Rollhaven closing skating rink in Owosso after 45 years in business

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 5:10 PM EST
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OWOSSO, Mich. (WJRT) - After 45 years as Shiawassee County’s only indoor skating rink, the Rollhaven Skating Center in Owosso is closing its doors.

The coronavirus pandemic played a major part in the owner’s decision.

“The additional debt we had to take on and the loss of eight months of revenue and all the other factors, we decided that if we’re going to sell the building, we’ll sell it even not as a roller rink if we had the option," said Danny Brown, who has owned Rollerhaven Skating Center in Owosso for 15 years.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he wanted to sell the rink on the condition it were to remain a rink. But COVID-19 had other plans for Brown.

“That’s a huge risk for us to keep that one going in these current economic conditions, but sad that it’s not going to be a roller rink, absolutely," he said.

Rollhaven’s location in Grand Blanc Township is not affected by the decision to close in Owosso. The Genesee County location will remain open.

Economic experts say now is the time business owners should start thinking more creatively to keep their businesses from closing given the continued rise in coronavirus cases.

One of Shiawasee County’s top economic experts says now is the time small businesses -- particularly ones that serve small gatherings and social settings -- should start to think outside the box when it comes to surviving the ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 cases have only been going up and the goal is to keep business and sales up as well.

“Look at those opportunities now. Try to get creative now, because in reality until there is a vaccine, the numbers are likely to continue to be challenging particularly through the winter months," said Justin Horvath, president and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership.

Whether it be pickup, curbside services, delivery options, heated tents, igloos for dining or even asking customers directly what they need to do to keep people buying products will help prevent businesses from going under. But what if nothing seems to be working?

“Talk with your local economic development organizations, your local chambers of commerce," Horvath said. "They have learned best practices that can potentially help you.”

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