Michael Ford didn't want Wednesday, May 5, to be a sad day, rather a day marking the next chapter for District Skate roller rink in Oak Flats.
Mr Ford had been given a month's notice by the property owners to vacate as they would not be renewing his lease, and the business on Industrial Road has been forced to close - but there has been a silver lining.
"The customers have started a GoFundMe page, they've been madly looking for buildings we can use, they've been offering storage spaces," he said.
"Basically [they're] doing whatever they can do to either help us move into storage until we find a new place, or if we can find a new place and go down that route. They've been pretty amazing."
We need a space with about 40 spots and enough spare metres so we can start again bigger and better, and serve everyone as well as we can.Michael Ford
Mr Ford said relocating the Illawarra's only roller-skating rink was presenting a few challenges, mainly around parking and finding a "clear space" without structural poles everywhere.
"There's lots of rules for councils ... but there's also concern for our customers," he said.
"We don't want kids walking on the street or parents pushing prams down the street to have to park a kilometre away - it's not like the football where you go once a year and have to park five kilometres away.
"We need a space with about 40 spots and enough spare metres so we can start again bigger and better, and serve everyone as well as we can."
He said the perfect type of spaces were usually found in industrial areas with supporting structures around the outside of the building, as you need a clear space for skaters to roll.
This means old Bunnings stores are out, though he had looked into the old JB HI-FI site in Warrawong (perfect as it used to be a bowling alley) but Mr Ford said that site was already slated for a fast food restaurant.
"If you want to find treasure you just have to keep digging," he said.
Mr Ford took over the rink's operation with a three-year lease in 2018 (with the understanding to extend to another three years), after the owners of the site suddenly closed the operation.
Since then, the marketer ditched his 9 to 5 job to work at the rink full-time and instigate new features like sensory, wheelchair and pram-friendly sessions.
Lee Fanning, who co-owns the Industrial Road property with husband Danny, has disputed claims Ford's lease would roll-over to another three years and it "ended naturally".
Mrs Fanning also previously told the Mercury she and her husband had "a fantastic new" offering for the region to be ready by the July school holidays.
"We have a fantastic new, exciting family entertainment facility coming which at the moment is hush, hush," Mrs Fanning said.