Final days for the Everett Skate Deck
Land was sold when the roller rink faced uncertainty under COVID-19
Jim Scolman photo
Skaters young and old give the Everett Skate Deck in Silver Lake a whirl Saturday, March 12. For more than 60 years, people all around have come for a good time , but in early April the Skate Deck will be closing the doors for good to as the site will be redeveloped.
EVERETT — “You guys are really closing?”
Ryan Acklus fields the question several times a day as the clock ticks down on Everett Skate Deck, the business his family has owned and operated for 61 years.
It’s as surreal to him as it is to customers.
“That one gets you every time,” Acklus said. “This is pretty much what I’ve known, what I’ve grown up with. It’s challenging to watch it disappear.”
Sunday, April 3 marks the last day of public skating at the venerable rink, which has stood at 9700 19th Ave. SE longer than Acklus, 45, has been alive.
After one “Last Hooray” on April 9 — a 21-and-over public party with limited tickets — bulldozers will start demolishing the building to make room for a proposed townhome development.
Co-owners Ryan, brother Cory and mother Teri decided to sell Skate Deck when business suffered during COVID restrictions. The property was valued near $2 million at the time of the deal.
Now soon, for the first time since Ryan’s great-grandfather opened a rink in Federal Way, the family will be without a home for their hand-turned maple skating floor.
But they don’t plan to stay sidelined long. Realtors, customers and friends are helping scour Snohomish County for a new location.
“We’re going to be a little picky,” Ryan said. “That’s not a shot against Everett. It’s a shot against what’s happening along the I-5 corridor, with all the homelessness.”
The family instead is looking east to the Highway 9 corridor stretching from Monroe to Lake Stevens.
It’s investigating potential sites in Monroe and Snohomish, said Acklus, but “the timing might not work to transition seamlessly.”
This has left the owners scrambling to find storage for Skate Deck equipment: the vintage floor, vending machines, food booths, and almost 1,000 pairs of skates.
Some gear might be stored on family property in Eastern Washington. Other paraphernalia could wind up at the homes of friends or customers.
Acklus said he’s been too busy to figure it out.
“Basically the whole community has been coming and reminiscing,” he said. “It’s been crazy for the last couple weeks.”
Ezra Thompson, a lifetime skater who coaches the Everett Eagles skate team, calls the Acklus’ his second family.
“I love the Skate Deck,” Thompson said. “The floor is always in great condition. Some of these rinks are run down, and they have an old, dirty smell. They always kept it up, kept it clean.
“I’m forever grateful for everything they’ve done for me and my team.”
The feeling is quite mutual, Acklus said.
He watched his grandparents, Eric and Bobbie Englund, pour “everything” into Skate Deck. His mother Teri began working there herself as a young teen.
“We want to put our gratitude out there,” Acklus said. “We were one of the first things around here to give kids and families something to do together. Who knew it would be the institution for fun it became?”
If you go
The Skate Deck is open for public skating Thursdays through Sundays through April 3. Tickets for the April 9 all-ages and adults-only skate sessions are on sale at www.everettskatedeck.com or by calling the rink at 425-337-0202.
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