Generations have skated at Hot Wheels Skating Rink, a Charleston institution. Skating has been an asset to this community since the early 1980s. Many people take for granted that the rink will always be here. But Hot Wheels is closing after the New Year's Eve skate.
The building owner is not renewing the lease and has chosen not to sell to the current skating rink management.
Hot Wheels has provided a great service to the James Island and Charleston area that may not be replaced for years due to the huge initial investment necessary to build a skating rink. Good management and special people are hard to replace and deserve better.
Please recognize the family who has operated and managed this rink, providing so much great service to the community. Family members include Cheryl and Art Benton. Their daughter, Terri Halter, is the rink manager, and her husband is P.J., the DJ.
Thanks to all the staff at Hot Wheels, many of whom have stayed on a long time because it is a great place to work.
As Cheryl would say, "See that kid over there? I remember when his Daddy used to skate here."
No more will parents be able to take their kids and teach them to skate on the weekend. No more will birthday skating parties be an available option.
The Friday and Saturday rock music jam sessions will cease. Hokie Pokie, Limbo, Snow Ball and other wholesome family skating games will be a thing of the past. No more will Hot Wheels Skating rink be there to provide a venue for roller sports such as speed skating, hockey and roller derby.
An enormous number of patrons have enjoyed skating at Hot Wheels for more than three decades, but the future is in doubt. It's a shame the family who has provided the operation and management of the rink will not be there to continue their great service to this community.
FERRIS M. STEWART
Isle of Palms