AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been five months since New Yorkers have been able to lace up their skates and enjoy roller rinks. A local roller skating rink owner tells NEWS10 that he hopes they will reopen soon.
“It’s been very, very tough lately,” explained Zachary Hatcher, who owns High Rollers in Amsterdam. “We are almost to the point of the building might be shut down permanently.”
Since 1984, High Rollers Roller Skating Rink has been apart of the Amsterdam community.
Zachary Hatcher took over the business in November but was forced to close the doors on March 17 due to the pandemic, costing the business tens of thousands of dollars.
“We still have bills that go out every single month—our insurances, our electric, we have to keep the building at a certain humidity level for the wooden floor. My bills are still here and we have zero income.”
Hatcher said he, like so many other rink owners, are still waiting on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow them to move forward with reopening plans.
“Currently right now, the guidance has been listed for gyms and bowling alleys, but roller skating has fallen kinda on deaf ears,” stated Hatcher.
A statement from the Governor’s press office said:
“Thanks to our data-driven public health policies and New Yorkers’ hard work, we have achieved—and so far maintained—one of the lowest rates of infection in the country, including 12 days straight with less than 1% of tests returning positive. But with hot spots popping up across the country, we are continuing to monitor how and when higher-risk industries like roller skating rinks can safely reopen.”
Until state guidance is released, Hatcher said he has already thought of ways to help keep people safe such as requiring masks, limiting the number of people on the floor, and as always, the skates will be disinfected.
“Skates will not be used during the same shift,” explained Hatcher.
At this point, there is not a definite time frame as to when roller rinks will reopen.
“It might not be deemed an essential building, by certain standards, but we are essential for the community.”