The story behind Sunrise Rollerland in Citrus Heights
By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Sunrise Rollerland is one of those special places in Citrus Heights where, for skaters young and old, time feels like it has stood still.
Once inside, the medieval-themed Sunrise Rollerland at 6001 Sunrise Vista Drive, you wouldn’t think that much has changed since 1973 when its original owner Lloyd Neutz opened its doors.
“That was always part of Lloyd’s plan,” said Diane Pyle, the skating rink’s, assistant general manager. “He always wanted it to feel like home.”
Today, Lloyd’s son, Ken, and his wife Kathy keep Sunrise Rollerland in the Neutz family. “Both of their children work here,” Pyle said.
Pyle, a graduate of San Juan High School, managed Sunrise Rollerland from 1987 to 2000 and then came back to work 17 years later in July 2017 as its assistant general manager.
Sunrise Rollerland has two full-time staff, and up to 22 part-time workers during winter and spring months.
“It’s going to be an especially busy month for us in late June,” Pyle said. Sunrise Rollerland will again host qualifiers for the 2019 Southwest Region Figure Skating Championships from June 24-29.
Subtle changes are evident throughout Sunrise Rollerland. Modern overhead lighting, still with a medieval theme, has replaced older fixtures. A new snack bar was installed a few years ago, and carpeting is replaced on a regular basis. A large, wall-length original mural at the end of the skate floor remains bright and vibrant as it was in 1973.