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Roller skating community hoping to lace their skates up in permanent OTR recreation center rink

OTR Roller Rink
Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 01, 2023

CINCINNATI — Recently some are asking local leaders and those in charge of redevelopment plans for the recreation center in Over-the-Rhine to include a roller rink in the plans.

The redevelopment process for the OTR Rec Center, Findlay playground, Grant Park and Elm Street Pocket Park started in late 2020, with 3CDC offering 48 opportunities for public input since then.

They said it wasn't until November 2022 that some started to voice support for a dedicated roller rink.

From the beginning, 3CDC has plans to include roller skating in the new facility but only with a mobile rink that they rolled out over the summer. After recent community input, they agreed to take another look.

"And see if there's a multipurpose space that can serve both community meetings, a event space and be used for skating," said Brandy Del Favero, the development director for 3CDC.

The community input is coming from groups like Skate Downtown Cincy and the Cincinnati Rollergirls.

Lauren Bishop, the principal owner of the Rollergirls, said the team has watched several rinks close in Greater Cincinnati since the team's founding in 2006.

"We've practiced at just about every skating rink in town before they closed," she said.

Bishop said if a rink is part of redevelopment plans and is big enough for a regulated roller derby track, the new facility would have a source of regular income from the team renting out space to practice.

"We understand that first and foremost the Over-the-Rhine community center has to serve the needs of the neighborhood, but we think there is a much larger market that could help sustain a rink," Bishop said.

There will be more opportunities for public input on this project in the next couple of months. 3CDC said it plans to start construction in late 2023 or early 2024. You can find more information about the project here.

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