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After 52 years under current ownership, Roller Garden in St. Louis Park is permanently closing

A community staple for more than five decades.

A mainstay place of entertainment in St. Louis Park will close its doors for good in May. 

Roller Garden, located just west of Hwy. 100 and Minnetonka Boulevard, announced Monday that it will shutter after 52 years under family ownership, with its final day of skating coming Saturday, May 8.

The rink was bought by Bill Sahly and his late father-in-law Russ Johnson in 1969, and it has stayed in the family ever since.

"We have proudly provided great entertainment for kids, adults, families, schools, churches, daycare groups, scouts, colleges, choirs, companies, and more birthday celebrations than we can count (even a wedding). It has been a privilege to see all the smiles and happiness of our skaters, watching them grow up, bring their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren," a statement on Roller Garden's Facebook page says. 

Among the factors resulting in the decision to close is the owners' desire to retire, which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement says COVID-19 "literally pushed us over the edge." 

"The challenges of this past year made us realize how short life is, and the amount of time we’ve missed with our own families in order to run this business," the statement continues. 

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It's unclear what business will take over the venue, but Roller Garden said that while they wished it would remain a roller rink, they're "happy to at least know it’s not being torn down and will be run by another family owned business."

The rollerskating business is encouraging skate fans to "keep rolling" at Skateville in Burnsville or Cheapskate in Coon Rapids. 

Roller Garden is the largest indoor rollerskating rink in Minnesota. Its construction was completed in 1930 and opened as the Pastime Arena that year. You can find more on its history here.

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