United Skates of America is bringing the roller rink to you.
The skate park in Seaford has a new, portable skating floor that families can rent to have set up on their driveways or decks for a day, with up to 10 pairs of roller or in-line skates included, says Karen Palermo, president of United Skates.
“People need stuff to do right now,” Palermo says of the rink's pivot to traveling outdoor setups. “We started this because we are in the family entertainment business.”
Denise Melo, 58, a waitress from Massapequa, has already reserved a rink for her granddaughter’s birthday in late June, she says. She plans to let Melody, who will be turning 9, invite only a handful of friends and is having birthday-themed masks made for them.
“I saw it advertised on Facebook and thought it was a great idea,” Melo says. “It’s time to get back a little normal and I just thought this would be nice.” Melody says she is excited for the rink to come to her home. “I am very happy that I can have a birthday party,” she says.
The traveling rink is 16 feet wide and 26.5 feet long, which allows about eight to 10 family members or friends to skate at a time, Palermo says. It has ramps on either end and edging on the sides. A five-hour rental costs $375, and it includes the rink setting it up and taking it down, bringing up to 10 pairs of skates in reserved sizes between toddler to adult size 14, up to five “skate mates” (PVC walkers on wheels for new skaters), and a portable speaker system for music, Palmero says.
The rink must be set up on a flat surface like a driveway or a deck; it won’t work well on grass, she says. The rink can be made smaller or larger; United Skates can rent two to three rinks at once depending on the adjusted size, she says. In the case of inclement weather, renters can switch their date to the next available spot that works for them, she says.
Nona Fontnel, 43, a teacher from Huntington, rented the rink as a treat for her family to celebrate her husband's birthday on June 6. "It's kind of like a gift to everyone," she says, referring to her husband, Michael Browne, as well as their four children, ages 7, 12, 16 and 19. "I was planning to have a huge party in the backyard for him this year, but obviously due to the coronavirus, we couldn't do it," Fontnel says. "Outdoor rink? That sounds like fun."
United Skates’ indoor facility has been closed since the second week in March, and won’t be able to open until Phase Four of Long Island’s reopening plan, Palermo says. When it does reopen, it will begin by renting out the rink to private parties of up to 10 skaters for 90 minutes at a time, she says. A price for that hasn’t been set yet, she says. It will also keep the portable rink permanently to rent out for block parties and other outdoor events, she says.