The Princess Room is one of five themed party rooms available at Let’s Skate Orlando.
Since opening in July 2010, Let’s Skate Orlando has been putting smiles on the faces of all who enter. Located in Winter Garden, the facility features a 12,000-square-foot rink, as well as five themed party rooms. Co-owners Phyllis Ray and her daughters, Debi, Alisa and Kim, work tirelessly to ensure that each visitor has an unforgettable experience.
Opening the facility was no easy feat. After working as scenic artists and builders in the amusement industry for nearly 30 years, Phyllis and her daughters decided to try a new avenue of entertainment.
“A few years ago, when the economy hit a down slide, our business slowed quite a bit,” Phyllis said. “It seemed like the perfect time for us to start a new company that would cater
to kids and families. We knew we had the experience and know-how to open a roller-skating rink, host parties and events, and create memorable experiences for the kids.“
Unfortunately, finding a bank to share in their confidence proved to be impossible.“The banks were nervous to loan money to new companies because of the state of the economy,” Debi said. “After being turned down by 21 banks, we decided to bankroll the project ourselves. People thought we were crazy to be picking such a time to start up a new business. After all, roller-skating and birthday parties are not necessities. We decided to move forward with our idea because we knew we had a great business plan. Years of bidding for the major theme parks had prepared us well. We knew how long construction would take, what materials would be needed, how much labor was required, and how much everything would cost. We did most of the work ourselves, which included cutting up concrete, adding plumbing, laying flooring, building interior walls, installing lighting and sound, as well as all the interior decorating.”All of that hard work paid off. The spectacular facility is enjoyed by both skaters and spectators. Novices can get a feel for skating on the smaller practice rink, and parents are able to watch their children from a comfortable lounge area, which features complimentary Wi-Fi.“Many parents bring their laptops and do work while their kids skate,” Phyllis said. “Other parents want to show their children how they used to skate when they were younger. We only offer quad skates, but welcome those wanting to bring their inline skates.“Our main customers are families, though we often have teenage skaters, as well. Many of the people who come through these doors are regulars. It’s like a big family here.”The décor of the facility changes throughout the year for each season and holiday. The impressive themed party rooms include Princess, Pirate, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Celebrate and Let’s Skate. Each elaborately designed room magically transports visitors into that particular theme. Parties are not limited to children, as Let’s Skate Orlando hosts family reunions, church groups, corporate events and birthday parties for adults. “Princesses come in all ages,” Phyllis said.The facility also can accommodate most special-needs guests, even allowing wheelchairs on the rink.Let’s Skate Orlando offers skaters an unexpected form of exercise, as the skaters have too much fun to realize they are actually burning a lot of calories.“In an age where so many kids are battling obesity, roller-skating helps to keep them fit and happy,” Debi said.Being an indoor facility also allows visitors the opportunity to have fun without worrying about outdoor weather conditions.The Let’s Skate Orlando team could not be happier with its location.“We absolutely love Winter Garden,” Debi said. “This city welcomed us with open arms. Residents were nervous at first because skating rinks have gotten a rough reputation through the years. However, once we opened and people saw that we were a family-friendly rink, we were truly embraced by the community.”During the summer, Let’s Skate Orlando is open seven days a week. Camps are available on both a daily and weekly basis.“Our camps give parents a chance to have some time away while taking comfort in knowing their kids are safe and having fun,” Phyllis said. “They can drop them off as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 6 p.m.”Even with all the hard work and sacrifice that has gone into making Let’s Skate Orlando a success, Phyllis insists they would not change a single thing.“The best reward of working at Let’s Skate Orlando is seeing all those smiling faces.”
Let’s Skate Orlando is located at 14207 W. Colonial Drive in Winter Garden. For more information, call 407-614-3812 or visit www.letsskateorlando.com on the Web.
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