To start a roller skating rink, you must pay special attention to your demographics and potential for lucrative business. The target age group to bolster clientele with be the teen market, so be sure you have purchased the property in an area that will bring you business.
The size of the lot must be large enough to support a parking lot a minimum of two times the area of the indoor structure. The location should be easy access and have some visibility to the street. To zero in on your target market, try a direct marketing campaign with high school newsletters and "Grand Opening" postings where teenagers hang out. And be sure to include discounts and coupons to get the skating rink going right away.
The construction of the skate surface should be wooden, rather than concrete, to encourage skilled skaters and competitions. This is no ordinary wood flooring such as found in housing, but rather a specially treated wood that inhibits slipping. In addition to the skate rink, you will need to install a disco-type lighting system and powerful stereo and speakers.
Support services are essential, starting with a snack bar. Your skating rink need not be licensed for food and beverage sales if you stick to pre-packed snack food, sodas and water. Vending machines are a viable resource and will cut down on your need to hire employees. However, unless you own the vending machines, your skating rink will share in only a small percentage of the food profit. To purchase a series of vending machines is extremely expensive, but talk to your roller skating financier for an option to include them in your business loan. If you can retain 100 percent of the vending profit, you have a gold mine.
You will need to order skates ranging in all sizes from child to adult. The numberof skates will be determined by your sales volume at the rink, and the skate stock may be ordered as needed. To begin with, plan on having at least 200 pairs of skates.
Before your doors open, be sure you have obtained a comprehensive insurance policy. This is best handled through a lawyer who can counsel you regarding the minimum and maximum coverage available. People are going to fall, and in some cases they will get hurt. The natural tendency is to go after the ownership, so be sure you are armed with total coverage to avoid a lawsuit.