BREAKING: Regretful sale of thriving Gympie business
PATRONS reacted with shock, sadness and words of encouragement at the news Gympie's newly established SkateZone will be forced to change hands in sudden circumstances.
Gympie SkateZone announced yesterday that due to a family illness, owners Darren and Lena Nyberg are forced to sell the business they built from scratch and opened on Dennis Little Dr less than 18months ago.
"It was a really, really tough decision,” Mrs Nyberg said.
"Darren and I created this for the community - we put our heart and soul into it.”
When news broke two years ago of a skating rink returning to Gympie, after a twenty five year absence from the town's entertainment scene, Gympie fans of the sport, nostalgic or otherwise, could not contain their excitement.
The new business was even part of the national headlines last year painting Gympie as the last Australian town clinging onto an idyllic 1980s culture with a new skating rink, a since closed last-man-standing video store and a rare and retro dine-in Pizza Hut.
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SkateZone has not only reconnected Gympie-ites with their love of 1980s exercise, but the rink has played host to professional sporting teams.
The most recent was when Gympie hosted the Trans Tasman Roller Hockey Test between Australian and New Zealand at the rink.
While Mr Nyberg said the decision to step away from the business came down to putting family first, they would be putting everything into stopping the beloved rink, that has built up a happy and loyal customer base at their regular sessions, from disappearing from the Gympie landscape.
With an lease expiring the start of next year, Mr Nyberg said how long it remains open depends on a buyer.
"The plan is we're seeking a buyer, we will keep it going as long as we can,” he said.
"We've just got to keep getting people through the door to keep it open.”
He said potential buyers should have a love of people and be passionate about the industry and club events.
"We expect the Gympie roller sports club to continue,” he said.
"That will be a fairly important part of the sale so the club has some security.”