The Skate Ranch: California Transplant Renews Menomonie’s Roller-Skating Rink
Sarah Young, a competitive ice and roller skater, rolls forward with her biz dream
When it comes to skating, Sarah Young is a professional. It had never occurred to her that owning a skating rink was within the realm of possibility – until recently.
Young has been roller skating since age four and ice skating since age 11. “I was fascinated by watching figure skating in the Olympics and wanted to try it, but my mom told me the ice rink had closed down, so she took me to the roller-skating rink instead,” Young said. “When we moved to the Bay Area, I finally got to start figure skating lessons on ice, and it wasn’t long before I was taking private lessons and competing in lower-level competitions.”
Growing up in California, Young fantasized about being able to ice skate outside in the winter. “What started out as a fantasy search for mansions with ice skating rinks turned into a Google search for ‘skating rinks for sale,’” Young said. Shortly after she began her research, the Vision Quest skating rink located at N4439 440th St., Menomonie went on the market. “My first visit to the Midwest was last July when I came to look at the rink and explore the area,” Young said.
Young has been a licensed real estate agent since 2010, coining herself “The Real eSKATE Agent.” Young decided that if she could sell her house within a certain amount of time and for the right price, she would pursue the rink.
Young has been the owner of the building for over a year now, and hasn’t looked back. The rink, now named The Skate Ranch, has had many improvements, including a new website, branding kit, and booking system. In addition to the online skate shop, Young added a physical skate shop at the rink, with around 100 pairs of skates in stock. The bounce house and ramps placed by the previous owner were removed to provide the maximum skating area for guests.
“The floor was completely recoated last year, and we are constantly working to keep it well-maintained,” Young said. “We added more blacklights and changed some of the lighting to give it more of a party atmosphere – think ’70s/’80s with a modern twist.”
In addition to open skating lessons, The Skate Ranch hosts birthday parties (both private and public), school groups, 4H clubs, Scouts, and churches. Events can be booked on their website. They also have skating events every month, typically with a fun and trendy theme, which are announced on The Skate Ranch Facebook page.
Young also plans to set up a 44-by-88 foot outdoor seasonal ice rink this winter, making it available for private rental, hockey, broomball, and ice-skating lessons. “I'm now a certified roller-skating instructor and am qualified to teach ice skating lessons too, so my plan is to train and form a competitive skating team at the rink,” Young said.
The Skate Ranch has a liquor license and hosts adult-only events where alcohol is served (waivers are required). If these events build up enough of a following, the plan is to use the rink as a night club/bar venue in the summer. The concept was dubbed “Summer Nights at The Ranch.”
“It has really been an adventure,” Young said. “It takes a substantial amount of work to keep this place running and we are currently hiring rink staff so we can add even more to the schedule.”
The Skate Ranch is preparing to have a grand reopening this winter, so if you’re looking for something fun to do indoors, roll on over to The Skate Ranch.
Follow The Skate Ranch on Facebook. To keep up with Sarah Young, check out her Instagram. For more information about The Skate Ranch (N4439 440th St., Menomonie) or to book an event, head to skateranchwi.com.