Tucked to the side of bustling Highway 78 sits , a family-friendly rink that is known by roller-skating enthusiasts across the country. All-American first opened in the early 80's when owner Jack Burton, a former world champion figure skating, decided to buy the space. In addition to All-American Burton also owns two ice rinks located in Georgia.
On a Wednesday afternoon the skating floor is sparsely covered with small, giggling children whizzing by on teeny skates; Top 40 hits blast from the radio while workers re-stock skate-themed merchandise and clean the concession stand. It is stark contrast with the image of nearly 800 skaters who visit All-American Skating on some of its most popular nights each week.
"The best thing about the skating rink is the diverse population," said Gary Silverman, co-general manager of All-American Skating. "We get all shapes, sizes and skills here."
Silverman is a member of the skating enthusiast population. He began working at All-American in 2002 after he had been skating at the roller rink for a few years. As general manager he doesn't get to skate as often as he'd like, but he is proud of the atmosphere he's been able to help create.
"Most of our sessions are family-friendly," said Silverman. "Most nights when we have events there are about 800 people here. It's a great job because it almost doesn't feel like working when so many people around you are just having fun."
Fun is at an all-time high during the summer, which is typically the busiest time for the rink due to kids being out of school and daycamp events hosted by All-American. Perhaps the less obvious second busisest time of the year for the roller-rink is winter when parents are looking for fun, indoor birthday party options.
In addition to opening its doors for daycamps and birthday parties All-American hosts Thursday night Adult Skate, Sunday Gospel Skate and $1 Monday Skating. Annually All-American participates in Sk8-a-Thon, an event that brings skate enthusiats from around the globe to Atlanta during Labor Day Weekend. During the four-day event there are cookouts, skate jam sessions and adult skate sessions.
All-American Skating Center is located at 5400 Bermuda Rd at West Park Place. The rink is open Mon-Fri from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with a $6.00 charge. Call (770) 469-9775 for more details on themed skate nights and special events.