To say Fun Spot Skating Center has a new look may be an under statement. There is more than meets the eye inside the Belleville skating rink, which has been painted in bright neon colors that appear three-dimensional through 3-D glasses. Jennifer Westerfield has grown up at Fun Spot, which her family owns and operates. She has been a manager at the rink who has witnessed the recent interior redesign. She recently invited business writer Will Buss to take a look and find out more:
Q: What has been added at Fun Spot?
A: “We just added new artwork to our skating floor as well as all of our party rooms. One of our party rooms is becoming a 3-D party room with the (3-D) glasses, so that’s an add-on to the party packages. We have new carpet, which also happens to be 3-D, but we don’t put the 3-D glasses on when we’re on skates. We have new TV screens showing music videos. Those are new here on the side aisle, on the floor itself and then at the snack bar as well. We have some new arcade games that have come in. We have new table seating along the walls for parents to watch their kids. We’re also offering, like I said, 3-D party packages, which is an illuminations party, which is a glow party. The kids all get glow items. They get a glow hat, a glow spoon and a glow necklace in addition to the pizza and cake and ice cream. They also get the 3-D glasses.”
Q: Why did you redecorate?
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A: “It was time. It had been a while since we had done a big change. It’s been years since we redid the outside and put the new facade on. The carpet was definitely due.”
Q: Why go 3-D?
A: “We met Jodie (Barilleaux), who did all of the artwork, at a convention in May. So we talked to him and saw some of the artwork that he did at some of other rinks and we decided to bring him in.”
Q: When did you reopen with the new 3-D interior?
A: “About month ago.”
Q: How do you customers like it?
A: “Very well, definitely. They’re noticing it as soon as they walk in.”
Q: How long have you worked at Fun Spot?
A: “I’ve been working here since I was 15. So I’ve had no other job. I never had another job or never had to do an interview or anything like that.”
Q: Did you always plan to work at your family’s skating rink?
A: “Yes. I was always anticipating that this is what I would do. I did go to college and I have my degree in elementary education. But I kind did that as a fallback just in case. I did want a degree and wanted to go to college.”
Q: What is your role?
A: “Right now, myself and another manager, D’Angelo Young, we kind of do the in-rink stuff. We’re here running the sessions and all that. I’ve got two kids. One is 13, and she is in school all day, and I have a 2 year old. So I’m home with him throughout the day while my husband is at work at his job. So I’m here in the evenings when he gets home and takes over.”
Q: “What do your parents do with the business?
A: “They do all of the behind-the-scenes stuff. They do all of the paperwork, all of the bookkeeping, all of the advertising and marketing. They do all of the hard stuff.”
Q: How old is the business?
A: “My step dad’s parents built it in ’68. And then my step dad and my mom took over. Now, they’re looking to be done in the next few years.”
Q: Do you plan to succeed them?
A: “Yes. It will be me and our other manager D’Angelo Young who will be helping me.”
Q: What have you enjoyed most about working at Fun Spot?
A: “I enjoy the customers and the newness of it. Something is always different and always new. I love music, so I just love working with music. Every time I’m at work, I have music on. I just enjoy it.”
Job: Co-owner, Fun Spot Skating Center at 1400 West Blvd. in Belleville
Outlook: “It was time. It had been a while since we had done a big change.”