LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — New life has been brought to the old Great Skates family fun center. New operators of Skate America have transformed the old business into what they call a newer, safer place for kids.
“It’s been a good year,” Great Skates General Manager Andy Watson said.
The new interior of the former Great Skates on Earl Avenue may look fairly similar to what it did a little over a year ago. But with it going under new ownership, Watson said it’s very different.
“We’ve made a few changes here and there. We have made it a little more hospitable. We have made it a little less grubby. We have made it a little more family oriented and business has been booming,” explained Watson.
A steady stream of business has been coming in, which is something the previous owners were not seeing. Watson said it’s due to changes made around the rink.
“The little things — like fixing pipes, fixing floors — because there were a few leaky spots on the floors and the bathrooms had issues,” Watson said.
Watson said he introduced newer more exciting games, and got rid of the older games. He said there is also a new laser tag system that makes playing more interactive and more fun.
Watson said another issue was addressing the crime. He said he wanted to make it safer for children.
“Keeping the fights out, you know. If somebody fights, we call the cops and get rid of them,” Watson said. “That’s how we’ve been keeping the place clean, you know. If we ban them, we ban them. We don’t let them back in.”
All of these changes are helping to make Skate America a success. But Watson said of all the changes that have been made, one change is the most important.
“We want to make it a nice family atmosphere, so they can bring in some of their family,” said Watson. “We want it to be so ages K-12 can come in and have a great time, not just the kids that can come in and stay late.”