DECATUR, Ga. – After business hardships threatened to shut down a DeKalb County landmark for good, it appears an overwhelming show of support from locals has changed the tide.
Golden Glide Skating Rink on Wesley Chapel Road served Decatur-area teens for years. The business boomed back in the early 90s, when Greg Alexander bought the leased building and the land in 1993. But eventually an economic downturn and lack of participation over the last eight years has left profits in the red, and left owner Greg Alexander ready to throw in the towel.
“We were not able to support the debt based on the loss of customers and revenue,” Alexander told 11Alive on Monday. “I had to personally finance Golden Glide to make payroll and keep lights on. I reached a point where I could no longer do that.”
Photos: Decatur's Golden Glide skating rink
But, when news of the closing reached social media, it erupted in outrage.
THEY'RE CLOSING GOLDEN GLIDE?! pic.twitter.com/k0D3tBS3CN— Groovy B (@_SpaceshipCoupe) April 27, 2017
RIP GOLDEN GLIDE ???????? Lloyd's verse was iconic. I'll never get over this. pic.twitter.com/R5jM7i6ZWG— Nia Sapp (@NiaGotGame) April 27, 2017
Tonight is the last night golden glide will be open pic.twitter.com/pJJ1lUyCrJ— Premiere (@algeeisbae) May 1, 2017
“It’s sad, sad, sad because we spent a lot of our childhood memories here,” one person told 11Alive.
“This is pretty much the last thing we have besides the post office to remind you of your childhood," another said. "That's why it’s so sentimental to a lot of people.”
Bridges falling, highways buckling, the Falcons, Golden Glide closing, Waffle House founders dying... I just want my city back ?? https://t.co/8isZaO0aIJ— Alex (@AlexFuller98) April 27, 2017
The showing was so strong that when Alexander made a phone call to the bank, they told him that they wanted to purchase it and keep business rolling under his leadership.
“The bank called me this morning and they saw the overwhelming response on social media, Twitter, everywhere else,” Alexander told 11Alive’s Deborah Tuff. “They are asking me not to shut down.”
Alexander said he hasn't decided if he'll do that yet, unless he’s got support on his side.
“Without the community, we can't survive and I think the community sees what role they play to keep this open,” he said.