ToquiNotes: Likely Future Status of Skate World Revealed and Chance to Take Home Some Memories

By Jeff Toquinto on September 23, 2017 from ToquiNotes via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It was in this very blog, back on July 1 to be exact, where we told you that the building that had housed Skate World just outside of Bridgeport was for sale. While many of you knew that, what many didn’t know was that the following week the business was shutting its doors.
 
And thanks at least partially to our great followers of Connect-Bridgeport, word got out. On the final day of operation in July a massive crowd showed up.
 
“We had a really great turnout and it was really great to see,” said Jan McNemar. “That was a very special night. People cried and we saw a lot of tears because it brought back a lot of special memories to people.”
 
The good news is that today and tomorrow you can actually take some of those memories. And we’ll get back to that here shortly.
 
The bad news is that, for now, it doesn’t appear that there will be a skating rink located just off of Route 131 in the future. McNemar, the daughter of the iconic owner of the business Walter Lanham, said that the building has a buyer.
 
For those not reading the July 1 blog, the selling of the business had little to do with the family that had operated the business for more than 30 of the 36 years it was open not enjoying it. Rather, McNemar said it was what ultimately leads to the downfall – dwindling funds.
 
Because of that, the building went up for sale. The hope for McNemar and others in the family and even throughout the community was that the building would be sold and perhaps updated as a skating rink or another youth- or community-related facility.
 
The bad news? Right now, she said that doesn’t appear to be the case.
 
“We have a closing scheduled for early in October and the new owner is likely turning it into a warehouse and, as everyone knows, we would have liked to see it remain as is because it’s really an iconic structure that’s been here for decades,” said McNemar. “I know the individual purchasing the building has been told of the community’s wants so there may be an opening. That’s up to the new owner.”
 
What that likely means is that the end of Skate World is at hand. And that leads us back to how you can grab a little bit of a memory.
 
Starting this morning (Saturday, Sept. 23) and running through (Sunday, Sept. 24), there will be for lack of a better term, a “yard sale” for the items inside of Skate World. And from the items McNemar was able to list, there are plenty of items up for sale.
 
You can see all of them today from 8 a.m. to well into the afternoon and perhaps later. The same time frame is set up with an 8 a.m. start on Sunday. After that, individuals who may be interested in buying something can call the still operating Skate World phone number and talk to someone or leave a message at 304-842-4426.
 
“We hope people get there early both mornings,” said McNemar. “We’ll go until the point where there’s nothing but a straggler or two coming around.”
 
So what’s available?
 
There will be tons of skating supplies, including wheels and bearings. And then the list includes skating rink related signs, old cash registers, an old singer sewing machine, gumball machines (that never had gum in them due to not being allowed on the floor), old carpet, paper towel dispensers, plungers, bathroom supplies, shelving brackets, PVC and metal pipes, lawn mower parts that include blades, gas containers, filing cabinets, fountain machines, sinks, caulking, caulking guns, light bulbs, Christmas and other holiday decorations, hockey items, exercise equipment, shop vacs, sanders, filters, office supplies, showcases, ticket rolls, toys and trinkets for children, kitchen items, drills, cassettes, compact discs and more.
 
“Anything you can imagine, it’s probably here,” said McNemar. “We’ve been going through this for the last two weeks and it’s been a little bittersweet. It was time to move on, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
 
“Hopefully, someone can still find a memory or two at the sale,” she continued. “There’s probably something for everyone that was here.”
 
And for those that don’t make it out, McNemar and her family can rest easy. They’ve already supplied everyone that’s been there with memories that will last a lifetime.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Jan McNemar with her father Walter Lanham holding a trademark skate that's for sale, along with the disco ball. In the second photo, McNemar is going through plenty of items that are for sale, while Lanham flashes his trademark smile in the third photo. A bottom photo shows the for sale sign still outside as the closing has yet to officially take place.


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