Cautiously, fun rolls out again at Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink

Oops! Closed again until December 16! Indoor fun returns for roller skaters – only for a few at a time – as this historic East Portland attraction begins to reopen …

The illuminated neon sign above, and the lit doorway of the historic Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink below, indicate that this beloved indoor attraction is again open for business – but only on a limited basis.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

UPDATE:
Since this story was written, in compliance with Governor Brown’s freeze on indoor entertainment, the Open Skate Sessions have been suspended through December 16.

After being closed months ago by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the historic Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink finally reopened on November 4.

“Being closed for more than seven months – that’s a long time; so we’ve really been looking forward to opening this evening,” smiled The Oaks’ Roller Skating Operations Director Keith Fortune.

Lacing up their skates during “reopening night” at Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink are Clark Johnson and Piper Tuor.

“Tonight is totally awesome!” says Oaks Park Roller Skating Operations Director Keith Fortune.

“While we’ve been closed, our staff has been doing maintenance – and working on ‘back burner’ projects, while we had the time to get some needed tasks done,” Fortune told East Portland News.

For safety, he said, they’ve been taking all the U.S. Center for Disease Control, State of Oregon, and Multnomah County guidance very seriously.  “We’ve reviewed all of the rules, trained all of our staff members about what needs to be done, and set up social-distancing zones – both on the floor, and in our snack shop,” Fortune pointed out.

And, before each shift starts, all staff working in the building have personal health checked.

Out in the rink, John Wigington and Katrina Nava say they came all the way from Hillsboro to attend the first session at the newly reopened Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink.

“We continue to offer skate rentals; we spray the skates down with the sanitizing solution, and put them in a separate rack, where they’ll sit for two or three days before they get used again,” Fortune reported. “And, we’re sanitizing all the high-touch surfaces between each session, and constantly sanitizing a lot of the main railings during the sessions.”

One thing he misses is “the crowd, making some noise” during public skating sessions, because each session is limited to 45 guests.

“We’ve missed roller skating here so much; I’m glad we can come back, and roll around this wonderful rink,” remarked Elizabeth Emerson through her mask.

Around the roller rink they go, enjoying the first skate session at the newly reopened Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink since March.

Important to know …

  • Tickets for “timed entry” must be purchased online in advance.
  • Everyone entering the building must purchase admission.
  • Specialty sessions (Adult Skate, Preschool Skate, etc.) and skating classes remain cancelled.
  • Passes and punch-cards are not valid during restricted operations, and group discounts and birthday party packages are currently not available.
  • Masks and social distancing are required.

 

Learn more, and get your tickets online by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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