The Last of Its Kind

The city's last skating rink may be closing -- despite booming business

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Facebook/Daniele Watts

It's the last of its kind. But after 35 years, a San Diego fixture may close its doors.

At the top of the stairs of Skateworld is history is covered in a thin layer of time.

"Our old typewriters, our old turntables," said employee Fred Fimbres. "A lot of history up here… those skates, back to the 40's some of them."

Fimbres started working at Skateworld in 1985 and while he can tell you all about the attic, it’s the downstairs he's most concerned about.

"Right now, there's about 800 rinks left in the country," Fimbres said. "Rinks are closing up, but there's less and less rinks and more and more people are going to the rinks that are left."

Skateworld, the city's last skating rink, may be closing – despite booming business.

"We have a tremendous amount of people here tonight," said Skateworld owner  Gary Stang. "I think with the letter writing we're doing and the petitions we're doing, I think they have to listen to the people."

“They” are the city, the buildings owners, and the ones planning a redevelopment.

Despite a city spokeswoman telling NBC San Diego that Skateworld has been given years forewarning and extensions, owner Gary Stang claims the city did not take the proper steps.

"It didn't go through our community planning board.  It didn't go through our community as far as what they thought or how they felt," Stang said. "I think the whole community will be sad."

Fred Fimbres knows he may have to clean out that attic.

"Lot of skates," he said. "It'll never be the same.  It'll never be the same."

He's hoping it doesn't come to that.

A spokeswoman from the city's redevelopment agency said Skateworld has been given several opportunities to improve the building, and contribute a proposal for the redevelopment.

She said other potential tenants have offered several million dollars in improvements for the building. The next step would be to pick a plan, and get city council approval and it's uncertain when that would be.

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