Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Popular roller rink in Citrus Heights marks 50 years in business

Sunrise Rollerland competition, roller skating
Sunrise Rollerland is located at 6001 Sunrise Vista Drive in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

*This story has been updated with clarification from Ken Neutz on 50th anniversary plans.

By Sara Beth Williams– Sunrise Rollerland first opened its doors in 1973, offering skating to the community of Citrus Heights.

The roller rink has seen significant changes throughout its five decades, including the rise of the Sunrise Mall and Birdcage Walk. But some things have remained the same over the years, like paper applications, the King Arthur-themed décor, and skaters you can count on seeing every single week.

Gail Sauer is one of the regulars who has skated in an morning adult skating session since 1984. In an interview, Sauer said she began skating at age 40 and has had many skating friends pass away over the years, but she still skates at the same session every week.

“I think right now there’s more adult skating,” Sauer said. “After the pandemic, now they want to get out and do something.”

Located behind the Sunrise Mall at 6001 Sunrise Vista Drive, Sunrise Rollerland was opened by retired Air Force Major Lloyd Neutz and his wife Marian.

In an interview with The Sentinel, Assistant Manager Morgan Neutz, granddaughter to Lloyd Neutz, recalled spending much of her childhood at the rink with her grandparents.

“It was so busy in the ‘90s,” Neutz said, adding that business slowed down during the 2008 recession and again at the end of 2019.

The rink shut down in March of 2020, but Neutz said Covid relief financial assistance enabled them to keep a small group of employees hired on to help clean, update and maintain the entire rink during 2020.

“After Covid, skating exploded,” Neutz said. “I’d never seen it busier.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary, the roller rink plans to make commemorative shirts available to former employees. Events are expected to ramp up in late summer and into fall.

Updates are posted regularly on the rink’s Facebook page, with a March 17 post calling for community members to submit old photos and pictures documenting their experiences at the rink over the years.

Sunrise Rollerland currently offers regular skate sessions for adults, and kids throughout the week. The rink also offers weekly lessons, birthday party packages, and hosts artistic and speed skating teams.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)