When you think of a roller rink, what comes to mind? Old music, old skates, old people? Not at Orbit Skate Center here in Palatine Illinois. Orbit has been the premier roller skating facility in the northwest suburbs of Chicago for more than 2 decades. Owned and operated by the same family since 1992, the rink has been constantly upgraded and updated to keep roller skating fresh and new. Orbit Skate Center is a space themed facility with 40 foot murals on the end walls, 3D black light party rooms for Glo Crazy Parties and equipped with the Cosmic Cafe and Galaxy SkyBar to create an experience for all ages and levels of enjoyment. We have hosted weddings, school reunions, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah celebrations, quinceanera parties, corporate parties that are out of this world fun for everyone.
Our events are centered around roller skating with a twist. Winter events include family parties like New Years Eve and Mardi Gras with balloon drops that are attended by hundreds of people each year. Summer events like the 4th of July are enjoyed by our Parade Crew of about 150 skaters that love to skate the Arlington Heights and Palatine parades with us. This year we have a huge party on July 4th that starts at Midnight until 6am with adults from all over the country bringing some of the best R&B and JB skating to Orbit for one amazing night.
Our upscale food is another area you don’t expect at any ordinary roller rink. We have a full menu of delicious fresh food to offer our guests that can be viewed on our website. From the pizza to milkshakes, everything is prepared on site and as natural as we can with no preservatives and using the freshest ingredients like our crazy lineup of pizza toppings. We don’t serve anything we wouldn’t offer to our own children and grandchildren. The bar appetizers like toasted nacho cheese ravioli is a big hit!
Community is very important to us. Our families that have their children in our After School Club trust us to provide a welcoming and wholesome environment. We reach out to our local schools, offering incentives to do better in reading with our Reading Rocks program, learn physics with our Newton Knew IT! program and raise money using our new FUNdraising skating parties. During the school breaks of Winter, Spring and Summer we provide over 100,000 free passes to school children to skate free when school is out of session. We are one of the first rinks in the Chicago area to participate in KidsSkateFree.com, a nationwide initiative to fight childhood obesity by sending member families 2 free skate passes each week for their children until they are 14 years old. With over 6,000 kids enrolled at Orbit Skate Center and approaching half a million kids nationwide, we believe we are making a difference in ways that matter!
Lately, there’s been an article in Reuters.com recently about the demise of roller rinks and citing that it’s a difficult business to keep going and showing an image of really bad rental skates that we would never provide to our guests. While this may be true for some roller rinks in some areas, at Orbit Skate Center we have seen an upwards trend of new skaters, corporate and birthday parties and the desire for families to spend time together doing something that appeals to the entire family. Our challenges are not that roller skating is on the decline but the costs of doing business, from property taxes to increased minimum wages and increased regulations make staying in any kind of small business a challenge. We personally feel that in order for roller rinks to survive and thrive, they must keep up with the times and invest in their own facilities to make roller skating a sport that will continue for many generations to come.
Agree or Disagree with our assessment? Feel free to leave us a comment!