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Roller Hutt on a 20-Year Roll

Garrettsville – Kids growing up in this small town have limited entertainment options. There’s the movie theatre, the indoor sports complex, the bowling alley, a couple fast food joints, a park or two… and the Roller Hutt. Since 1990, Craig and Linda Dlugokecki have provided a safe and happy place for youngsters to hang out and have some fun. Twenty years later, they’re still rolling!

It all began shortly after the Dlugokeckis and their sons moved to Garrettsville. Craig had been managing a roller skating rink in Chagrin Falls, so he had his eye on Garrettsville’s rink, the Rainbow Arena, located at the corner of Hewins Road and State Route 88. He became the third owner of the skating rink on Father’s Day, 1990. After a three-month overhaul of the 1948-era building, the Dlugokeckis opened the Roller Hutt — and with it — a new era of roller skating in Garrettsville.

Twenty years ago, sons Jason and Justin were just 12 and 8, and their favorite pastime was speed skating. By 1992-93, Roller Hutt was the state champ in speed skating with a team of 28 local youth. Jason was individual state champ for five years.

Even now, both Jason and Justin (and their wives) are integral players in the family business. Justin built and maintains the Roller Hutt website. The boys built the Fortress of Fear haunted house 11 years ago inside Roller Hutt and operated it there for four years. Now, Jason and Dawn Dlugokecki operate the Fortress of Fear Scream¬park (including Fearanoia) adjacent to the Roller Hutt. This Halloween haunt was recently rated 48.6 out of 50 at http://HauntWorld.com.

Jason is also bringing speed skating back to Roller Hutt for children aged 5 and older. Practice for the Garrettsville Riders Speed Team will be two times a week for two-hour sessions.

Along with the speed skating, Roller Hutt offers a perfect place for kids to hang out on a Friday night, to rent skates and equipment, to play laser tag, to have a birthday party, to have a fundraiser, or to take lessons. And the Roller Hutt Pro Shop has all the skates and accessories a serious skater needs.

Even in this economic climate, Roller Hutt offers plenty of affordable options, including $1 Wednesday Nights, Saturday evening Cheap Skates, and Sunday Family Matinees, where parents get free admission with a paying child. The Dlugokeckis haven’t raised their rates in nearly eight years, so skaters get a bargain every day.

Roller Hutt is open Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Fridays 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., and Saturdays offer beginner skating from 10:30 a.m. to noon, then regular all-skates from 1:30 to 4:30 and 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday skating is from 2 to 5 p.m. Laser tag runs Wednesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

Roller Hutt recently introduced Tikki Treats Snack Shack, featuring Hershey’s Hand Dipped Ice Cream in flavors of butter pecan, strawberry and chocolate. Throughout the year, Tikki Treats will serve cones, floats, sundaes, smoothies, slushies, soft pretzels, popcorn, chili dogs, popcorn, French, fries, pizza and other festival food whenever Roller Hutt is open.

10268 Hewins Road has been the address for fun on wheels in Garrettsville for generations. Always adapting to the times to stay relevant to the 16-and-younger crowd, the Roller Hutt continually rolls out new programming. Check it out at www.rollerhutt.com or call 330-527-4633.

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