Area’s last roller rink closing

The Redwood Roller Rink closed three years ago. File photo.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Redwood Roller Rink, the last such place of its kind on the Peninsula, will be closing its doors in Redwood City on Sept. 30 after 60 years in business.

The closure of the rink at 1303 Main St. will be the third blow to residents of the area who want to take their family out for fun — Malibu Grand Prix in Redwood City closed in August 2013 and Iceland ice rink in Belmont closed last April.

Rink patrons yesterday expressed sadness about the rink’s impending de- mise.

“This was something fun we all did together and now there is one less thing. It just makes me sad,” said Kim Fisher.

Fisher brings her twin 8-year-old daughters, Eva and Vivian, to the rink at least three times a week.

Sandra Von Lowen of Menlo Park got off work early to get some skat- ing in — she’s been coming to the rink since she was 10. Von Lowen is 50 now and brings her daughter.

Von Lowen said she often sees young kids come to the rink with their parents to learn how to skate, as well as the competitive skaters who are now without a place to practice.

“It’s a shame for the community really,” Von Lowen said. Redwood Roller Rink is closing its doors because of owner Suzie Pollard’s retirement, according to a public Facebook post by her daughter, Brenda Sturges.

Pollard did not want to comment about the closure, and an employee at the rink who confirmed its closure said Pollard will be making an announcement in three weeks.

Jim Pollard, Suzie’s husband, died on March 25, at 80. He began skating in 1953 and was an active member of the skating community until his death, ac- cording to the Federation Interationale Roller Sports’ webpage memorializing Pollard.

The Pollards have also been supporters of the Special Olympics, and have hosted many programs at the rink. The rink has been offering a class for people with disabilities since 1989, according to the rink’s website.

Supporters speak out

Since Sturges’ announcement, an outpouring of love for the rink has popped up on Facebook.

“My roller skates are so sad tonight,” wrote Tim Laskey. “Thanks to Jim and Suzie Pollard. It was en- dured all these years with so many of us enjoying our time at the rink for such a long time, and we should celebrate that.”

Redwood City has been a hotbed of development, and some, such as Von Lowen, believe that the land will become an apartment or condominium complex. However, the city has not received any development proposals for the site, according to the city’s planning permit website.

End of an era

The rink’s closing will mark the end of an era. Patrons said they would probably be going to rinks in San Ramon and Antioch. However, Fisher said she’s beginning to look into opening a rink of her own.

“Kids in our area need recreation and somewhere fun to go,” Fisher said. “Let’s hope I can pull it off.”

While Fisher doesn’t have her eyes set on reopening Redwood Roller Rink, this wouldn’t be the first time recreation is resurrected by residents. In March after a four-year long battle, Dennis Wong, the de- veloper who owns the Bridgepointe Shopping Center, told San Mateo officials he will reopen the rink at the shopping center.