The COVID-19 shut-down has caused many problems for local business owners everywhere and, for the past month, we have seen that same effect within our own town. Stores and independent workers have been forced to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to make an income without sacrificing the safety of their customers or themselves. One of the most common solutions has been moving products online and offering delivery for their services.
But what about the businesses that do not have these kinds of options? It can be easy to forget about the places we used to visit weekly before the social distancing order was put in place, but they have not forgotten about us.
Wheels and Thrills roller rink was one of the first Owasso businesses to be shut down since the pandemic has reached Oklahoma. Tammy and Robert Johnson had to close the doors immediately after spring break and have been unable to open since.
This has been a hit for the Johnson’s who have been putting the Owasso community first in everything they do. After raising their family in Owasso, Tammy and Robert decided to open the skating rink to give families a place to have fun without being forced to drive out to Tulsa.
Meant for kids of any age, and adults, Wheels and Thrills have more than just a skating rink. It also has an arcade and laser tag that can be rented out for parties or gatherings. However, with new restrictions, we do not know when the rink will be able to let people back in.
That is why Tammy and Robert have found other ways to keep the fun going in Owasso. Using the Wheels and Thrills Facebook page, the couple have been hosting a variety of games such as; Dice game live, where people can pick a number and win a prize, an at-home scavenger hunt, and superhero parades in the parking lot.
It is this kind of community involvement that makes businesses like Wheels and Thrills so special. Tammy Johnson was just looking for a way to reach out to her community and give it something fun to do from home, and what she got back was more support than she expected.
“Hearing how much we’re missed, personally means so much to me. It’s emotional.”
Three years ago, they opened their doors to the public and immediately started giving back. Before the quarantine, the Johnson’s have been participating with local organizations in programs like giving bikes to disabled children, hosting fundraising for Owasso Schools, Breast Cancer awareness, and local scouts. This has all had to sadly stop while the shut-down was put in place.
So, when making plans with friends and family once the county finalizes phase three of opening everything, please consider visiting the roller rink. Wheels and Thrills give the opportunity to go somewhere that is not only fun but can use your help to give back.