SAN RAMON, Calif. - One of the Bay Area’s last roller skating rinks — The Golden Skate — is preparing to close.
The Golden Skate has been a fixture in the San Ramon community for decades, but will soon close sometime early next year.
Owner Dr. Hassan Sharifi announced on the company’s website that the financial impact of the pandemic took a toll on the business and it is not feasible to sustain operations.
Sharifi said he purchased The Golden Skate in August 1995 when it was on the verge of closing and it took him years to revive the business.
In the announcement, Sharifi said, "It makes me sad to close a business that I have enjoyed running and worked so hard to revive. My staff has always been my biggest asset, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people over the years. My hope is that the memories created over the decades of the Golden Skate will live on and will be cherished by those who have visited us."
Operations Manager Edita Moldvai has worked at The Golden Skate for 20 years. She started as a part-time employee and was responsible for inventory and making goody bags for birthday parties. She said the response from the community has been overwhelming since they announced the facility will be shutting down.
"So many people sent us Facebook messages, emails, tons of phone calls… every phone call is, ‘Why are you closing? When are you closing?," Moldvai said. "We’ll definitely stay open during holidays, so through November and December."
Tamara Tabatabai grew up in San Ramon and remembers skating with her friends. She now brings her children to The Golden Skate and said she will miss the people the most.
"I’ve never really worked anywhere where it’s been like a family," Tabatabai said. "I've had a blast here. Wish it wasn't going."
Moldvai is one of about 25 employees at the skating rink. She said past employees have stayed in touch with her and everyone treats each other like family. The Golden Skate will stay open through the end of the year to give employees time to say goodbye to colleagues and to their beloved customers.
"We wanted to give them a chance to come in and skate for the last time," she said. "I feel sad, but we have to do what we have to do."