Peoria Palace skating rink closed for good, former owner says it was time to let go

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Dorothy and R.W. “Robert” Randle opened Peoria Palace 15 years ago, now the rink is closed for good.

For years, dozens of people gathered at the skating rink for birthday parties, holiday celebrations and open skate night.

For the children we thought would be great for the community this is something me and my husband wanted to do.

Dorothy Randle, Former Owner/Peoria Palace

Dorothy said at some point less tickets were purchased and the crowds got smaller. In 2019, she said the rink was hanging on by a thread.

Dorothy spent months overseeing the rink alone, with some assistance from family and friends. Her husband, Robert had a stroke in 2018. He was partially immobilized, losing feeling in one side of his body.

A year passed and a lot changed for the Randle family and the skating rink. Dorothy said this year, she hit rock bottom, learning her husband got the Coronavirus. In June, Robert died.

Dorothy said after facing that challenge and coping with the pain, she realized she could no longer sustain the roller rink. An announcement was made on Facebook that the roller rink is now under new ownership.

“No more Peoria Palace,” Dorothy said. She said letting it go actually lifted a weight from her shoulders.

Dorothy is still healing and said she is thankful for all of the community support. She is encouraging people to start a business, if they so desire.

“As a black person sometimes its hard for them to start a business, but I want them to know they can do it,” she said.

Now that the roller rink is under new ownership, Dorothy said she is uncertain of what the plans are for the building.

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