HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A Hot Springs hot spot tumbled to the ground as a popular skate rink is being demolished. It’s one of many across the country that closed during the pandemic.
From the retro music to the sound of skates gliding across the floor, Carla Herrera remembers the days she spent rolling around Skateland in Hot Springs.
“It was really nice to get away and be with my friends and just enjoy music. They would let me work and put away skates and things to get in for free,” Herrera said.
It wasn’t long before she was sporting the black and white ref uniform.
“We had the whistle and we’d go around and tell people what to do and no to do,” Herrera said.
For some it was their first job, for others it was their first kiss. Taylor Woodall is still with the boy she met on the rink.
“I was 13 and he was 12 and we met here. We were best friends and grew up together and now we’re a couple and have a baby,” Woodall said.
Now, both Herrera and Woodall are watching all those memories come crashing down.
“It’s just crazy seeing everything pulled out and torn down and signs aren’t there anymore. It’s just like an empty building,” Woodall said.
Herrera has long since moved away, but every time she visits her family she would bring her kids to her old stomping grounds.
“To show it to them and remind them that’s where I used to skate,” Herrera said.
Woodall knows she will never have that chance.
“It’s really sad,” Woodall said.
She’s just hoping another one opens up so she can pass on one of the favorite parts of her childhood to her son.
“I would love it if another skating rink opened. I would love to bring my kid when he’s old enough to skate,” Woodall said.
Woodall said the rink had been going downhill in the last several years. Last month a company out of Little Rock bought the property.