PORT ANGELES — Skaters will take their last lap at Olympic Skate Center on Friday as its owner prepares to sell the building.
Sandy Locke said she can’t yet disclose who is purchasing the building, but she said it definitely will not be a skate center.
“I’m sad because there’s nothing for the kids in this town to do and they need something to stay out of trouble,” she said.
“I really wished someone would have kept it as a rink.
“The kids are going to miss it,” she said.
The last skate session is set for 7 p.m. Friday at 707 S. Chase St. and will last until 10 p.m.
During the session the skating rink will sell off its some 500 skates. Locke said it was difficult to say how many skates she actually had because many have broken throughout the years, but shelves are still fully stocked with skates.
She also has a garage sale set from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday to sell off games and equipment. She added she’d have good deals on everything she is selling.
Olympic Skate Center has served Port Angeles for about 40 years, Locke said, 23 of which have been under Locke’s ownership.
She purchased it with her late husband after she said her youngest son — an avid skater — convinced them to get into the skating business.
Her husband died two years later in a boating accident; since then, she has operated the business on her own.
“We didn’t even know there was a rink here,” she said. “I didn’t expect I’d be doing it by myself.”
Once the building is sold, Locke plans to visit family.
She was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancershortly after the buyer placed a bid on the property, she said.
“I’m going to go visit my kids and I’m going to get rid of my cancer,” she said.
Locke said the skating rink has provided her with plenty of good memories and she knows the kids who have skated there throughout the years had good memories too.
Locke said that at 75 years old, she just can’t hold onto the business anymore.
She said she’s been trying for the past two or three years to sell the property and had hopes the future owner would continue operating it as a skating rink, but has had no luck.
Locke had conversations with people who said they were interested, but a deal was never made.
She said that as she had looked to sell the building, there had been rumors throughout the community that the business had shut down, but that wasn’t the case. She said she’s kept her regular hours.
But throughout the years the business has become more difficult to operate, she said, citing declining attendance.
The music has changed and the kids have changed, she said.
She said in recent years kids have been looking for a place to hang out instead of having fun skating and playing games.
Locke said she misses the days when kids wanted to do the Hokey Pokey and other older skate games, she said.
“I liked it when they did all the old things that skating rinks did,” she said. “Those are my favorite memories — all the old stuff you used to do at the skating rink.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].