Business: Skate Through The Winter At The Pelham House

by Elizabeth Van Wye

Too cold for golf or pickleball? Looking for some exercise with a strong social component? How about strapping on wheels for a high energy whirl around Cape Cod's only pop-up roller skating rink, now open in Dennis Port.

The Pelham House Resort opened The Rink in November. How it happened is a story John McCarthy, managing partner of Pelham hospitality, likes to share.

"For the last few years we have decided to stay open in the winter," he said. In order to attract both local and off Cape visitors, they decided to create a fun indoor experience using their 90-foot-long ballroom. "For the last couple of years, the experience offered was curling," he said, referring to the shuffleboard type sport usually played on the ice.

This year McCarthy researched pop-up skating rinks located in malls out west and decided to bring the idea to his team.

"This might be great," he recalled enthusing to his team. "There was a lot of eye rolling, but everyone wound up on board and now everyone is pumped!"

On top of the ballroom floor, they first put down a removable sub floor measuring 24 by 48 feet. An athletic floor, made of composite material, was then placed on top to create a smooth skating surface. Although the floor is rectangular, the skating pattern is oval, like a typical rink. At either end of the rink are drink rails where skaters can sit and enjoy refreshments.

McCarthy hadn't skated in a while, he confessed. But when the floor was down he tested it, strapping on skates and "halfway around the rink I was doing circles!" he said with a laugh. "It all comes back to you — great memories."

You can bring your own skates, but don't worry if you don't have any. Skates are included in the fee of $25 for a 45-minute session on wheels. "We have 60 pairs of skates," McCarthy said. "All sizes, for 6-year-olds to adults."

The Rink at Pelham House Resort is open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 4 until 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. During the week between Christmas and New Year, the Rink will be open daily, McCarthy said. There will be holiday themes, decor and music as well as food and beverages available for sale.

For out-of-towners, the resort is offering a "Skate the Cape" package including one night accommodation in an ocean view room, roller skate rentals, one 45-minute session per guest and a $50 food and beverage credit.

The Rink will stay open through March 30. After the first of the year, themes will shift from holiday to retro skating, disco balls, a '70s night and more. So far "it's been a hit," McCarthy said. A group of seventh grade hockey players came one night, he recalled. And "we've had a couple of groups of eight or 10 skaters," he said, "they were dancing and doing conga lines! I never realized people love skating so much!"

Twenty skaters are allowed on the floor at a time; reservations can be made online at