Wondering how to start an ice skating rink? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Finding a Space For Your Ice Skating Rink
Ice skating rinks (or skate centers) feature several unique challenges for startup entrepreneurs. As you would expect, the most significant startup barrier is space. Ice rinks require a large physical space, much of which needs to be filled with all of the equipment needed to run an ice skating rink – everything from rink refrigeration pipes, chillers, rink perimeter boards and hockey dasher boards.
Since a trip to a skate center is usually a planned event, you don't have to be concerned about locating your rink in a high-traffic, retail neighborhood. Most rinks are located in commercial real estate near an urban or suburban population center.
How Ice Skating Rinks Make Money
Today's rinks earn profits through multiple revenue streams. The majority of your revenue will consist of admission fees, followed by skate rentals, concessions, skate sales and games. Birthday parties and special events provide additional income during non-peak hours, so you'll need to be prepared to offer group packages for kids and teens. Local hockey leagues are another excellent source of income, and teams are often willing to rent a skating rink at all hours of the day, allowing you to make money while many other businesses are not able to.
How Much Does It Cost to Start an Ice Skating Rink Business?
Startup costs for ice rinks can be substantial. In addition to buying skate inventory, ice resurfacing machines, concession equipment and games, your initial costs may include the retrofit of your leased space. If there are no pre-existing ice skating centers available for purchase or lease, you'll need to factor in the cost of building the ice rink from scratch in a general purpose space.
Writing Tips for an Ice Skating Rink Business Plan
We know - writing a business plan can be a daunting task for a new entrepreneur.
But here's the good news: With a few tips, any entrepreneur can create a successful plan for their business. If you can get past the mystique, you'll see that a business plan just describes where your ice skating rink is headed and how you intend to get there.
Although there are many uses for a business plan, it's most important function is to guide your decision making and strategic planning.
Before you begin, we recommend reviewing a few sample business plans.
Review the Competition
Long before you open an ice skating rink in your town, it's worthwhile to determine how many competitors you have. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of ice skating rinks that are close by.
Is the local market large enough to support another ice skating rink? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's a smart move to speak with somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
But, a person who owns an ice skating rink on the other side of the country can be a great learning resource for you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How does one go about finding an entrepreneur who is running an ice skating rink on the other side of the country to talk to?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Purchasing an Ice Skating Rink
So you're seriously considering buying an ice skating rink rather than starting one from scratch. Smart move. But how do you go about locating and purchasing a viable ice skating rink?
As you would expect, there are a number of steps in buying a business. To stay on track, you'll need to enlist the services of a business broker.
A good business broker serves a number of useful purposes. From locating available companies to helping seal the deal, your broker will have the experience and skills to help you successfully navigate the purchase process.
Consider Buying a Franchise
You should know that your odds of achieving your top business goals are much better if you purchase a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Before starting an ice skating rink, you may want to check out whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you came here to learn about selling to ice skating rinks, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.