History of SkateWaco, Inc.
Skate Waco, Inc.is comprised of two facilities, Skate World in Waco, TX and Skate Country in Bellmead, TX. Skate World was first leased by Charlie and Linda Lucas in 1993 and purchased in 2014.
Charlie and Linda Lucas moved from Dallas, TX to Waco as part of their lifelong dream to own a roller skating rink. Charlie started skating at age 8 and was the consummate “rink rat”. He has a birthday part at the rink at age 12 and was hooked. He played hockey and competed in both artistic and speed as did most of the kids at that time. He met Linda when he saw her skating and the became skating partners. After competing for a number of years, both he and Linda turned professional and started coaching and managing rinks in various location around the country. But, they never had one of their own.
When Charlie and Linda Lucas first leased Skate World there was another skating rink literally “just around the corner” on Waco Drive. It was a struggle to keep the rink alive with competition so close. Charlie has a speed team and Linda taught artistic skating classes. Both worked second jobs to make ends meet.
In August 1995, while returning from National Competition, Linda Lucas was killed in a head on collision with a truck that crossed the median. The driver of the truck has fallen asleep. She was killed instantly. Charlie was devastated. Gypsy, Charlie’s daughter moved back from Dallas to help her dad with the rink. Through life insurance proceeds and a settlement form the trucking company, Charlie and Gypsy would build Skate Country as a tribute to Linda. Finally, they would have a rink they owned but sadly, Linda would not be there to see it. In December 1995 that Waco Drive rink (Skatin’ Place) closed and Skate World became the only rink on that side of town.
Over the subsequent years Skate World experienced some ups and downs. Linda has been a strong co-leader and her absence was felt keenly. Starting in October 2008, Charlie and Barbara Lucas began a full remodel of the inside and outside of Skate World including the skate counter, stuff shop, and new entry doors. A year later, in November and December 2009, they added a laser tag room and then totally upgraded it in 2014. It is being enjoyed as a great add-on to birthday parties or as a stand alone fun entertainment option. The addition of brand new skate in the Fall of 2010 completed the transformation. Skate World is now a showplace and draws people to it form all over Central Texas. It has become something which Barbara and Charlie are extremely proud. We can be proud of it too.
After Linda’s death, Charlie worked with an architect to design a premier competitive skating facility. He coached the French National Team speed skating team for four years form 1995 to 1998. Then he was privileged to coach the US World Team speed skating team, in 2001, 2002, and again in 2010, 2011.
Gypsy shouldered the bulk of the responsibility for the construction and opening of Skate Country. It opened with a bang in November 1996. It was a big hit and was highly popular with the people of Bellmead. Gypsy now lives in Austin and is involved with the start up of Waco Roller Derby Team and Skate Truck Texas.
Recently we have embarked on a face lift for Skate Country. While it has always been kept clean and maintained, we decided it was time for a face lift. In May 2009 we replaced that carpeting in the whole rink. AS year later we moved the games and added the stuff shop and a three-story PlaySmart Playground. It provides an additional attraction for children 10 and under. It has been an big hit with the kids. In January 2014, we built a semi-private part room that is also equipped for glow parties. It is our hope that these upgrades plus some additional focus on community participation in the Bellmead/Lacy-Lakeview area will increase Skate Country’s place in the community. In the summer of 2015 we again replaces the carpet in the rink, upgraded our light show and black light options!