BLOOMINGTON — When Skate 'N' Place closed in February, generations of Twin City area skaters felt left out in the cold. Tim and Diane Overholser knew they had to step in.
“I couldn’t imagine not being able to go there and skate again,” said Tim Overholser, who started skating when he was 6. “We didn’t want to see the community lose this.”
They also worried where young people would spend their time without the rink.
"We thought, wow, the kids have nowhere to go," said Diane Overholser.
So they took the next logical step: they bought the place and will re-open at 7 p.m. Nov. 21.
Skate 'N' Place closed after its previous owners filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Overholsers, who live in Colfax, bought the business, at 1701 S. Morris Ave. in Bloomington, from Busey Bank at a public auction in August.
Skate 'N' Place was opened in 1965 and closed after 41 years of providing a place to skate, and hosting birthday parties, roller derby practice and even weddings.
Hoping to raise awareness of their new undertaking, the Overholsers started a Facebook page, “Skate ‘N Place The New Beginning,” with a goal of getting 500 “likes” in the first week. Five hours later, they had garnered more than 1,000.
“We were floored,” said Tim Overholser, who used to skate at the rink in the 1970s and met his wife there.
Tim was working at the rental counter when Diane approached him.
"I was wanting some new wheels," she said.
"She kept coming up to get her skates checked and kept coming up and things took off from there," he said.
“There is a big, passionate connection for me and my wife,” he added, noting their daughter will be the general manager of the business, and their grandchildren will be involved, too.
Work on the building's interior began Sept. 26 and the Overholsers have been there seven days a week, sometimes into the morning hours. Phase one was completed last week and work will continue after the re-opening.
Tim Overholser said the building's interior and exterior are being renovated, but they are waiting until the spring before beginning work on the outside.
Overholser emphasized the rink's appearance isn’t all that will be different.
The new owners are planning schedule changes and considering adult skating opportunities. The rink has a new sound system, skates, concession area and video games.
“We are going to breathe a breath of fresh air into the business,” he said.