Established in February this year, International Roller Skates located at the Winner’s Compound in San Antonio was tagged as the islands’ first roller skating arcade. However, it was forced to close a month later due to COVID-19 concerns.
IRS reopened in September, tested the market, and is now operating every day to keep up with the community’s demand for an activity that will keep them healthy and entertained during the pandemic.
According to P&A Corp. general manager Doyi Kim, since roller skating is a contact sport, they used the six months that IRS was closed to prepare and re-asses procedures that will ensure health and safety of both employees and customers.
“We wanted to open earlier but we had to abide by the government and [the Governor’s] COVID-19 Task Force’s rules and regulations. We wanted to be responsible and responsive… sanitizing and social distancing may be easy for other businesses like a restaurant but we knew we had to plan thoroughly, be careful, and at least try to do our best,” she said.
“Part of preparing the arcade, amenities, and gear, we sanitize everyday to prepare for operations the following day…we let customers in by batches if they are a group, check their temperature, get their names and contact numbers…the pads and gloves we steam dry them so the heat will kill the germs and as for the whole arcade, the skating rink including the roller skates, we purchased a special kind of machine from Korea that can sanitize even hard to reach areas,” she added.
Kim said that wearing masks and social distancing are in place and as extra precaution, they remain conservative when it comes to the number of people they accept in the arcade.
“Currently, establishments can accept at least 75% of maximum occupancy. For our part, we still decided to cut down customers to only 30% or maximum of 50 people in the arcade just to make sure…we don’t have plans of opening for a bigger scale of customers yet… this way, everybody is safe, can practice social distance, and enjoy their skating experience and enjoy [the] amenities.”
“We also accept private rentals for special occasions—minimum of 15 people and maximum of 50. On weekdays, it’s $200 for the first 30 people and add $9 for additional persons. On weekends, it’s $300 for the first 30 people and add $10 for additional persons. Rental is by session or two hours… guests can bring their own food and cake except for drinks which they can purchase from our café…If they want to purchase food from our café, we offer pizza, chips, hot corn dogs, Hot Pockets, cotton candy (currently free), and our newly added entrée, nachos,” she added.
Aside from roller skating, customers can enjoy amenities such as Speedy Hockey, basketball shooting, darts, slides, and trampoline. A recent addition is a karaoke machine located at the stage.
“We try to keep improving so we can serve the community better. This is the vision of my father and president of P&A Corp., Hong Kyun Kim. He built the Winner’s Compound to have apartments, car rentals, a restaurant… a ‘Happy Hut’ (like a pala-pala) where people can hang out anytime so that both tourists and locals will have a common place to meet, mingle, and share their unique cultures…Since we are in a small island, my father wants Winner’s Compound to be a big special place on Saipan… IRS is the recent addition,” Kim said.
“Future plans include starting the ‘K Pop Dance Academy’ where we will teach locals various style of K Pop dance which is popular and taught by dancers that will fly from Korea. Early next year, we plan to open horseback riding which is something new to the island and Winner’s Fresh Meat Market in Garapan… we find that our community is always ready and open for novelty [activities] and that’s why we work hard and always challenge the community to try and experience something new,” she added.
IRS is open Monday-Sunday with Session 1 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm and Session 2 from 7pm to 9pm (except Friday) for only $10. Friday Session 2 is from 7pm to 9 pm for only $12 and Saturday/Sunday Session 3 is from 7pm to 9pm for only $12. IRS management encourages everyone to start sessions on time for maximum enjoyment. Non-skater admission is $5, a five-session pass is only $50, a five-person group pass is only $50, and for roller skating tutorial, add $5.
For more information, call (670) 235-2560 or look them up on Facebook and Instagram “rollersk8_saipan.”