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Guptill's celebrates 60 years

Guptill said he's proud the arena has been able to hold up over the past six decades, weathering economic hardships and acting as a piece of nostalgia for the entire town of Colonie. He recalled how his father first built the arena on his own back in 1951.

"My father built the arena, and it was all done the hard way," he said. "He cut down all the wood and brought it to the saw mill. It means so much to our family because we know how hard it was to build it back 60 years ago."

Since it first opened, Guptill said he remembers the transition from roller skates to roller blades, how all of the boys would try and impress girls with their roller skating skills and that some couples even married after meeting at the rink.

"Every time a pretty girl would come to Guptill's, my father gave her a free pass," Guptill said. "Then my mother would ask why, and he would say, 'For every pretty girl, that brings five guys."

So what is it that has contributed to the success of the skating rink?

Guptill said the rink is the very definition of Americana because he has not changed anything about it over the years. He has left all of the classic cars that surround the rink. Every summer there is a car show at the rink, attracting thousands of people. There also host other events, such as company Christmas parties, because the arena can hold up to 6,000 people.

There is still a stage in the back of the building, and while it isn't used anymore, it used to host concerts in the '50s for acts such as Jay and the Americans and Bobby Goldsboro.

Still the biggest draw, Guptill said, is their world-famous skating rink, which was awarded the honor of being the largest skating rink in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in the sports edition in the 1970s.

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