Community staple given months to find a new location

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 10:54 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The fate of a community staple is rolling to an end. The owners of a skating rink in Jonesboro announced it’s being forced to close its doors soon.

The father-son duo that runs Twilight Skating Rink said they were given only six months to find a new home for the rink.

The Twilight Skating Rink has operated at a building on Phillips Drive for decades, but now that is changing.

David and Tristan Veteto took over running the skating rink in June 2018.

“It gives the kids plenty of things to do,” said David Veteto, one of the business owners.

When they took over, the duo said they had to put a lot of work in to get it up to how they wanted.

For them, the work was worth it.

“Since he [Tristian] was 13, he [Tristian] was skating. We would travel to other skating rinks before that. So, he [Tristian] worked here for a bit. We heard it was going down, so we decided to take it over,” said David. “I wanted a place for my son and his friends to hang out.”

Now they are faced with finding a new location for the rink.

“The current facility is owned by somebody else, not us,” he explained. “We were given roughly six months to find a new location.”

Veteto and his son brainstormed ideas over the years for an updated facility, but they never thought the move would be this soon.

“The scenarios you think of, you never think it’s going to end, you just assume it’s going to be this or that or finances or people stop skating, but it wasn’t that,” said Veteto. “It’s something completely out of our control. It’s the building. Who knew that would cause us to have to move.”

When time runs out, the building will no longer be a skating rink. Veteto said the building owners plan on using it for retail businesses.

“Based on text messages she gave me and things she said, they could make more money unless I pay the full amount for this space,” he explained. “She told me that amount and I know we can’t afford that, not for the long term.”

Now he is trying to figure out how to keep a skating rink in Jonesboro.

“We don’t want people to not have a place to go to while we are there, so the end goal is to build another facility, which we have some more entertainment coming with that,” he said.

The duo started a Go Fund Me fundraising account to help with this sudden change.