Historic Wagon Wheel roller skating rink changes ownership

A historic roller skating rink near Casper is changing ownership. So what does this mean for the venue?
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 8:37 AM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A historic roller skating rink near Casper is changing ownership. So what does this mean for the venue? The former owner talks about it’s amazing history, and the new owner discusses it’s future.

The Wagon Wheel roller rink in Mills is entering it’s 75th year of operation. It’s been a family-owned business since it’s inception. Meet third-generation owner, and 75-year-old skater, Beverly Van Horn Lunt. She says her grandparents were the ones who built the rink.

“Uhh, 1948. They bought the property I believe in ‘38. And then in ‘48 they decided to build the roller skating rink. And it was also a show building for livestock.”

Built of wood, the rink burned down in 1955. After reconstruction, including a new concrete rink, Lunt says it became a pretty important event center.

“Jerry Lewis skate-a-thons, with the telethons. They were amazing. For MDA, yeah. So if you had Hank Thompson, Marty Robbins, Brenda Lee... Those type of shows... They’re traveling from California or Colorado to another state... During the week... That’s who we were. We were the events center!”

Lunt says it took around five years to find a suitable buyer. She didn’t want to sell it to just anyone. “If the host is having fun, then everybody who comes in is going to have a blast.”

I asked, “So the new owners coming in... They’ll fill those shoes, you think?” Lunt replied, “Absolutely!”

Enter the new owners: Jonathon Odlin and his wife Elisa. He says the building needs some tender loving care, but no major changes are planned. “Next year will be 75 years. That’s amazing. And it’s been in one family’s name this whole time. Now it’s moving on to a new family, and we want to keep it a roller rink. It is a trademark to this community. In mills, in casper, everybody knows what the wagon wheel is. So, we just want to keep that going.”

Even though the Wagon Wheel is in the hands of new owners, it definitely has a bright future.

On Saturday Night, the Wagon Wheel will host their annual New Year’s Eve celebration from 6-10 pm, and a party bag will be given to every paid admission.