NEWS

Jason Stevens drove 1,000 km to buy hundreds of roller skates

07/18/2015 01:00 EDT | Updated 07/18/2016 05:59 EDT
The Invermere Curling Club needed a way to stay open for business throughout the summer, but it was through an unlikely source that it found its solution.

Jason Stevens, the ice technician for the curling club, came across a local newspaper article in Vancouver, Wash. indicating that the Golden Skate roller rink — which had been in operation for over 71 years — was closing.

Stevens wanted to open a similar venue in Invermere, B.C. that would keep the curling club open.

"It was one of the few ideas that we had been looking at to try and create some off-season revenue for the curling club," he told CBC.

Luckily, the owners of the roller rink, Janie and John Wainwright, were selling the 270 roller skates they had used for rentals. 

Stevens reached out to the American couple and negotiated a fee for the skates. But he quickly realized the problem was how to bring them north 1,000 kilometres to Invermere.

"Even though we were getting a good deal on the skates, we were looking at a few thousand dollars to ship them," said Stevens.

"We decided last minute to hop in my car and drive down and see how many we could squeeze in there."

12-hour car ride home

Once there, the next issue was to fit all the skates into his medium-sized vehicle.

"We started stacking them kind of like Tetris pieces, squeezing in every blank space we could."

Stevens says he made the 12-hour drive both ways by himself. His only worry was what the border guards would say when they saw him in a vehicle filled to the brim with roller skates.

"I told them what I was going for on the way over. Their only question was what did it smell like in there — surprisingly, not bad at all," said Stevens.

Stevens says the Invermere Curling Club has planned a launch party on July 25 to open up its new roller skating venue for the rest of the summer.

Despite the change in location (and countries), he says he wants his new activity to remain reminiscent of where it all began.

"We're going to turn it into a disco rink for the summer and hopefully carry on the Wainwrights' tradition for several more years here in Invermere," said Stevens.

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Curling venue turns roller skating rink thanks to 1000-km, skate-filled car ride.

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