GRANDVILLE, Mich. — The moment is still settling in for Heather Niemeyer and Jenny Steketee.
“It’s all like, surreal,” said Steketee. “That dream-come-true fairy tale.”
The two glided alongside their children Friday at the Tarry Hall Roller Skating Rink in Grandville just hours after they, alongside their husbands, purchased it.
“It doesn’t feel really real quite yet,” said Niemeyer. “We wanted to continue to bring our kids here and have some place to go and something fun to do.”
Tarry Hall originally opened in 1959.
“So many people have an attachment to this place,” said Niemeyer. “Memories growing up here, bringing their families here.”
But it’s not until the early '90s when Niemeyer and Steketee started making memories there. Both competed in speed skating, with Steketee now coaching the team. They have also held jobs at the rink throughout the years.
“It’s been a massive part of our lives for the last 30 years,” said Steketee.
Steketee even found love on the rink.
“I met my husband here,” said Steketee. “We trained together. He competed on the junior world team; I competed here on the senior world team. We came here on our wedding day.”
So, when the former owner listed the rink for sale in December and offers to buy it soon came in, it devastated Steketee and Niemeyer.
“She had one to be an antique mall, storage warehouse, a church, a fitness center,” said Niemeyer.
They turned those emotions into action though. The two were not willing to let the rink turn into anything else.
“We texted back and forth about everything and… here we are,” said Steketee.
With that now behind them, they’re focused on running a business in the middle of a pandemic.
“We’ve installed glass that we’re behind when we’re selling tickets, we’ve installed hand sanitizer in places, all of our employees are masked, we require masks inside the building,” said Steketee.
They hope their ownership creates an even bigger impact in West Michigan.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running with this thing and make it even greater,” said Steketee. “I feel like we’re on the cusp.”
Open skate is Friday night - Sunday afternoon at Terry Hall. They also host events for children’s birthdays, schools, and other groups. Lessons are available.
To learn more, click here.