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How Roller Skating Rinks Make Money

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Rental Roller Skates(86644)

Many people who are considering opening their own skating rink often wonder “how do roller skating rinks receive most of their revenues” or “How Do Roller Skating Rinks Make Money”? Roller skating rinks can be very profitable, but many skating rinks barely break even. If you want to own and operate your own skating rink you need to understand not only where your rink makes money, but also how you can expand into other operations that support the main goals of your skating rink and make a profit off of them. Here are the most common ways roller skating rinks make money.


Admission Fees

Charging an admission fee to allow people to skate is obviously the core business of any skating rink. You do not want to charge too much. It is more fun for people to roller skate when the skating rink is busy with lots of other people skating.

In order to get people in the door it is vital that you make the admission fee as cheap as possible. The amount you can charge will vary depending on your market; however you need to focus on getting as many customers in the door each night.

The profit from each customer does not come solely from admission fees. You may offer cheap admission fees, but your average customer may also spend $5.00 or more at the snack bar.

Most skating rinks charge more for an admission fee on the weekends when it tends to be busier. During the week on traditionally slower day’s roller skating rinks will usually have a much cheaper admission price so they can encourage people to come and skate on the slow nights, and then earn more money from additional dollars being spent at the snack bar and arcade.

Skate Rental Fees

Roller Skates
Charging a small fee to rent roller skates or inline skates is necessary for most skating rinks. You may only charge $1.00 to rent a pair of roller skates and $1.50 for inline skates, and $2.00 for speed skates, but this is money that can be used to pay off the costs you incur when you buy or lease the roller skates from the manufacturer. The fees also help to pay for the maintenance of the skates.


Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are common at roller skating rinks. You can charge a small fee for allowing use of a private room and or a reserved table for a birthday party during an open skate. You can also charge a lot more for a private birthday party. Private birthday parties can be popular because the only people who are skating are the people who have been invited to the private birthday party.

If you book a reservation for a private birthday part it is important that you interview them in advance to see what type of music they want to be played. Sometimes Christian youth organizations prefer to have private rink time simply so they can choose what they consider appropriate music.

Pro Shop

A pro shop can help people adjust, tune, and upgrade their personal skates. A pro shop can also sell roller skates to people. It is vital that your skate pro shop have an open door policy where people are encouraged to browse the skates in stock and to watch the skate tech repair and tune skates up. If people become friendly with the skate shop workers and are allowed to see some of the great roller skates on the market they may be more inclined to buy their own pair.

Many teens who buy their own skates tend to be more active skaters. Once they get their own pair of high quality roller skates they will spend more time at your roller skating rink which means more money for your skating rink to earn.

Snack Shop

A snack shop is a huge profit area for most skating rinks. You do not want to charge exorbitant prices for snacks and drinks like movie theatres do, yet you can still earn a very nice mark-up on your products. It is wise to invest in a quality fountain machine as the profit margins for selling carbonated soda at skating rinks is truly amazing.

You can also contact your local Coke or Pepsi distributor. They can often give you or lease to you a good fountain machine for little to no money up-front.

Advanced Skate Lessons

Advanced skating lessons are a great side margin profit item for roller skating rinks. Usually advanced lessons will be 1 on 1 or at least very small groups of people. The fee is usually split between your roller skating rink and the instructor.

Never charge for lessons for beginners. You always want to give beginner skaters all the instruction they need until they feel confident to skate around. Once new skaters get the basics down roller skating can become very fun for them and you will see them come back over and over to your skating rink. Charging money to teach beginners how to skate will actually cause you to lose money over simply offering good instructions for free to novice skaters.

Roller Hockey Rental

Amateur Roller Derby Girls
Roller Hockey clubs can rent you roller skating rink so they can practice and play games there. Even if there are no organized roller hockey leagues you can still set-up some roller hockey games for anyone that is interested. Late night Fridays and Saturday nights after the last open skate session is a popular time for many roller skating rinks to have teens, kids, and even some adults stay over and pay for another session simply so they can play some roller hockey.

Organizing a roller hockey game in between open skate sessions will also allow you to demonstrate to other skaters how much fun roller hockey is, and that can allow you to get even more skaters paying extra so they can play in a roller hockey game after the last session.


Banner Advertising

The skate rink is ripe with open wall space. Selling banners or painted ads on the walls, especially in the corners, is a great way of expanding your profit sources. You may find a local pizza shop, and community college, the U.S Marine Corps or other branch of the Armed Services, a cell phone company, a clothing shop, or any other type of business that could benefit from advertising to your roller skaters.

The ads are non-intrusive, yet every time a skater enters the corner they will see the ad. It is a very effective way of advertising that can truly benefit the advertiser .

DJ Audio Ads

Having you DJ announce an ad in between songs occasionally can be very effective and bring you in additional income. It usually works best when you have only a single sponsor, such as a pizza place or the local mall.

Arcade Games

Arcade games and pinball games can be a source of revenue. Sometimes it is better to enter into a lease agreement with an amusement company in which you pay no money for the machines, the amusement company services that machines, and you keep a percentage of any money that is spent playing the arcade machines. You may get anywhere from 10%-50% of the revenue; however this is all extra money that you do not have to do any extra work for.

Amateur Roller Derby

You do not have a banked roller derby track, but you can still stage amateur roller derbies for fun. Let the spectators watch for free and charge the participants a very small fee to skate in the derby. It will bring new spectators to your skating facility and your snack bar can keep pretty busy.

Dress Code

Bare Midriff Girls
Bare midriffs are banned at some roller skating rinks, yet provocatively dressed young girls do bring in additional customers. Young men love to watch young girls who are dresses provocatively; however you may also chase away other customers such as the staunch religious parents who do not want their children exposed to other teens who dress “too sexy”.

You may start with no dress code, but you can slowly implement one once you begin to see any potential problems arising from the lack of dress code. Some skating rinks do great by allowing girls to show their midriff and cleavage off, while other skating rinks strictly forbid midriff and extensive cleavage from being shown. It all depends on your morals, your community standards; the type of crowd you cater to, but mainly it comes down to whatever is the most profitable way for you to run your skating rink.

Now you know how roller skating rinks receive most of their revenues.



Aug 16, 2012 9:08am
Hello: I have never owned a skating rink but your articles brought back some very good memories to me--When I was a kid, I roller skated at the rink in town every friday night and sometimes during the week too. I loved the sport and the old flashlight dances; all of it. 2 big thumbs up and...thanks for the behind the scenes journey too.
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