Brenda Reasor took over the operation of the Wellman Skating Rink on the first of November following the retirement of Teresa Lampe, who had run the rink since the city took ownership of it in …
Brenda Reasor took over the operation of the Wellman Skating Rink on the first of November following the retirement of Teresa Lampe, who had run the rink since the city took ownership of it in 2018.
Reasor has lived in Wellman for about 12 years and worked at Freeman Foods for 10 years, giving her an opportunity to get to know many members of the community, young and old.
“I was at a city council meeting and they started talking about Teresa retiring and the idea to apply for the job sparked for me,” Reasor said. “I need a job that’s very active and going. I know a lot of people in the community, and I feel like I connect with a lot of families. I’ve seen a lot of kids grow up. When I heard about the job I was very interested.”
The skating rink has expanded its hours; in addition to open skates on Saturdays from 6:30-9, the rink is also open on Sundays from 1:30-4 and on Wednesdays when there is a Mid-Prairie early out from 2:30-4:30.
Reasor said the rink has averaged 120-150 skaters on Saturday nights. Nov. 14 was the first Sunday open skate, which drew about 60 skaters, including more families with young children.
“Saturday nights are kind of loud and obnoxious because there are a lot of different age groups in here all at once,” Reasor said. “Sundays have been a lot more family oriented, more of an opportunity for families to come in and be able to skate with their little kids that might not have as much fun on a Saturday night.”
During the pandemic the skating rink served pre-packaged food, but the rink has transitioned back into serving hot food made in air fyers.
“So far, people have been really responsive to it,” Reasor said. “We sold out of all the french fries we had this last week and we could barely keep up with the demand for food.”
The rink is now serving hot treats such as corn dogs, nachos, onion rings and pretzel bites with cheese, in addition to offering Casey’s pizza during open skates.
“I didn’t think onion rings were going to go over very well, but once we started cooking onion rings and then everybody smelled the onion rings, everybody wanted them,” Reasor said.
Reasor said she is using Facebook is a communication tool to let the community know what the skating rink is up to. She’s even created a Facebook group, which has over 400 members.
“I find Facebook to be a very powerful marketing tool,” she said. “My first post for the skating rink got over 15,000 views from far and wide — Williamsburg, Iowa City, Mount Pleasant, Wayland. And from that I booked about 10 private parties, all from people not local, so that was very successful.”
People interested in booking a private party should call the rink at 319-646-2231 or look on Facebook for a Google Form to fill out.
Reasor said she is also in the process of planning a fundraiser for January to help the rink replace its sound and light systems — keep an eye on Facebook for information about that, too.
The Wellman Skating Rink is the only operational rink in Southeast Iowa, and one of few left in this half of the state — Reasor said she knows about rinks in Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities. She said she is thrilled to be a part of keeping the rink alive, because she knows it provides a lot of joy for families in the Wellman community.
“My favorite part has got to be seeing the absolute joy on people’s faces, adults and kids alike,” Reasor said. “You think that this isn’t really an adult-based activity, but you’d be surprised at how many adults get out there. Just to see the excitement and happiness that people are experiencing from getting on skates, that’s my favorite part of this job so far.”
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