Starting your own skating rink can be not only very fun to operate but also very profitable if done properly.
Your first step in opening a roller skating rink is to find the property. Do you want to buy a skating rink that is already in operation or do you want to build your own? If you want to build your own you need to find the town where you would like to run a skating rink. Will the town support a skating rink? How many customers do you need each week to break even on your expenses? Are there any other skating rinks near by?
After you have found the town that you would like to build you skating rink in you then need to decide if you want to build a new building, purchase and renovate a current building, or lease a building. There are many factors to help you decide which route to go but the most important one is financing. If your budget I slow the leasing a building is your best route. Make sure you get a multiple year lease with option to renew for many more years. You do not want to build up your business only to have the owner of the building decide not to renew your lease so he can open his own skating rink.
After you have found the building and signed the lease it is now time to remodel the inside. The extent of your remodeling will depend a lot upon the condition of the actual building. You obviously will have to have a quality skating floor installed. You will also want to add a small office area, snack bar and comfortable seating through out the building.
After your building is ready to open it is now time to order up a large quantity of traditional quad skates as well as in-line skates. How many you need to order depends on how large your community is. Generally 300 pairs is minimum. Ordering 300 or more pairs of skates can be extremely expensive but you can cut costs by negotiating prices with the skate vendor to save a few bucks. You will probably spend at least 15,000 dollars on skates. Probably a lot more than that but you have to have skates for your customers to use.
Many skating rinks now offer "Speed Skates" which roll faster then regular skates. If you add some speed skates to your rental inventory you can charge extra. You can charge an extra dollar or two for in-line skates and speed skates.
After you have everything ready to open then do a little advertising. If you do some initial advertising to get the word out about your new skating facility then it will help fill the doors. The best advertising you will get from customers. Word of mouth referrals is huge for skating rinks. If you have a good reputation and the skaters who come to your skating rink have a fun time they will return and will bring a friend or two.
A skating rink is a great business for a family to own and operate together. Even if you have family members working with you there are some things you need to be careful of. You want to have more employees than necessary your first few weeks in business. The extra employees can help things run smoothly when unexpected things occur. Keeping the vast majority of all of the skaters happy your first few weeks in business is critical as your reputation is being honed.
If you are short an employee who calls in sick and the snack bar line is backed up you will not only lose money from customers who tire of waiting in line but you will also anger some customers who will not return to your skating rink and may even bad mouth your skating rink to others to discourage them from coming and skating.
The skate floor of you roller skating rink is the most vital aspect of your business. Without a quality skate floor then your business will not last very long. You have multiple choices when choosing a floor for your skating surface. You can go with a coated and smoothed concrete surface but the most popular ones are wood floors. If you are serious about opening a skating rink then a wooden skate surface is the one you should use.
Spend the extra money to have a professional install your skating floor. The wood flooring at your house is not laid the same as the wood flooring in your kitchen. Use Google to find a company that specializes in laying down wood skating floors. Although you will spend more the skating flooring will last a lot longer and be a lot safer for skaters.
By having a Pro Shop in your skating building you can enhance profits by selling skates and skating accessories to avid skaters of your facility. Avid skaters eventually tend to buy ther eown pair of skates. You can make some additional money by cleaning and repairing of there skates as well as upgrades such as higher grade bearings in the wheels.
Another often overlooked aspect of running a roller skating rink is insurance. You need to have quality insurance that will protect you from lawsuits.
Running a rollerskating rink is a great atmosphere for a family business. If you maintain the skating surface and enforce your rules such as no gang attire or revealing clothing then you can build a family friendly business. With the right reputation the parents will feel safe in letting there kids skate at your skating rink.
If you do your research and build a quality skating surface then you will get repeat skaters. Running a skating rink in a smaller community may not make you rich but it will provide for a great quality of life . Your kids will love to hang out with you at work.
People usually like to skate at a rink
that is busier so if it is a slow night you can allow free access on
certain nights to groups such as cub scouts, girl scouts, mentally
challenged individuals, and any other group you may want to. By
giving free access to community groups on slower night sit will
increase you revenues by encouraging more people to come and skate on
slower nights. Even if on a slow night you let everyone in to skate
for free you will still earn revenue from your snack bar.
Running a skating rink is great for
many people. If you can pay cash or get the financing to build a
proper skating rink then you will not only love your job but it will
allow you to spend time with your family even when you are working. Image
Credits: (Flickr/Michelle.Hayes) (Flickr/exalthin)