Roller Skating Resurgence in Popularity
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For decades, when it was time to boogie down, the best way to do it was on four wheels and the best place was at the local roller skating rink.
Skating’s popularity in the 1970s and ’80s was evident with a slew of commercials and several movies, including the musical “Xanadu” starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, which featured the popular sport.
The Albuquerque metro area was once home to several skating rinks but today just one, Roller Skate City (formerly Roller King), still exists. Owner Andy Wuest, who has worked in rinks for years, said skating has gone through many phases and he’s seen a resurgence in its popularity lately.
“I was a rink rat. Every open session, I was there,” he said. “I think people who grew up roller skating now have children and are passing on the tradition.”
The rink held a New Year’s Eve party this year and Wuest said families came out in droves.
“There were about 200 people,” he said. “It was ordered chaos.”
The rink is open for public skating on Friday nights and all day Saturday and Sunday. The public can book birthday parties and there is also a recreational and competitive roller hockey league. Wuest said these types of activities are making skating popular again.
“We have great families that come through that door,” he said. “We just want to pass on the tradition.”