Roller rinks are seeing a resurgence in recent years. Partially because of nostalgia and partially because of the rising popularity of sports such as roller derby and roller hockey, roller rinks are starting to be seen as a viable small business in many areas. However, it can be daunting to open a roller rink in the absence of any advice or training. Fortunately, opening a roller rink business is fairly straightforward once you know what you need.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Building, 70' x 150' minimum
- Skating floor coating
- Industrial kitchen equipment
- Sound system
- Arcade games
Analyse the demographics of the general area you want to build the roller rink in. Determine who your customer base will be. Often, roller rinks are patronised heavily by children and teenagers, and you will want a sense of how many of those will come to your rink. Analyse any possible competition, especially other roller rinks in the general area. See what these rinks offer, and determine what would be the best way to fill a need those rinks have not met.
Locate or construct a building of at least 18,000 square feet. Contact local real estate agents to see whether there are empty factories or similar structures that could be remodelled to suit your purposes. When you have determined your space, design your rink "on paper." Include a skating space of 10,000 square feet or more, a snack bar and arcade game machines in your floor plan, as these appeal to your key demographic and can greatly enhance your revenue.
Install a roller rink floor in your building. Before doing any flooring work, locate and discuss the job with a contractor who has installed skating rink flooring before. Choose whether your floor will be concrete or wood. Concrete is more cost-effective, but wood will offer a better skating surface and attract professional events such as a roller derby. Coat the floor with the specialised coating. This will allow easier skating for your customers and will have to be reapplied at least once a year.
Install the snack bar equipment, seating and arcade games. Locate them in a place convenient for skaters taking a break to leave the rink and use them. Install a sound system that can be heard over a large group of skaters in the rink. Install any specialised lighting, such as laser show equipment or black lights, that you may desire. Test all the surfaces and equipment in your rink to make sure they are fully functional and safe for use.
Tips and warnings
- Ensure your plans comply with fire safety and crowd control regulations before proceeding with construction.
- Ensure you have all proper licenses and comply with all health and safety codes before serving food.
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