Roller Knights In Arab To Close For Good

Northeast Alabama
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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) -- Roller Knights in Arab is going out of business, and rink owners say the closure is due to structural damages that weren't adequately fixed.

Jim Wilhelm and his wife own the popular skating rink in Arab. They've been open for years.

"I feel like we've done a lot of great things for the kids and youth in this community," Wilhelm says.

He says the rink is a safe place where kids can go to hang out, where strict rules are enforced and bad behavior is not tolerated.

The ceiling has a lot of water damage and parts of the rink floor had to be replaced, and those damages are what Wilhelm says has put the rink out of business.

"Basically we've lost a lot of customers due to the skate floor and the condition of the building," Wilhelm says, "We were evicted because we were unable to pay the rent. If you lose revenue you lose the ability to pay the bills."

Wilhelm says the lease states the landlord is responsible to fix any damages. "Had the owner of the building done what he was contracted under the lease to do, we wouldn't be in this situation," Wilhelm says.

At one point Wilhelm says part of the ceiling collapsed while the rink was open. He says they've been asking the landlord to fix the damages, but he says they weren't addressed adequately, and as a result customers have stopped coming. "When you don't pay the rent you have to suffer the consequences but it's more than that," Wilhelm says, "It's principle. I take care of my end he takes care of his end, unfortunately that didn't happen."

We reached out to the building's owner, but at the time he was not able to speak with us.

The rink's last day is Friday. The rink will open at 7 p.m.

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