Owners Plan to Convert Enfield Roller Skating Rink into Pet Day Care 

  • Leila Smith, 5, of Newport, N.H., skates for the first time at Great View Roller Skating rink in Enfield, N.H. on August 31, 2013. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Owner Peter Martin announces some upcoming activities at Great View Roller Skating rink in Enfield, N.H., on Feb. 27, 2010. Martin and his wife Diane have owned the roller rink since 1987. (Valley News - Jason Johns) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer 
Monday, December 03, 2018

Enfield — After more than four decades in Enfield, New Hampshire’s last remaining roller skating rink will close this spring and be converted to a pet day care and boarding center.

Peter and Diane Martin, the owners of Great View Roller Skating, said the sport’s declining popularity and a sharp drop in attendance have forced them to rethink how they use their nearly 4-acre property off of Route 4.

“We’re just not getting the normal traffic we used to have for normal events,” Peter Martin said on Monday. “It’s literally come out of our retirement and our inheritance to maintain the rink. It’s not supported.”

The Martins said they toyed with the idea of selling Great View on several occasions before deciding to put the two-lot property on the market last year.

At the time, the owners expressed a desire to step back from the business and retire. They asked for $850,000 for the property and business, but failed to find a suitable buyer, Martin said.

That’s when friends recommended converting the 16,000-square-foot facility into a pet day care business. The indoor space would allow plenty of room for dogs and cats to stretch out and play year-round, Martin said.

“We don’t like the idea of cages. We like the idea of a proper facility that allows the dogs to move around and have fun,” he said.

If all goes well, he hopes to transition to the new business in either May or June, he said, but if skating attendance continues to drop, “it may be sooner.”

The Martins purchased Great View about 31 years ago from Al DeHavens, who operated the rink for a decade on Blackwater Road. It’s since drawn a devoted following of skaters, many who grew up attending events there.

The Enfield Planning Board approval the Martin’s business proposal last week. It would be open for day care but also would allow people to board their pets while away on vacation.

The Martins are planning several upgrades to the site, including LED lights and a new fence similar to the one surrounding the Mascoma Dog Park on Route 4A. Transforming the site into pet day care would likely decrease traffic to the property and make it more quiet than the rink, which plays loud music on skate nights, Martin said.

Pet day care facilities have sprouted up across the Upper Valley in recent years, as commuters driving to Lebanon look to board their dogs and cats while they’re at work.

Last year, Canaan veterinarian Charlie Hutchinson opened The Dog House at Etna Road, which caters to those driving through the busy Route 120 corridor. The facility there once housed The Ranch at Etna Road, an unsuccessful dog day care operation and grooming business.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.