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Skatetown – what’s hot when the weather’s cold

By: Eileen Wilson, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Skatetown

Where: 1009 Orlando Ave.

Info: (916) 783-8550, www.skatetown-roseville.com

Rock N’ Roll Skate Party

When:  7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 19

If you haven’t seen Skatetown lately, then you’re missing half the fun.

There’s still ice, there’s still a Zamboni, and lots of cute kids bundled up in polar fleece, but that’s not all.

Celebrating the Roseville rink’s 15th year, Skatetown has morphed from public skate sessions to a hot spot for Olympic hopefuls and kids who want to learn hockey. And the rink isn’t just for kids anymore.

With an impressive array of adult options from learning to skate and learning to play ice hockey, to adult hockey leagues, the industry-leading rink just continues to grow.

“When we originally came to Roseville there weren’t any skaters in the area, and no hockey players, either,” said Susan Sweetser, Skatetown’s marketing manager. “Today we have 900 adults playing ice hockey, and we have youth leagues and even a youth traveling league. We’re so happy that we can be open year-round, and that we are here persevering after 15 years.”

On any given weekend, you will find the two rinks packed with recreational skaters twirling under disco-style lighting. But look closer, you might find much that will surprise you.

Go Kart racing is new to Skatetown — private party sessions include Go Karts on ice for kids from 6 to 12.

“We book Go Kart races for groups of eight or more,” Sweetser said.

Something else new on the ice is curling — both classes and competitions.

“Every other Sunday morning we have league play and drop-in curling,” Sweetser said. “The next ‘Learn to Curl’ class is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3. It’s a lot of fun, and I find it to be a lot like golf — it’s easy to play, but very hard to master.”

While curling isn’t a sport that many know about, that will change a year from now when Russia hosts the winter Olympics.

“Both young kids and older adults can curl,” Sweetser said. “And we’re really gearing up for the winter Olympics, which will happen in 2014. We see an increased interest in winter sports like hockey and figure skating during winter Olympics, and everyone will be getting excited about the Olympics soon.”

It seems that many are taking an interest in curling right now. Skatetown is home to the Wine Country Curling Club, which meets on the ice every other Sunday.

Marlene Markowski, a Wisconsin resident, is enjoying the club while visiting California.

“There are 27 curling clubs in the state of Wisconsin,” she said. “My son is retired from the Air Force, and everywhere he was sent, if he could find a curling club within 100 miles, he would join.”

Markowski said she is a curler, and her son has been curling since he was a young boy — for over 40 years.

“There’s a tremendous amount of strategy in shot calling (determining which shot to take), and curling requires a lot of leg strength. It’s great exercise,” she said.

Skatetown also hosts special events. One of the most popular events is the Rock N’ Roll Skate Party, which includes music from several decades.

“We usually have about 500 skaters in attendance for the skate party,” Sweetser said. “People love Skatetown because it’s a family-friendly place.”