Guptill's celebrates 60 years

As a place to get some exercise, enjoy the old fashioned icons around the rink or indulge in some ice cream at the Coney Express attached to the building, Guptill's Arena has inspired fond memories in Capital District residents for the past 60 years.

Through Sunday, Feb. 27, the skating rink will be offering a free pass for skaters to return the following weekend as a thank you to all those who have contributed to the success of Guptill's.

We just feel we owe that to all of the people who have supported us all these years, said owner Skip Guptill, 70. "Families really appreciate in this economy when you give back like that. It's a wonderful gesture."

One fan of the rink, and a 30-year employee, 49-year-old Tom Moore, recalls the first time he came to the rink to skate on a Saturday night.

"I was 18 years old, and I came in here to skate one night," he said. "And it was so packed I wasn't even able to come in the front door. So I walked out saying, 'Next week, I'm going to make it a point to skate here. Came back the next week, I skated once, I started hanging out here and within a month, I was hired here and I've been here ever since."

It was 1981 and Moore said it was a time when the disco age was heading out and the hair metal bands were becoming popular. Moore at one point served as a DJ and said the rink once had a laser light show.

He went through the different eras of music, as the '90s brought rock music and heavy techno, going into pop and then a mixture of all the genres of music.

"As the people change, the music changes," he said. "But everybody's got their place in time."

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