Roller City 2001, a roller rink located on Magnolia Ave., closed after 39 years of business and sold its property space to Harbor Freight Tools, an equipment chain business.
The business’ lasting effect on the community left many shocked by the news of its retirement.
Roller City 2001 owners, Dick and Donna Chado, announced the closing of the establishment via the business’ Facebook page. The post received many responses ranging from shock to nostalgia. Students on campus who grew up in Riverside had similar responses because of the influence the rink had on them as it was known as a safe place to have fun and spend quality time with friends.
Christian Vasquez, a former employee of Roller City 2001, worked for the company for over five years and described the significance of the rink and why it had such an impact on so many people.
“To many kids, the rink was their place to be on the weekends,” Vasquez said. “Older people who come back often bring up stories about the times they had been there before. It’s nostalgic for some. It’s touched many people in different ways.”
Roller City 2001 was an establishment that lasted generations. The long years allowed the business to touch the lives of children, adults and college students.
Kyler Thornton, sophomore criminal justice major grew up visiting Roller City 2001 frequently from the ages of 13 to 17.
While there were a lot of different reactions to the news of the business’s retirement, Thorton’s sadness over the closing resonated.
“I was devastated,” Thorton said. “I went there my whole childhood and now it’s just gone.” Like many other students at California Baptist University, Thorton’s numerous visits to Roller City 2001 were wonderful opportunities to build long-lasting friendships and make memories.
Richard Chado, sophomore business major, and son of Dick and Donna, the owners of the pre-existing rink, grew up going to Roller City 2001 regularly. He learned to skate at two-years-old and watched the family business flourish through the highs and lows.
In the span of 39 years, the local business made an impression on the Riverside community and the Chado family.
“It was the ‘place to be in Riverside’ when I was growing up,” Richard Chado said. “Seeing a lot of family enjoy the business my parents built was amazing. I never truly understood how big of an impact they had on Riverside until we closed down and saw the outpour of love and respect from the community.”
Harbor Freight is scheduled to move their location to the former Roller City 2001 site, but the date is to be determined.