LUMBERTON — The owners of Mr. P’s Skateworld are allowing parents to skate for free alongside their children as part of a new promotion they hope will encourage family involvement.
The “parents skate free” policy was introduced Friday and is open to any parent accompanying their child to the establishment.
The Fayetteville Road roller rink was founded in 1986 by Danny and Mary Pittman — better known to patrons as “Mr. and Mrs. P.”
“We saw a lot of parents come in and some of them paid to skate, but the majority of them sat on the side,” Mary said. “We’re giving parents the option now. They can come in and skate with their kids and be a part of what they’re doing at no cost to them.”
Family engagement is important to the couple, whose children and grandchildren have all worked at the roller rink.
“We want to see more involvement,” Mary said. “We understand that times are hard and money is tight, and we wanted to do a service for families in the community.”
The new policy is an extension of the roller rink’s long-running family night special, which allowed parents to skate free of charge on Thursdays with the paid admission of their children.
The couple has taken several measures to provide a safe environment for children and teens, such as hiring off-duty sheriffs to enforce security and installing a metal detector at the entrance of the building.
But even with the added precautions, Mary said that parents are still reluctant to allow their children to venture out at night.
“We’ll often hear comments like, ‘I’m scared to let my kids go out,’” she said. “We felt that, if we let the parents come in, it would make them feel more comfortable.”
The couple also hopes that former customers will take advantage of the new policy and reacquaint themselves with the establishment.
“We’ve skated many generations and parents have always been welcome to sit and watch for free,” she said. “We want the kids who were our regulars when we first opened to come back in with their kids and skate for free. We’re hoping it will be kind of a reunion.”
“I think it’s going to be wonderful,” Danny said.
In addition to skating, the establishment features a small arcade and a full-service snack bar offering hot dogs, pizza, nachos and other items.
Mr. P’s Skateworld is located at 3496 Fayetteville Road. For hours of operation and other information, call 910-608-3550.