Roller-skating returns to Rockefeller Center

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

As warmer weather arrives in New York City, people are looking for an excuse to hit the streets. With the city’s vaccination rate reaching acceptable numbers, outdoor activities are making a triumphant return.

Rockefeller Center will turn its ice rink into a roller-skating rink that will open on April 15 and run until October of this year. There has not been a roller rink at Rockefeller since 1940.

According to Gothamist, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, which is a reboot of a West Hollywood roller rink from the late 1970s, will be installed in Rockefeller Plaza in the coming weeks.

Liberty Ross, co-founder and creative director of the skating company, released a statement highlighting the entertainment company’s goal of supplying a welcoming space to people from all backgrounds.

“Our goal is to build world-class spaces where everyone is welcome; spaces where connection and self-expression roll free, without judgment or prejudice,” Ross said.

Roller-skating gained enormous popularity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as cities across the nation endured many lockdowns. The skating revival allowed people to continue enjoying their love for outdoor activities while adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.

Admission for tickets will begin at $20 for adults, while children 15 and below will be $12. The roller rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Wednesday. The rink will close at midnight on Thursdays and Fridays.

The weekend hours will be different, with Saturday’s schedule being 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday’s schedule being from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Rockefeller Center owners have long tried to bring more revenue to the establishment’s underground shops. News of an upcoming roller rink arrived after completing a year and a half renovation of the concourse.

Ross teamed up with entrepreneur Kevin Wall who is the other founder of Flippers. The New York City rink will be designed by Bureau Betak with plans for more rinks to be opened in other major U.S. cities, as well as London, England.

The rink will include food options, a viewing deck and a retail store. In addition, the rink will provide both weekly and seasonal programming, DJ sets, live music and family events.

Ross told The New York Times that she views the project as a potential home for skaters in a time when fewer roller rinks still stand.

“Most people skate for that sense of freedom,” she said. “I feel like it’s going to be an injection of joy, community, and unity, which is very much needed right now.”