LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — It’s the end of an era for a Lee’s Summit skating rink. Landmark2 Skate is closing its doors this month because of the pandemic.
Owner Charlie Johnson broke the news this month on Facebook. Trina Anderson’s husband, whom she met at the skating rink in 7th grade, saw it first.
“He was like no way, I’m like what are you talking about and he’s like Landmark’s closing and I was immediately in tears.”
Alisha Walker, who was watching her 9 year old daughter at a skating class Wednesday was at Landmark sometime after it opened in 1974.
“I tell her about what I use to do here and she laughs. I tell her what I wore and she laughs even harder,” Walker said.
“This is where I was every Friday and Saturday night of my elementary school years , my junior high school years it’s where you came to be with your friends,” Anderson said.
The decision wasn’t easy for Johnson who met his wife at the rink himself, back, when he programming the sound board and managing the skate floor starting in 1976.
“I sold her a pair of skates and I basically nabbed her phone number right off the check,” Johnson recalled.
The Johnsons bought Landmark in 1999 and renamed it Landmark2. The rink survived a downturn in popularity Johnson says was ushered in by the cellphone and social media era through birthday parties and private events. But he says the pandemic has taken its toll.
“A lot of people are still afraid to come out and I don’t blame them,” Johnson said.
Since the announcement business seems to be rolling again with several dozen people on the rink during Wednesday night’s open skate.
“There’s just something about being on wheels and making yourself go that it’s just kind of freeing,” Anderson said.
Even though a skating rink might not be a very valuable asset right now, the parking lot where Landmark2 Skate sits still is. The Johnsons will sell the land to the Aristocrat Motors car dealership that recently moved in next door.