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Skatetown turns 20

By: Jeff Weidel for The Press Tribune
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On Dec. 24, 1997, Skatetown Ice Arena in Roseville opened its doors to the public. The vision for this facility, which offers public ice skating sessions, birthday parties, hockey leagues, figure skating lessons, synchronized skating teams, broomball, curling, school field trips and more, was developed by Roseville resident Scott Slavensky.

“Scott was the owner of a successful commercial heating and air-conditioning company for nearly 20 years when his sons began playing ice hockey at the ice rink down on Del Paso Boulevard in Sacramento. Scott was elected to the youth ice hockey board, where he was asked to participate in their efforts to bring a modern, full-size ice skating facility to our region,” explained Skatetown spokeswoman Susan Sweetser. “He completed some intensive research into the ice-skating industry and in the process developed a dream of building and operating the finest ice-skating facility around.”

Most ice rinks in the U.S. are built and operated by cities, counties or park districts due to their high cost to build and maintain. Knowing this, Slavensky worked hard to get a local government entity to build or participate in the building of the ice-skating facility he envisioned, but none of the municipalities he approached were willing to support it.

“Because Scott believed so strongly in his dream he sold his own business, put all his and his family's personal assets on the line and plunged headfirst into the Skatetown dream," Sweetser said. "Working seven days a week, and sometimes 24 hours a day, Scott built Skatetown in less than six months and opened for business on Christmas Eve 1997.”

Over the past 20 years Skatetown has continued to grow, adding a second rink in 1998 and an outdoor winter-holiday rink in 2012. Nearly 15 million visitors have used the facility, and today Skatetown is recognized by the industry as one of the top ice arenas in the nation, and one of the most energy-efficient.

Placer Valley Tourism, a regional nonprofit tourism bureau, has also expressed appreciation for what Skatetown brings to the area.

“PVT is always on the lookout for opportunities to bring events to the rink and help our skating, hockey and curling clubs with ice costs and expenses through grants,” Sweetser said. “PVT’s support has been crucial to the success of building a curling program that started with a handful of club members and now has grown to being our second largest private ice rental group.”

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Skatetown will host special holiday skating sessions, laser and disco light shows, themed skate parties and a Theatre on Ice Spectacular Show on Dec. 17. Skatetown’s outdoor winter holiday rink is open now through Jan. 15, and the company started offering beginner skating classes for all ages on Dec. 20 and beginner youth hockey classes until Jan. 7.