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This article was published 29/3/2019 (748 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Wheelies Roller Rink, where thousands of Winnipeggers celebrated birthdays and enjoyed family nights out until it closed its longtime Logan Avenue location last spring, is coming back to life.
Owner Gordon Gunn, who was forced to close the doors last spring after 21 years when the building was sold, said he first began eyeing the new location — the former West Kildonan Curling Club — in August.
The building at 210 Enniskillen Ave., which shut down after 99 years in 2017, is better suited to roller skating than the previous location, Gunn said.
"When people come in I hope they’re going to be very impressed," he said.
The new and improved Wheelies will open by June 1 at the latest, Gunn said, adding he originally planned to be up and running at a new location last fall, but the process took longer than he expected.
"I never, ever would have dreamed we’d not be open until this time. It’s taken so long. It’s taken four times as long as I thought it would to find a building that was suitable for roller skating," he said.
"There was just nothing out there. Every space we found there were pillars every 20 feet or so. It’s hard to find a free-standing space, which is what you need for a skating rink."
In addition to glow-in-the-dark roller-skating, there will be a concession stand, an arcade, and a seating area.
Gunn said he hopes customers who made the old location a success will check out the reborn Wheelies.
Getting a new rink ready to, uh... roll is gruelling work, he said.
"I’m just so busy. It’s probably not as exciting right now as you might think. There’s just so many things to do that it’s mindboggling — just a tremendous amount of work. But when we get close to opening then I’ll be excited," he said.
"We’re going to do birthday parties, private parties, daycares, the usual stuff. We hope (our customers) all come back. We’ve been trying to contact as many people as we can. I think people are going to love it. It’ll be very family oriented."
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.