The World of Wheels Skate Center in Superior is making room for celebration.
Owner Steve Grapentin is expanding the roller rink to accommodate birthday parties.
“We have three birthday parties going at one time and everyone is on top of each other, so it’s going to birthday rooms and make it more enjoyable for everybody,” Grapentin said. “We’ll have room for more parties.”
The project was two years in planning.
The four additional rooms in the 30-by-60-foot space currently under construction on the west side of the roller rink will better accommodate the parties and leave seating available for other skaters at the rink.
“Everybody has a birthday,” Grapentin said. “I want to be here for a number of years, so birthday parties are the way to go.”
He said it’s common for the rink to host 15 birthday parties on a Saturday, and the additional room would allow him to hold even more as well as better accommodate the cleanup between parties.
Plans include providing places for coats and shoes in each of the rooms so party-goers have easy access to their belongings when the party is over.
Birthday parties take place during regular session skating with options available for kids and adults.
“The birthdays will be in the other rooms, so we’ll have more seating here,” Grapentin said of the main seating area next to the rink.
Grapentin said the current expansion is costing more than the building did when he bought it, and he expects it to open around January.
Grapentin took over World of Wheels in 2008 when he purchased the building from the estate of Bob and Gerry Wright to reopen the roller rink.
Since then, he has made incremental changes and invested continually in the business to maintain the last roller rink in the Twin Ports, most recently, refinishing the skating floor in August.
“Almost everything I make goes right back into the place,” Grapentin said. “I live off my pension.”
The Wrights built and opened the roller rink at 1218 Oakes Ave. in 1975 and ran it until their son and his wife, Rick and Theresa Wright, took over the business in 1999, running it for eight years before closing it to settle his parents’ estates.
For more information, call 715-392-1031 or visit wowskatecenter.com.