By Alisa Brantz
The Sheridan Press
SHERIDAN — The overhead lights turn down, the music turns up and dozens of kids and families go round and round the rink at Scotty’s Skate Castle as they have been doing for more than 30 years.
Since 1982 the Sidletsky family has been serving Sheridan as owners of the rink providing exercise and fun to all ages.
Now in their own third generation of family skating, the Sidletskys and Scotty’s have each gone through many changes.
A Piece of Sheridan
Scotty’s was built in 1981 and owned by the founding family for less than a year before Tom and Gail Sidletsky purchased it.
Through the years there have been a variety of offerings inside the rink, including Small World, a day care which operated for 27 years.
At other times the castle has doubled as a concert venue and the physical fun has gone beyond just roller-skating to include things like hockey and even Zumba.
The concerts stopped when the new concert park was built and the day care closed a few years ago as mom and dad Sidletsky began yielded management of the rink to brother and sister Joey Sidletsky and Danica Chavez.
Today, the second generation Sidletsky’s are refocused on being a roller rink and a center for family fun.
A Family Legacy
“Our whole lives have been in this building,” said Joey Sidletsky. “It was our second home growing up. That’s why we want to take it over and keep it going.”
He and his sister have been working hard to keep Scotty’s modern and meet the ever changing needs of Sheridan families.
Recent renovations have included clearing out the old day care rooms and opening them up to create one large space, adding a snack and prize counter and battling the job of maintaining old and purchasing new skates.
Though the tasks are on-going and expensive, they are a labor of love to the new managers.
“I get to look over and see kids jamming out and letting loose to the music,” said Chavez. “They don’t care if anyone can see them, they’re just so free to have fun. That’s what is so great about this place.”
She added that the rink has allowed her to partake in special moments in many people’s lives from their first kiss to their first time coming back as adults to take their own children skating.
Chavez now has children of her own and, like her, they have been raised in the rink.
Her daughter Abby is in eighth grade at Sheridan Junior High School and she attributes Scotty’s with a lot of who she is as a person.
“Everywhere I go I see people that I met skating,” she said. “It makes you more social being around all these people and now I love meeting and talking to new people.”
Abby hopes to continue her family’s legacy when she grows up and take over the rink after her mother.
“When I’m older, I want my kids to experience the same things I have here,” she said. “It has taught me a lot.”
From their family to yours
The Sidletsky’s are not the only family who has grown together at the rink.
Time after time Sidletsky and Chavez find themselves face-to-face with someone they grew up skating with who had moved away but is now back with a family of their own and Scotty’s is one of the first places they go to reconnect with their hometown.
Shiloh Sayer of Big Horn is one such person.
Sayer grew up in Sheridan and started skating at the old wooden rink at the fairgrounds at a very young age. Once Scotty’s opened, he and his family became frequent visitors.
“We loved chasing each other around, me and my brother mainly, but also our friends and even our parents,” he said. “It gave us a place to exert that young boy energy without getting into trouble.”
Sayer and his family moved to Powell after junior high and without a rink in town, his skating stopped.
In June of 2010 he moved back to the area and he and his wife and kids all headed to the rink together to learn, or relearn, how to skate.
“This is something we can all do together as a family that we all enjoy,” he said. “And it’s just the way I remember it.”
As the summer approaches and schools start to let out, the Sidletsky’s will add more daytime skate session to give the kids more things to fill their time.
Friday and Saturday nights will continue to offer a place for kids to hang out and families to bond as Scotty’s shows that in Sheridan, values like staying active and staying together do stand the test of time.