According to a May 2008 report by the National Sporting Goods Association, skateboarding grew about 72 per cent from 1998 to 2008, from 5.8 million skaters to more than 10 million. It is a growing industry, yet many cities lack skate parks or offer only outdoor public parks that lack instructors, a safe environment and protection from the elements. Starting an indoor skate park could prove lucrative. According to Suburban Rails, constructing an indoor park can range from £48,750 to £325,000. A solid business plan can help you obtain financing.
Learn the skating laws in your city, such as helmet and knee pad requirements and potential zoning issues.
Determine what to include in your skate park. You can make money from equipment rentals, arcades, offering lessons and selling snacks and T-shirts. You can also offer after-school programs, camps and memberships for a reasonable fee.
Learn everything you can about how best to construct your skate park. Visit online skater forums to gain feedback on amenities to include or themes. If your city currently has a public skate park, ask local skaters and parents what they would like to see in an indoor skate park. You may do well to allow bikes in your park.
Legitimise your business. Consult with a tax professional, attorney and insurance agent to help you select and establish a business entity, draw up waivers for skaters both under 18 and over and choose a comprehensive insurance policy.
Develop a business plan that details your competitors, the radius you hope to serve, how much you will charge, how many customers you will need each month to turn a profit and other avenues of income, in addition to all anticipated expenses.
Consult with a skate park designer to help you secure a suitable site for your indoor park. According to Suburban Rails, you can expect to need at least 8,500 square feet. The designer can also help you obtain building permits, insurance and bonding coverage, establish a budget and construct your facility.
Build you skate park with adequate room for your amenities, such as a snack shack, ramps, office, lounge, vending area, safety nets, bleacher seating, rest rooms and arcade area. Implement a practice pit, which is a pit filled with foam that allows skaters to take even more risks and practice difficult tricks. This is something that can set you apart from other commercial skate parks and free public skate parks.
Hire an artist to design your theme. Consider allowing talented local artists to paint sections of your facility.
Purchase rental equipment, kitchen equipment and supplies. Secure food and beverage vendors and establish a menu. As needed, purchase vending machines, arcade machines, a sound system and high-def televisions.
Hire staff, including instructors, food service workers, someone to oversee safety and a cashier for your pro shop.
Purchase a website. Detail your prices for lessons, camps and membership (if applicable), equipment available for rent, snacks sold, operating hours, rules and upcoming events and competitions. Take videos of your skaters and post them on your site.
Have a skate contest and offer a big prize for your grand opening. Contact local news stations in advance. Publish a press release. Continue to market in local kid-friendly magazines and outlets.
Have monthly live music nights featuring local musicians. Offer deals every day.
Tips and warnings
- Have monthly live music nights featuring local musicians.
- Offer deals every day.