling Hills hosts $2 Tuesdays during which admission is $2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit https://skaterollinghills.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/rollinghillsskate/, call 937-492-7587 or visit the rink at 105 E. Russell Road in Sidney.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.