September 28, 2014  
 
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Opening an Ice Skating Rink

It's a prime time for starting your own business. This all-in-one resource on launching an ice skating rink takes you step-by-step from start to success.

Wondering how to start an ice skating rink? We take you step-by-step from start to success.

Ice Skating Rink

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.

Related Articles on Starting a Company

These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.

Coming Up With Good Business Ideas

How to Get a DUNS Number


Conversation Board

What's your experience with trying to open an ice skating rink? Sharing your thoughts will help the hundreds of thousands of small business owners who visit this site looking for advice.

Sphamandla 11/17/2009

Hello, I'm seriously interested in starting a public skating business, and I am looking for a skating franchise. Please give me information on skating franchises if you have any. I am in South Africa. Any information will be highly appreciated. Thank You.

Ken Gaebler 11/18/2009

Oddly enough, I'm not aware of any ice skating rink franchises that are available. If you find out about some skating franchises, please come back here and let us know. Thanks and good luck in the new business venture! I'll be in South Africa in 2010 for the World Cup. Looking forward to that!

TEBELELO NTHABELENG RANKOE 3/7/2011

MY QUESTION IS HOW MUCH AMOUNT OF MONEY WOULD I NEED IN ORDER TO RUN THE ICE RINK BUSINESS?

Ken Gaebler 3/7/2011

Tebelelo, where are your from? More importantly, where will you build your ice rink? If you let me know, I can give you some ballpark costs for starting an ice skating rink.

If you are building in the U.S., for example, here are some rough costs. To build the ice skating rink, assuming it's a decent size and of nice quality, will cost you $300,000. You can get it cheaper or pay more -- depends on the spec and the vendor. For space buildout outside of the rink, including concessions and the like, you could be looking at another $200,000. So, fixed costs to get started in the ice skating rink biz are about $500,000. Once your doors open, you need to charge enough to cover your debt service on the $500,000, your rent, your staff, your utilities, ongoing maintenance for the rink, and your profits and taxes. Over time, you pay down your debt and more goes into your pockets as profits. Build out your financial model to see if this works -- what daily revenues can you generate in your area? Will that make it all worthwhile? Also, what if revenues are much less than your projections? How will you survive? Good luck with your business. Let me know how it turns out.

drake sndie 3/31/2011

I am looking to build an ice skating rink starting from floor up. My question is can I get food franchises to help with cost, and what kind of food should I have in there? Thank you so much for helping me out.


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Already Own an Ice Skating Rink?

If you currently own an ice skating rink, these resources will come in handy:

Marketing an Ice Skating Rink

Selling an Ice Skating Rink

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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:

Selling to Ice Skating Rinks

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