Smoky Mountain Sk8way skates forward with funplex

After months of renovation, the Smoky Mountain Sk8way in Waynesville will be opening its doors again on Friday, Sept. 27.

The opening date has been pushed back due to difficulties with construction. According to their Facebook page, “Our phone is ringing off the hook, and we can’t keep up with the FB messages! Everyone wants to know when the Sk8way is re-opening.”

Starting back in July, the skate rink purchased a warehouse behind the original building in order to expand, and expand they have. They have doubled in size from 10,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet.

Owner Jolynn Bryant said that the process has been crazy but well worth it.

“It’s finally working out and we’re excited about all the new ideas.”

She went one to say that if there is no more construction then the opening will definitely be happening Sept. 20.

The expansions have included doubling the size of the rink, wood floors for the rink, an expanded arcade and many surprises. Bryant stated that even after the opening they are planning to keep adding new things to the Sk8way. Some of which include laser tag, obstacle course and indoor climbing cube.

The expansions have run into some issues, but that is not stopping Bryant from making the Smoky Mountain Sk8way an awesome place.

The Sk8way has also expanded its snack bar to provide more food for customers, and the arcades now have ticket redemption.

“They can now play the arcade games, the games will give them tickets, and they can get prizes from the tickets,” said Bryant.

The venue is a great place for birthday parties, and after the expansions there will be many packages, which Bryant is working on, for families to purchase if they want to have events at the rink.

Bryant has also purchased over 300 new skates for visitors to rent. They are currently working on new packages, but as of now it is $8 to get in and $2 to rent skates. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to skate; they will teach you.

On top of the purchasing of the 300 skates, the Sk8way also secured parking for over 200 more cars.

The Sk8way also offers many different classes and events. One of the major activities is their Roller Derby team. The Balsam Mountain Roller Girls is Haywood County’s first women’s flat track derby league. Any woman age 18 and up can join and joining costs $40 a month. They practice Sunday and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Their Junior Roller Derby, for women under 18, meets Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m.

Some of the recent events the Sk8way hosted included a Summer Beach Party and Lock-In. The Sk8way had roller skating, dancing, water balloon fights, beach ball dodge ball and pizza for attendees, which lasted until 6 a.m.

This reporter attended a hip-hop/pop dance class hosted by Richard Sanford. The class meets Wednesday at the Sk8way from 4-6 p.m. and Sunday at the Swain County Recreation Center from 3-5 p.m. and only cost $10. The class is divided up into three section: warm-ups/stretching, a basic dance and then a challenge dance.

“I want to show people a different side of what they expect and of dance,” said Sanford, who has been dancing for 13 years.

Not only are the dances a great work-out, but Sanford also teaches his students why hip hop is different and some of its history. He pulls original choreography together for popular songs like “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga and “3” by Britney Spears. The classes end October 27, so get to them while you can!

Some of the scheduling will change once the Sk8way is reopened again so be on the lookout for those changes.

Located at 19025 Great Smoky Mountain Expressway, Bryant is extremely excited for the re-opening and new features the rink is bringing to the community. For more information about the opening and what the Sk8way offers, call 828-246-9124.