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Oldest roller rink in Sask. calls it quits after 40 years

Reported by Nigel Maxwell
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For some people, it was where they met their future spouse, and for others it was a high school hangout.

Now Wheel-A-While Family Roller Skating Rink is closing.

It's been a staple of Prince Albert's business community for 45 years, and is the oldest roller-skating rink in the province.

"Just the economic times of the roller skating," said owner Brent Macdonald. "The offer could not be refused."

The building has been bought by Charles Repair and Service, which will be moving from its current location on Eighth Street East.

The rink will officially close this week, and the final skate is Saturday night. All the old skates and even the lights are up for sale. Macdonald said the place holds a lot of memories.

"We get lots of stories because you've got the old disco look in the place and the light show. It's felt like way back to the '70s and '80s because of the style in there," he said.

Pauline Lorenz has worked at the rink for 28 years. When she was only seven she would help out by sweeping the floor for the previous owners.

"During my time there, I was known as roller-skating queen and limbo queen, because I was always out on the floor helping people," she said.

More than 20 years later, Lorenz runs into people now that she knew when she was a young girl.

"They say you're still here, oh my god, after all these years you're still here ... and now I teach the kids of the people I grew up with."

When asked if there was one particular favourite memory, Lorenz became emotional. Fighting back tears she answered, "Just seeing the happy people."

nmaxwell@panow.com

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