Get ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia: A new rollerskating rink is open in Palm Beach County.
Astro Skate of Palm Beach County had its soft opening last weekend in the former Atlantis Skateway at 3100 Jog Road in Greenacres.
Between opening sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, more than 1,800 people walked and then rolled through the center’s doors to experience the revamped roller rink, said general manager Diane Poveda.
“It was great,” she said. “It was amazing. So many families were just so happy to see us open. I even cried twice.”
The project has been a labor of love for Poveda, who was thrilled to see the doors open for the soft launch Friday evening. She previously managed the rink for 16 years when it was Atlantis Skateway. And her father Kim was the manager of Atlantis Skateway for several years, and some of his ashes were scattered in front of the rink.
With the rink’s opening, Palm Beach County once again has a roller skating rink. Between when Atlantis closed and Astro Skate’s opening last weekend, the closest rinks were Galaxy Skateway in Davie and the Skate Factory in Vero Beach.
When I visited the rink back in May, work was underway to roll out neon-colored carpet, and a crew was unpacking and stocking the new roller skates available to rent. The cafe had been expanded and was ready to make fresh, from-scratch pizza. Black light-friendly murals adorned the walls, courtesy of Fort Pierce artist Michael Alexander.
The new owner, Astro Skate Family Fun Center, is a Florida-based chain that bought the aging rink after it closed last year. Astro Skate was founded in 1981 by the Maganias family. Christopher Maganias still operates the chain and visits all of his locations in Florida regularly. The Palm Beach County is Astro Skate’s seventh rink.
So what’s new at Astro Skate? Damn near everything except the building itself.
The trademark aqua exterior has been repainted a bright pink, a signature of Astro Skate’s rinks.
The bathroom was gutted and the fixtures were replaced — a feature guests unfortunately were not able to enjoy the first weekend, thanks to a failure at a nearby lift station that meant Poveda had to rent portable toilets for Astro Skate’s guests. The list station repairs should be completed soon, she said.
There’s a new gear shop, with skates of all sizes available to buy.
The rink is going to offer a variety of skating sessions for all ages. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:
New owner, too
According to news reports, the previous owners were reluctant to sell Atlantis Skateway after owning it for 47 years. But rising insurance rates and the pandemic led them to make the difficult decision.
The rink first closed last August after a June 2022 sale for $3.6 million to the Lodnia Group LLC, a corporation with a California address that is owned by a former professional hockey player from Ukraine.
Almost immediately, Maganias was determined to buy the rink to “keep rollerskating alive in Palm Beach County,” Poveda said in May.
“He’s doing such a great thing for this community,” she said. “He is a go-getter.”
Maganias reached out to the Lodnia Group and convinced them to meet with him. He told them he would make them an offer they wouldn’t be able to refuse, Poveda said in May.
That offer: $3 million for the building. The Lodnia Group retained the vacant space on the building’s east side.
The deal was under contract in December — with Maganias quipping during the process that it was a Christmas present for the children of Palm Beach County.
Astro Skate of Palm Beach County
Address: 3100 Jog Road, Greenacres
Information: 561-766-1333, www.astroskatingcenter.com/palm-beach-county/
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