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A publication of the Roller Skating Association International

The Official Roller Skating Business Magazine


Convention and Trade Show

Hidden Secrets of Arcade Game Maintenance Long-time Rink Operators Offer Tips to New Rink Owners Revolutionary Lighting and Sound Ideas for 2019 Preventative Tips to Avoid Costly Insurance Claims

Clawing to the Top: What’s New in Claw, Crane and Redemption Games Collecting Customer Data to Drive Return Visits The Gift of Feedback: Seven Steps to Move from Confrontation to Conversation What is a Cash Discount Program?

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P.O. Box 547 Shamokin, PA 17872 USA P: 800.829.0829 or 570.672.2900 F: 800.829.0888 or 570.672.2999

NEWS & COMMENTARY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lynette Rowland, Lori Lovely, Jeff Couey, Keith Loria, Brandon Willey, Joe Rayes, David Brewer, David Chinsky, Brad Wolff, John Waid, Sara Hodon



PUBLISHER Lynette Rowland

EDITOR Joe Rayes

PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI, Chairman Cort Wahlig, Newark, DE Jeanne Housholder, Savoy, IL Jeanne Sincavage, Reading, PA Chanel Bellotto, Lakeland, FL

RSA PRESIDENT Jeff Couey, Atlanta, GA

RSA VICE PRESIDENT Cort Wahlig, Newark, DE

RSA TREASURER Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI

RSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dianne Braun, San Antonio, TX Mark Christianson, La Crosse, WI Rob Gould, Wilbraham, MA Jeanne Sincavage, Reading, PA Chris Finley, Panama City, FL Chanel Bellotto, Lakeland, FL Ed Hughes, Liberty, MO Shane Locklear, Richmond, VA Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI Gary Englund, Burlington, WA Joe Smith, Hermitage, PA Jeanne Housholder, Savoy, IL Jeff Warrenburg, Antioch, CA

RSA STAFF Jim McMahon, Executive Director Angela Tanner, Assistant Executive Director Tonya Crenshaw, Accountant Lynette Rowland, Director of Communications Sharon McMahon, Director of Membership Services / Achievement Program / Pepsi Programming KC Perkins, Director of Information Technology

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 28 / Issue 1

Sharon McMahon. Businesses are welcome to submit photos for consideration for editorial use to editor@ Must be 350 DPI or greater. COPYRIGHT Rinksider is published throughout the year by Roller Skating Association International. Copyright 2019 by Roller Skating Association International. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. DISCLAIMER Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the directors, officers or members of RSA. RSA does not endorse, represent or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, advertisements or other materials contained herein. SUBMISSIONS Rinksider welcomes stories, art and photo contributions. All such material must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope in order to be returned. ADVERTISING INFORMATION Please contact Lynette Rowland at 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 or email to request a media kit and rate card. Advertising discounts available for all RSM Affiliate members. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278, Phone: 317-347-2626 or Fax: 317-3472636. Presorted standard at Indianapolis, IN. Subscription is part of membership in Roller Skating Association International. Subscription rate for non-members is $45. Canada: $55. International: $75 MEMBER / SUPPORTER / PARTNER



FEATURES Tips and Tricks

for to the Arcade Clawing game Top: What’s New in Claw, Crane and Maintenance



DEPARTMENTS News & Commentary President’s Update..............................................................6 Editor’s Note.......................................................................7 Convention Registration Info............................................8 Roller Skating Buzz......................................................... 28

Redemption Games

Products from the RSA.................................................. 30 Rink Ratz.......................................................................... 52 Promo Only Top 20 List................................................. 60


Tips and Tricks for Arcade Game Maintenance

Technology How to Collect Customer Data..................................... 20 What is a Cash Discount Program?.............................. 22

Rink Life The Gift of Feedback....................................................... 18

42 46

Turn Employee Potential into Performance ���������������� 24

Preventative Tips to Avoid Costly Insurance Claims

The 3 Values of Great Leaders....................................... 40

Connections Affiliate Members............................................................ 62 Classifieds......................................................................... 66

Balancing Mental Health and Competitive Skating

Coming up next month... •

Maximize Your Marketing Efforts with Kids Skate Free

Summer Camp Partnerships: How to Boost Summer Camp Attendance to Your Rink


Revolutionary Lighting Ideas for 2019

Making the RSA Pepsi Program Work for You

How to Start a Speed Skating Program

10 Things Your Competitors Are Doing That You Aren’t

How to Develop and Market a Nerf Wars Night

How to Get Your Stuff Shop Poppin’ (Plus, what’s new on the market)


Long-time Rink Operators Offer Tips to New Rink Owners

Getting the Most Out of Your Skating Rink Floor

What’s Trending in Concessions for 2019

To advertise, call 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 or email for a media kit.

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 5


President’s Update Convention on the Las Vegas Strip

Once your team is registered you just register each athlete for $35 per person and bring your athletes to the event on June 12-16, 2019 at the Xfinity Roller Sports Arena in Olympic City, USA (better known as Colorado Springs, Colorado)

For more than 80 years, the Roller Skating Association has hosted its annual educational and networking event to give roller skating rink owners, operators and staff an opportunity to meet with others in the industry to discuss ways How many age divisions can participate in in which they can grow their business. This year, the American Championships? we’re excited to host the event in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Tropicana, which is directly on • Anyone ages 5 - 60 may participate for the Las Vegas Strip. We’ve kept the room rates the $10,000 in cash prizes sponsored by incredibly low and are excited about this premium Comcast. location. Your RSA Convention and Education Who can I call if I need help on getting a Committee has done an amazing job putting team started in my skating center? together some exciting seminars and events and we encourage each and every one of you to join I recently made the decision to start a speed • Call 317-347-2626 Ext. 105 or email us. skating team and held my first practice meet. We You can also visit This year, members will learn how to turn their are thrilled with the response and can’t wait to potentially get some new rising stars who will DJ into an experience maker with a Wednesday participate in the 2019 American Championships. Donate Skates to Kenya seminar on how to wow your crowds. You’ll also learn why you need to have a trained salesperson Connection Kids The U.S. Roller Speed Skating (USRSS) to handle your internal programs and business and the Inline Hockey Associations (IHA) If you read your weekly RSA Today growth. membership is affordable, covers both sports, and Newsletters, you’ll remember me asking members Have you ever attended a mock trial? This year, are 501(c)3 organizations offering both quad and for help in donating skates. I met up with inline competitions. IALDA attorneys will be hosting a mock trial to David Ramsey of Southeastern Skate Supply show you why you need to evaluate your liability, recently to send a shipment of skates to Kenya How much does it cost? damages, how a jury views witnesses and much Connection Kids, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit • Team charter: 100% FREE more. Christian ministry dedicated to orphans in Kenya. Their technical school provides training • Athlete competitive membership card: Are your promotions stale? Do you know what to students giving them a foundation needed to $35 the term “grassroots marketing” means? Stumped succeed as they enter adulthood. This includes on how to handle your social media? Looking for • Sanction to hold as many competitions as everything from carpentry and electrical work to ways to improve group sales, guest perception and you would like for one (1) full year: $100 fitness and health. I had the privilege of meeting customer experience? Trying to figure out how to with Humphrey with Kenya Connection Kids, How many sets of rules are there? handle new competition in town? You’ll find all of and doctors Phil and Julie Grazier to help put this and more at this year’s convention. • One rule set for both indoor and outdoor together this initiative to send roller skates to based on FIRS International Rules. In addition, members will be able to attend a Kenya. Keynote Presentation presented by Jodi Womack, What kind of track is used? I would like to ask readers and RSA members author of Get Momentum: How to Start When to donate any skates they might want to send to U.S. Roller Speed Skating utilizes the oval You’re Stuck. Her presentation will teach you help kids learn to roller skate. track. This allows more lanes for racing and how to better manage your time and shift your angles for passing, which makes U.S. Roller Speed mode from barely catching up to finally getting Members should send their skates to: Skating more exciting. USRSS rules work for ahead. All attendees will receive the Optimizing Southeastern Skate Supply, Attention: Kenya both indoor and outdoor competitions. Indoor Your Workflow class for free (retail value of Connection Kids Roller Skates, 462 Veterans will compete on a 100 meter oval track. Outdoor Memorial Hwy, SE, Mableton, GA 30126. $99/person) and a copy of Jodi’s book, Get will compete on a 200 meter oval and road course. Please make sure to include the “Attention: Kenya Momentum: How to start when you’re stuck. This will allow skaters, coaches, and officials to Connection Kids Roller Skates” so that SESS Plus, a first ever White Hot Havana Nights have one set of rules that will be followed whether employees know what the shipments are for. party! Come dressed in your all-white attire and it’s a Rookie Series, Point Series, Invitational or enjoy an evening of cocktails, music and a special International competition. To learn more about Kenya Connection Kids performance by the incredible LA Roller Girls! and how you can help in other ways, visit www. How do I participate in local competitions We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas and the American Roller Speed Skating where we can continue to connect, create and All Skate Forward, Championships? accelerate our businesses in 2019. Jeff Couey • Visit RSA President and search for participating clubs near Speed Skating Booming you. If there are none, contact the rinks Did you know that the number of registered in your area to start their own clubs to speed skaters with USRSS has increased then develop a league so that athletes can somewhere between 10-20% in the last year? compete.

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 28 / Issue 1


Editor’s Note


ave you ever bought a new vehicle and realized after you’ve made the purchase you start seeing the same model everywhere? I feel this is an accurate analogy to my current acclimation to the Rinksider


Having spent nearly every weekend of my adolescence annoying the poor owners of my local skating rink, taking this editor’s assignment has caused me to realize just how many skating enthusiasts are in my personal circle. It has caused me to reconnect with those individuals from my past who were on speed skating teams and also heavily invested in the upkeep of our local skating rink in Princeton, IN. I also have come to realize how many activities are being offered in connection with my son’s school. Just this month there was a school outreach event at our local skating rink organized through his school. So to say I am excited to be becoming re-acclimated to the world of roller skating is an understatement. Besides the prominence of the convention coverage in this issue, we have some exciting and interesting features: •

David Brewer offers us insights on the pros and cons of a cash discount programs for rinks.

Brandon Willey discusses the value and methods for collecting valuable customer data to drive recurring business.

Lori Lovely has done an excellent job covering topics of Hidden Secrets of Arcade Game Maintenance, Claw Machine Highlights, and the Preventative Tips to Avoid Costly Insurance Claims.

Sara Hodon’s article on Mental Health and Skating Competition is truly insightful and a wonderful view into the psychological aspects relating to competition. Keith Loria covers some exiting new lighting techniques as well as valuable lessons learned relating to opening a new rink.

I’d like to express my appreciation for being so welcoming. I look forward to meeting and working with you. Please enjoy this issue and feel free to reach out to me at rinksider@ with any suggestions or ideas.

FEATURE AUTHORS LORI LOVELY Lori is an award-winning syndicated writer, editor and photographer whose byline has appeared in a wide range of local, national international publications. A recipient of the 1999 AIDServe Superstar Award, Lovely is a long-standing PETA member and was a 25-year member of CARA Charities. In addition, she runs Montrose Farms where she raises alpacas and chickens. Lori can be reached at

KEITH LORIA Keith is a freelance writer with more than 15 years experience writing for everything from the Bowling Center Management Magazine to Billiards Association of America. He’s met and interviewed celebrities from William Shatner and Kristen Chenowith to heart surgeon pioneer Marc Dedomenico and Pez Candy CEO Joe Vittoria. He can be reached at

SARA HODON Sara Hodon is a freelance writer based in northeast Pennsylvania, where she lives with her family, including two very spoiled Labrador retrievers. Her work has appeared in G.I. Jobs, Pet Business, History, Souvenirs, Gifts, and Novelties, and Tourist Attractions & Parks, among others. She received her English degree from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania. Besides writing, she is an avid reader, music lover/concert goer, and traveler. Growing up, she spent many Saturday afternoons at the roller rink.

BRANDON WILLEY Brandon Willey is the CEO of FetchRev and has broad knowledge of the local digital marketing ecosystem with extensive experience in email and search marketing, social media, retargeting, geotargeting, segmentation, automation, machine learning and more. He can be reached at or by calling 855979-7833.

DAVID BREWER David R. Brewer is the CEO of CSA Business Solutions, a merchant services and payment solutions provider based in Smyrna, Georgia. David has been working in the merchant services industry for more than 20 years and is dedicated to helping his customers improve their bottom line by reducing their costs. He can be reached at Website:

Keep rolling!

Joe Rayes

Join us online today.


Join more than 500 roller skating rink owners on our Facebook group at Must be an RSA member to join.

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 7

Agenda-at-a-Glance SATURDAY, APRIL 27


Life Member Reception

Breakfast with IALDA Attorneys

Life Member Dinner and Awards

Small Market Synergy Trade Show / Silent Auction Professional Promotions that Pop


IALDA Seminar with Mock Trial

CPR Certification Training

Sure Grip / Pacer Reception

First Aid Training JBL Skate Maintenance Certification


Learn to Skate, IHA, SRSTA & Officials Certification

Breakfast with FetchRev: Create Impulse Marketing that Drives Return Visits and Predictable Revenue


Small Market Battle Plan

Newcomer Welcome Breakfast Sponsored by Funtastic

Trade Show

General Assembly

Disc Jockey or Experience Maker?

Keynote Presentation: Jodi Womack Marketing: Branding, Excitement Building & Why Roller Skating Never Stopped Being Great

President’s Dinner

Keynote Breakout Session: Jodi Womack From Google to Instagram


Why Do I Need a Salesperson

Roller Skating University: Top Golf

White Hot Havana Nights Welcome Reception Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Are You Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck? President’s Dinner Reception

Chapter Lunch Sponsored by Stuff Shop

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STEM Licensees Seminar

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Venue Information About the Facility Set on the famed Four Corners with commanding views of the Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana Las Vegas — a DoubleTree by Hilton The Tropicana Las Vegas is not affiliated with any other Tropicana facility — boasts stylish rooms, suites and luxury villas, complete property or brand; however, the Las Vegas resort has a strategic with acclaimed restaurants, premier entertainment options and a partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton, and is a Penn National 50,000-square-foot casino. The resort redefines the expectations of Gaming Casino along with sister property M Resort, which is also today’s global travelers by providing a casually elegant experience located in Las Vegas, Nevada. For additional information or for on The Strip, all with a South Beach rhythm and vibe. The property

reservations, please call 1-800-GO2-TROP.

also features Glow® a Mandara Spa and fitness center, Laugh Factory Comedy Club and restaurants such as Robert Irvine’s Public House, Located at: 3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109 Bacio Italian Cuisine, Oakville Steakhouse, Barista Café, Fresh Mix, South Beach Food Court, and the newly opened Savor the Buffet.

For detailed information see page 11.

Amenities While you’ll be within walking

get a cut, color, style, facial, makeup

distance of dozens of fun places

application or nail treatment.

on the strip, the Tropicana offers a 10,000 square feet spa with nine

Every hotel room or suite comes

private treatment rooms, Couples

equipped with a Euro Top Serta

Wet Villa and Couples Wet Suite with

mattress, LED TVs, 300-thread-count

oversized bath and couples shower,

linens, custom furnishings, wireless

a relaxation lounge, locker rooms,

internet, iHome, workspace areas

steam room, and a spa menu with

and an in-room safe that will fit your

50 different treatments. You can also

laptops and valuables.

Reserve Your Room by April 1 Call 1-888-381-8767 and mention the Roller Skating Association Convention and Trade Show by Monday, April 1, 2019 to make your room reservation or visit or you may visit to book your room. Room rates for Sunday through Thursday are only $105/night. $10 daily resort fee. Check-in is at 3 p.m., checkout is at 11 a.m.

Transportation The hotel does not automatically provide airport shuttles, but guests can contact the Bell Desk at 1-702739-2651 for limousine, shuttle and taxi information or view the information online. RSA members will receive a discount on Hertz Rent a Car using discount code: 1615025.

Register online at

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 9

Keynote Speaker Jodi Womack Jodi Womack is the author of Get Momentum: How to start when you’re stuck. (Wiley. 2016)




productivity practices that help humanize the workplace and shift your mode from barely catching up to finally getting ahead. She promises you’ll gain 30 minutes a day, and you’ll never go back to the old ways of doing things.



Her legendary mentor, Frances Hesselbein (the former CEO of the Girls Scouts, author of 27 leadership books and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom) says, “If you don’t end up with a plan, a good time was had by all. And that is all.” Jodi makes sure you have a plan AND a good time.

For over 13 years, she’s coached busy professionals to get momentum at work. She’s spoken to thousands of people at conferences and company trainings throughout the world including the Pentagon, Air Force bases, corporations, nonprofits and universities. She recognizes the common theme throughout the industries that busy, hard working people have more work to do than time to do it in… and the workload typically doesn’t stop at the end of the day but continues at home with even more responsibilities. She’s a master at sharing essential time-management tips and

All attendees will receive: • Optimizing Your Workflow class for free to all attendees. Retail value of $99/person. • A copy of Jodi’s book, Get Momentum: How to start when you’re stuck.

Sponsored by:


Quick, Interactive Workshops for Trade Show Attendees We are opening the doors to the Trade Show this year with a BRAND NEW opportunity to stand in on 15 minute seminars throughout both days of the trade show! A variety of vendors and presenters will educate you on topics such as: • • • • • • • • • • •

How to Mount Roller Skates New Novelty Products for Your Redemption Counter What’s New in Floor Coating Food Safety Tips and Tricks Getting the Biggest Bang for your Buck with Credit Card Processing Floor Guard Training Maintaining Your Concessions Equipment How to Fix a Coin Jam in Your Machines Understanding the Importance of Toe Stops and Wheel Adjustments Trucks and Chassis Maintenance Why You Need the Skate Maintenance Program

Make sure to stop by the workshop area throughout the Trade Show to see what’s going on and to learn something new! * Titles and subjects may change based upon presenter availability.

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Registration Fees Quick Tips HOW MUCH DOES MY RSA MEMBERSHIP SAVE ME ON CONVENTION REGISTRATION? Roller Skating Association members save more than 50% off the non-member convention rate of $750 by registering by the earlybird deadline of April 3, 2019. HOW DOES MEMBER PRICING WORK? Delegate fees for the first through the fourth include full convention access to all seminars, trade show and the President’s Dinner. Fifth delegate or more includes full convention and trade show with a separate fee for the President’s Dinner. You may also purchase a trade show only pass. WHAT IF I’M NOT AN RSA MEMBER? The member dues fee to belong to the Roller Skating Association International is just $390 for the year. The money saved on your convention registration fees and more than 60 other discounts and perks, your dues pay for itself several times over throughout the year. Simply call our Membership Services department at 317-347-2626 Ext. 108, email or visit WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES? Early bird deadline: April 3, 2019 | Pre-registration deadline: April 17, 2019 | On-site: Must register on-site at event. No advance registration available after April 17, 2019.

Prices and Details RSA Member Pricing Delegate

Early Bird



Due: April 3, 2019

Due: April 17, 2019

Must register on-site. No advance registration after April 17, 2019

First Delegate




Second Delegate




Third Delegate




Fourth Delegate




Fifth Delegate (or more each)




Trade Show Only Pass (one day)




Non-Member Pricing Early Bird



Due: April 3, 2019

Due: April 17, 2019

Must register on-site. No advance registration after April 17, 2019





Non-Member Trade Show only (One day)




Additional Program Fees Additional President’s Dinner Tickets

$100 adults

$40 children

Register online at

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 11

Registration Form Please complete this form it its entirety. Should you have questions, please call 317-347-2626 Ext. 102 or email When completed, fax or email registration forms to: 317-347-2636 or You may alternately mail your form with payment to: Roller Skating Association International, 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278. To receive membership information, please call 317-347-2626 Ext. 108, email or visit Payment is due in full when registering.

Contact Information Main Contact Name

Skating Center Name

Business Mailing Address


Business Phone

Cell Phone (Non-Published)

Email Address


Delegate Details First Name

Last Name

Column Totals

Delegate Fee

Tues. Trade Show Only Pass

Weds. Trade Show Only Pass





























Add’l President’s Dinner Fee

Attending RSU? Y/N

First timer? Y/N

Grand Total

Payment Information RSA Member ID #

Check Number (Make payable to Roller Skating Association International)

Credit Card Number Name on Card

Expiration Date

Security Code


Zip Code

Billing Address on Card

City Signature of Cardholder

Special Needs Persons with disabilities, please indicate special needs required

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Convention Cancellation Policy: Thirty days prior to the convention date, a full refund, less a $75 processing fee, will be issued. Less than 30 days, no cash refund; the full registration fee, less a $75 processing fee, will be applied to next year’s convention. There will be NO REFUND or further credit if member or non-member does not attend the following year. Please note, any cancellations must be provided in writing and refunds are not guaranteed until after event is complete.

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Kooky Awards

Powered by:

Each year, the Roller Skating Association International holds the Annual Kooky Marketing Awards, powered by Pepsi, to give recognition to the best websites, flyers, television commercials and radio commercials in the roller skating industry. Each entry is judged on design, usability, representation, content and more. Awards are given in each category and members are encouraged to submit their best materials. Participation is free. Questions about the Kooky Marketing Awards? Contact Angela Tanner at 317-347-2626 Ext. 102 or email Deadline: March 15, 2019

Participation Rules Participation in the Kooky Awards Contest is completely free. All flyers submitted electronically must be as PDF files (less than 5 MB) and emailed to You may alternately submit your flyers by mail to the address below. Members may download these flyers on the RSA website after convention. Any flyer not complying with completion rules will be discarded.

Contact Information Main Contact Name

Member ID #

Skating Center Name Business Shipping Address


Business Phone

Cell Phone (Non-Published)

Email Address


Name of Person Accepting Award Name to Appear on Award

Categories Please note that one form must accompany each and every entry. Please indicate the category you are entering below. Copy this form and submit one form for each individual entry. Each rink can only be a finalist once per category regardless of the number of submissions for an individual category. (Check one below) Website

Websites will be judged on: Design, Structure and Navigation (Does the design draw you in and make you want to explore the site? Is the site well structured? Is it easy to navigate?); Content (Is the site complete, up-to-date and easy for the user to find information?); Overall Experience (Would you recommend family and friends visit the site? Does it innovate? Is it interactive? Did you enjoy your visit and learn something new?).

TV Commercial

TV Commercials will be judged on: Representation & Creativity (Does the advertisement represent the nominee’s skating center through the use of video production and demonstrates creativity? Please submit on DVD in Windows Media Video Format (.WMV), (.MOV), or (.MPG) format.

Radio Commercial


Radio Commercials will be judged on: Design, Structure and Navigation (Does the advertisement represent the nominee’s skating center through the use of audio production and demonstrates creativity? Please submit on CD in Windows Media Audio Format (.WMA) or (.MP3) file. Flyers will be judged on: Design (Is the design appealing? Does it make you want to read the flyer or participate in the call to action?); Content (Is the flyer content complete and clear? Is it text heavy or does it use images, white space and other visuals?); Overall Experience (Was the flyer informative for your family and friends? Overall, does it excite the reader?). Copy this form and include one form per flyer. Submit via email (5 MB or less) as PDF files only.

Email form and files to: or mail to: Roller Skating Association, c/o Kooky Awards, 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278. Register online at

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 13

Schedule of Events Saturday, April 27 LIFE MEMBER RECEPTION AND DINNER (Ticketed Event) Every year, the Roller Skating Association International honors those individuals who have been given lifetime achievement awards, honors and accolades with a private reception & dinner. If you are an award recipient, look for your RSVP notice in the mail soon.

Sunday, April 28 CPR CERTIFICATION Join Sharon McMahon for this seminar where you will learn how to perform CPR in the event of an emergency at your skating center. Once complete, participants will receive 3 credit hours and will receive their CPR certification or re-certification (required every two years) from Danville Area Community College with certification mailed after the event is complete. FIRST AID BY NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL Have you ever had a child have an asthma attack at your rink? How about a seizure or maybe you are just not sure about how to treat the basic fall? Come and learn what to do in that emergency so that you are providing the best possible care for your customer and peace of mind for yourself. Members will receive their certification or re-certification (required every two years) from Danville Area Community College with certification mailed after the event is complete. JBL SKATE MAINTENANCE CERTIFICATION The RSA and JBL partnered together to create a skate maintenance program to offer to RSA members. The program helps roller skating centers to simplify the task of documenting skate inspections, maintenance and repairs. The program is electronic, so there are no papers to mess with, and it keeps track of all data necessary to protect yourself in the event of a liability. Come learn why this program is so popular among rink owners and how you can utilize it in your rink. ARE YOU MISSING OUT ON ACHIEVEMENT REVENUE DOLLARS? Get certified to be an Learn to Skate coach, IHA competition manager or speed official. Certifications will be provided by the SRSTA and IHA!

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Registration Desk SUNDAY 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.

MONDAY 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

TUESDAY 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

WEDNESDAY 8:30 A.M. - 4 P.M.

Facts for Attendees HOW DO I CHECK IN FOR CONVENTION? When you come to the event, you’ll visit the registration desk starting on Sunday morning. You’ll fill out a quick sheet telling us where you’re staying and an emergency contact number, pick up your delegate badge, president’s dinner tickets (if applicable) and delegate bag. That’s it! WHEN DO I NEED TO WEAR MY BADGE? At all times! This event is closed to paying delegates only and the only way we and security know if you’re paid is if you have your badge with you. Please wear it at all times -including special events. WHAT IS THE ATTIRE? Feel free to come dressed comfortably in business casual attire when attending daily seminars. Bring a sweater if you run cold as rooms can sometimes be chilly. For evening receptions, feel free to dress up if you’d like. The White Hot Havana Nights party is an all-white clothing event. The President’s Dinner is a formal event, but come dressed comfortably for dancing and evening fun.

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Schedule of Events xxx xxx

Monday, April 29 NEWCOMER WELCOME BREAKFAST (SPONSORED BY FUNTASTIC) Sponsored by: Being a first timer at events can sometimes be overwhelming, and we understand that! That’s why we are hosting a newcomer breakfast for first time convention attendees only and is by invitation only. GENERAL ASSEMBLY WITH BREAKFAST (Event for all members, regardless of delegate status.) Receive updates on the current state of the RSA and share in the excitement of honoring the winners of the RSA’s most recent and prestigious awards. KEYNOTE PRESENTATION BY JODI WOMACK (PART 1) (SPONSORED BY FETCHREV) Jodi Womack is the author of Get Momentum: how to start when you’re stuck. She has coached busy professionals for more than 13 years by teaching them how to get momentum at work. With conferences and trainings around the world that include everything from the Pentagon and Air Force to nonprofits and universities, Jodi recognizes the common theme throughout the industries that busy, hard working people have more work to do than time to do it in… and the workload typically doesn’t stop at the end of the day but Sponsored by: continues at home with even more responsibilities. She’s a master at sharing essential time-management tips and productivity practices that help humanize the workplace and shift your mode from barely catching up to finally getting ahead. She promises you’ll gain 30 minutes a day, and you’ll never go back to the old ways of doing things. Her legendary mentor, Frances Hesselbein (the former CEO of the Girls Scouts, author of 27 leadership books and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom) says, “If you don’t end up with a plan, a good time was had by all. And that is all.” Jodi makes sure you have a plan AND a good time. All attendees will receive: • Optimizing Your Workflow class for free to all attendees. Retail value of $99/person. • A copy of Jodi’s book, Get Momentum: How to start when you’re stuck.

BRANDING, EXCITEMENT BUILDING, & WHY ROLLER SKATING NEVER STOPPED BEING GREAT Join Candice Heiden of the LA Roller Girls and the Marketing Committee for a seminar on grassroots marketing, building your brand, building excitement around our sport, and how to market national roller skating month and other programs. Are you hungry to build your business? Stick around for RSA President Jeff Couey as he teaches you about his most recent successful marketing and customer service training tool, the Roller Skating Ambassador Program. CHAPTER LUNCH (SPONSORED BY THE STUFF SHOP) Sit down with members from your local sections and discuss current events, hot topics, rink issues you may need suggestions to fix, etc. Each section has its own tables, so just grab some food and mingle.

Sponsored by:

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION BY JODI WOMACK (PART 2) In this breakout session hosted by keynote speaker, Jodi Womack, attendees will get a hands-on learning experience about how to improve your time-management and productivity skills in your roller skating center. SOCIAL MEDIA: FROM GOOGLE TO INSTAGRAM Social media is a vast topic with a variety of facets. Join Harrison Christensen and the social media committee for a seminar designed for all levels of knowledge whether you’re a novice or an avid user. This is a must see seminar for all operators. As a take home item, you will also receive a commercial that can be used for next year’s National Roller Skating Month along with a step-by-step tutorial video on how he created the commercial. WHY DO I NEED A SALESPERSON? Does the idea of hiring a salesperson stress you out? How and where do you find a good salesperson? As a business owner, you can’t risk throwing away money or damaging your reputation with a poor salesperson. Join Karen Palermo of United Skates of America and the STEM program for an informative seminar on how to hire a great salesperson. WHITE HOT HAVANA NIGHTS Because everyone likes a theme party, we’re having a White Party! Not just another boring reception...come wearing all white attire to this fun evening of cocktails, music, and networking with a special performance by the amazing LA Roller Girls! This event has been moved to Monday evening to allow for maximum attendance to what will be more than just a gathering of rink operators and vendors.

Register online at

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Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 15

Schedule of Events Tuesday, April 30 BREAKFAST WITH IALDA The International Amusement & Leisure Defense Association, Inc. is a non-profit association of lawyers and other professionals who are actively engaged in representing the interests of the amusement and leisure industries. Take this opportunity to have some one-on-one time with the attorneys that best represent our industry. The IALDA attorneys will also be discussing the assumption of risk statutes in different states. If you don’t have one, get one! SMALL MARKET SYNERGY The best business development seminar around! The Small Market Rink Committee will unveil an integrated SWOT assessment with data provided directly from the members. In addition to a detailed needs analysis, a panel of top rink operators will share proven successes with a moderated Q & A. While this content is geared towards small and medium market rinks, we feel strongly that rinks of all sizes can benefit from this seminar. ROLLER SKATING FOUNDATION SILENT AUCTION Join the Roller Skating Foundation as they raise funds to support its efforts by bidding on various items donated by businesses and members. ROLLER SKATING TRADE SHOW Plan to join your fellow rink operators and experience the largest trade show of the roller skating industry. Meet with vendors and purchase the newest in this year’s products and services. PROFESSIONAL PROMOTIONS THAT POP Are your national roller skating month promotions falling flat? What about your other in-rink promotions? Join the Promotions Committee and Misty Curtis, a professional event planner, as she teaches you how to plan events that wow! Misty is not only a highly experienced event planner, but she is also an avid roller skater! MOCK TRIAL WITH IALDA ATTORNEYS Join the IALDA industry attorneys for a mock trial where you can see firsthand what can occur during the course of a trial. Mock trials are an important tool to evaluate liability, damages, and juror impressions of witnesses. Have you ever wondered why settlements are so common? Witness firsthand a trial for yourself and receive your certificate for attendance. SURE-GRIP / PACER PARTY Don’t let the word “reception” fool you. These parties are always a huge hit with members, with great food, entertainment and fun. Come join the Sure-Grip and Roller Derby/Pacer team for a fun and festive evening.

Wednesday, May 1 BREAKFAST WITH FETCHREV: CREATE IMPULSE MARKETING THAT DRIVES RETURN VISITS AND PREDICTABLE REVENUE Learn how to significantly Sponsored by: increase customer retention through digital impulse marketing that will drive consistent and predictable repeat revenue and return visits (and more birthday parties!) using your customers’ data. Discover key actionable insights we’ve gained from over 65 million monthly digital communications with consumers via email, SMS, and social channels. Learn how to leverage this data to increase the lifetime value of your customers; driving more return foot traffic by leveling up your email and social communications through audiencesegmented messaging and creative design, buy now and coupon offerings, improved subject-lines and tag-lines, and automated drip marketing. SMALL MARKET BATTLE PLAN Take a deeper dive into the Small Market SWOT! The Small Market Committee is pleased to present learning modules containing specific strategies for success on the most talked about subjects including social media, group sales, employment, guest perception /relevancy / experience, marketing and competition. Think you already know it all? As our industry changes, so must we. Learn how to set the foundation for a well-oiled operation by implementing programs, increasing costsavings and profit-boosting measures. Attendees will receive the Top-Secret “Battle Plan” containing blueprints with over 25 ways for small rinks to generate extra revenues, grow guest counts, group sales secrets, improve facility operations, and perfecting financial management. ROLLER SKATING FOUNDATION SILENT AUCTION Join the Roller Skating Foundation as they raise funds to support its efforts by bidding on various items donated by businesses and members. ROLLER SKATING TRADE SHOW Plan to join your fellow rink operators and experience the largest trade show of the roller skating industry. Meet with vendors and purchase the newest in this year’s products and services. DISC JOCKEY OR EXPERIENCE MAKER? Is your DJ just setting it and forgetting it? It’s not a Crockpot, this is roller skating. The only thing that should be cooking is your DJ! Come to this seminar to learn how to wow the crowds through interaction, games and music. Maybe you think your DJ is already on point, but come to this seminar and decide for yourself if you have a DJ that is truly a crowd pleaser or just a music player. STEM LICENSEES SEMINAR Join the United Skates of America team to learn about new developments, ideas and methodologies behind the roller skating STEM program. This is a licensee-only event. Those who wish to register for the program before attending may do so by visiting the RSA registration desk.

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Schedule of Events ARE YOU GETTING THE BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK? Many rink owners do a good job of knowing where their biggest expenditures are each month and are aware of ways to lower their costs. From pizza and drinks to the pro shop and arcade, you know exactly the profitability of every part of your business, but do you know in real dollars and cents how much you’re paying for credit card processing and how to save money doing so? Come listen in as David Brewer with CSA Business Solutions explains how to save money, prevent fraud and avoid chargebacks. PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION AND DINNER Don’t miss your last chance to eat, drink and dance with your fellow rink operators, including a notto-be-missed performance by the LA Roller Girls. President Jeff Couey looks forward to seeing you all there!

Thursday, May 2 ROLLER SKATING UNIVERSITY AT TOP GOLF (SPONSORED BY FLAGSHIP CARPETS) (APPROXIMATELY 9 AM - 11 AM) Continue the fun by joining your RSA Education Committee with this free educational event at Top Golf. Attendees will be able to play a round of golf and have an incredible catered meal. Please indicate if you are attending on the registration form. Prizes will be given out for longest drive, shortest drive, best blooper, etc. This Top Golf location is the only one of its kind to feature a swimming pool, as well. This event is within walking distance of the hotel, located within the MGM hotel. No transportation will be provided. SPONSORED BY:

Dining & Entertainment We know the best part about traveling is finding great places to eat and be entertained. The Tropicana is filled with several different restaurants for your enjoyment, as well as stand up comedy!


ROBERT IRVINE’S PUBLIC HOUSE Comfort food with a twist, all in a pub-like atmosphere. 100+ beers. Hours: Mon-Fri 11 am - 11 pm / Sat 9:30 am - 11 pm / Sun 9:30 am - 10 pm. Cuisine: American pub. Price range: $$

BARISTA CAFE Hot and cold beverages available in the Club Tower. Hours 6 am - 2 pm. Cuisine: Coffee and tea. Price range: $


Asian fare with a western flair. Fast, easy, flavorful Asian cuisine. Dine-in or grab and go. Hours: 11 am - 11 pm. Cuisine: Asian. Price range: $

Fanatics of frozen drinks, meet your perfect match! Chill’m offers an eclectic assortment of frozen cocktails and specialty souvenir glasses, as well as wine, spirits and beer. Hours: Sun - Thurs, 11 am - 2 am / Fri - Sat 11 am - 3 am. Price range: $




Featuring traditional buffet-style offerings, as well as made-to-order waffles, omelets and pizza. Hours: 7 am - 1 pm. Cuisine: Brunch. Price range: $

OAKVILLE STEAKHOUSE Offering Prime steak cuts in a casually elegant atmosphere. The wine list features extensive California wines from the Oakville region. Hours: Dinner 5 pm - 10 pm. Cuisine: Steak/seafood. Price range: $$$

BACIO BREAKFAST Bacio serves scrumptious breakfast creations and lighter options. Hours 7 am - 12 pm. Cuisine: Italian. Price range: $$

MARKETPLACE AT SOUTH BEACH FOOD COURT For those hungry for pizza, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. 24 hours. Cuisine: American. Price range: $-$$

FRESH MIX Personalized salads and wraps with a variety of fresh ingredients. Hours: Open at 11 am. Cuisine: Salads and wraps. Price range: $

STARBUCKS Hot and cold beverages, as well as an assortment of muffins, scones and pastries. Hours: 24 hours. Cuisine: Coffee, tea and pastries. Price range: $

THE LAUGH FACTORY The Laugh Factory schedule is always full of the hottest comedians in the business - superstars from the big screen as well as up-and-coming comedians. Daily: 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm. Fri - Sat, Midnight. Call Ext. 2411. Tickets: $37.95 - $54.95

SPA & FITNESS OPTIONS GLOW SPA Glow is a place where sun and earth join to cast a light on inner and outer health and beauty. Our Las Vegas luxury spa mirrors the feel of an elegant boutique hotel on the beach. 50 different spa treatments, 9 private treatment rooms, couples wet villa and couples wet suite, relaxation lounge, locker and steam room, salon with manicures, pedicures, hair and makeup. Hours of operation: 5 am - 7 am. For reservations call Ext. 2680

TROPICANA FITNESS CENTER Located inside Glow, the fitness center offers supreme health club equipment and views overlooking the Tropicana Las Vegas pool and gardens. Includes a variety of Technogym equipment, including strength, weight and free weights. Technogym fitness machines offer integrated personal TV screens and iPod docking stations. Hours of operation: 5 am - 7 am. Call Ext. 2680.

Register online at

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 17



The Gift of Feedback: Seven steps to move from confrontation to conversation


eedback is a gift that anchors your relationships in honesty. Everyone depends upon the feedback they receive to appreciate and reinforce their areas of strength, and to identify areas for personal and professional growth and development. While there is no question that many people miss numerous opportunities to provide more frequent positive feedback that is specific, timely, and genuine, the bigger challenge for most people is providing constructive feedback that reduces the wall of defensiveness that often accompanies their feedback. The sevenstep constructive feedback process outlined below offers a framework that converts the typical constructive feedback confrontation into a more productive feedback conversation.

THE SEVEN-STEP PROCESS Step 1: Describe the Performance Problem Employees (or colleagues or bosses) must first understand the problem that you’re experiencing with them before they can be expected to improve. In this step, you should describe the actual performance and/or behavior and contrast it with the expected performance. To begin, simply describe the problem in a sentence or two. Remain as objective as possible and stick to one point—do not talk about multiple performance issues in the same feedback discussion. Here’s an example: “Tom, I’d like to talk with you because I’ve noticed that you’ve been late to four of our last five meetings.” That’s it. If you can’t describe the performance problem in 30 seconds or less, you don’t know what the problem is yourself. In Step 1, state the performance problem in a concise, simple-to-understand fashion. There should be no ambiguity as to why you’re having this conversation.

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Step 2: Explain the Impact During the typical feedback discussion, leaders often jump from the description of the problem directly to the development of an action plan. They want to know immediately what the employee is going to do to resolve the problem. To assure meaningful feedback conversations, employees must know how their behavior is impacting others. In this step, convey the unacceptable impact of the behavior, or the

unacceptable performance, on colleagues, the organization, and perhaps even the individual himself or herself. Let’s go back to the previous example of Tom being late to meetings, as described in Step 1 above. Step 2 would continue the conversation with: “When you are late, it causes us to have to stop what we’re doing while everyone acknowledges your late arrival, and this interrupts the momentum of our meeting and lowers our productivity.” This second step is very important because many times the employee doesn’t even realize his behavior is causing a negative impact. If you don’t describe how his behavior affects others, he might quickly dismiss the problem, saying something like, “Yeah, so what’s your point? A lot of other people are late, too.” So, rather than just talking about the problem of being late, help him understand the impact he’s having by being late. It’s not just the lateness you’re talking about, it’s the diminished productivity, the lack of momentum, the interruption—and some might even say it’s the dishonoring of the punctuality of the other people who arrived on time. Here’s another example, incorporating both Steps 1 and 2:

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

“Jen, I wanted to talk with you today because I’ve noticed that you are the first to dismiss the ideas of other members of our team. Before you ask questions and try to understand someone else’s position, you immediately go on the attack.” That’s the problem, or Step 1, in 30 seconds or less. The impact might be stated as follows, in 30 seconds or less: “When you are so quick to judge, it causes other members of the team to withdraw and withhold their input because they are afraid that when they speak you’re going to cut them off or give all the reasons why their idea is stupid. This works against the environment I’m trying to create where everyone feels comfortable sharing their unique perspectives.”


Step 3: Identify the

Once you have described the problem and explained the impact, then you can work with the employee to identify the cause of the performance problem you described in Step 1. Don’t jump in and immediately propose what you believe is causing the problem. Let the employee take the lead here. Your job is to ask one good open-ended question that invites him to think about what might be causing his lateness—or what might be preventing her from listening before she shoots down a teammate’s idea.

The goal with this step is to develop a shared understanding about the situation and to identify causes of performance problems. Encourage the employee to discuss the performance from his or her point of view. Once you’ve asked your one open-ended Step 3 question, such as “What’s preventing you from getting to our meetings on time?” or “What is preventing you from asking questions first before becoming critical of others’ ideas?”, your job is to let “silence do the heavy lifting”. Do not give in to the temptation of answering this question for the other person. What you think may be causing the problem is not always the case.

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Step 4: Develop an Action Plan You will develop a more meaningful action plan once you’ve clearly described the problem, explained the impact, and identified the cause. If you simply leap from performance problem to action plan, you’ll miss out on a lot of conversation that might help to customize the specific elements of an action plan. In Step 4, you’re looking for the employee to tell you what he will commit to doing differently to ensure he’s able to get to meetings on time or what she will do to take time to listen first to her colleagues’ ideas before jumping in and being negative. Step 4 leads to the identification of a solution, a time table for any follow-up actions, and an action plan that is specific and measurable.

can identify it and resolve it during Step 5—not two weeks or a month down the road when you expect something to be done and then realize you misunderstood each other.

Step 6: Document the Conversation Take a few minutes to document the conversation, even if this is the first time you’ve had to talk with an employee about an issue— and certainly if it’s the second time you’re having the same conversation. When you document the conversation you’ve had, you’ll have the information available should this develop into a more serious performance management issue.

Step 7: Follow Up to Ensure Satisfactory Performance Step 5: Confirm Understanding Before the conversation ends, ensure that both you and your employee are on the same page. This is an opportunity for you or the employee to summarize what was discussed, who has agreed to what, and when you expect these changes to occur. If there is any disconnect, you

More than likely, you or your employee will make some kind of commitment during the feedback conversation. It’s incredibly important to follow up on these commitments. This helps you determine if the employee has actually improved or changed behavior. Your efforts are wasted if you don’t take the time to follow up as needed.

order in which they are presented above, you will engage more confidently and effectively when the need arises to provide constructive feedback. In about a minute or less, you will have set up the conversation by describing the problem, explaining the impact, and asking one good question to turn the conversation over to the person receiving your feedback. This will ensure that you maintain control of the beginning of these conversations when others may attempt to derail your efforts or move you off point. DR. DAVID CHINSKY Dr. David Chinsky is the founder of the Institute for Leadership Fitness, a celebrated speaker, and author of The Fit Leader’s Companion: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Sustainable Leadership Success. After spending nearly 20 years in executive leadership positions at the Ford Motor Company, Nestle, and Thomson Reuters, he now focuses on preparing leaders to achieve their highest level of professional effectiveness and leadership fitness. For more information on Dr. David Chinsky, please visit:

When these seven steps are performed in the



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How to Collect Customer Data that Drives Return Visits and Predictable Revenue


now your audience. It’s the most fundamental key to success in communications, no matter if you’re a comedian delivering a punchline, a creative director launching a billboard, or a political candidate hot on the campaign trail. It’s also one of the most difficult lessons to master, as it can prove quite a mystery to learn exactly what makes each of your loyal followers tick—or better yet, click.

The Wonders of Wireless

As a business owner, nobody understands the day-to-day operations of your center better than you do. You’ve learned your customers’ skate sizes, preferred pizza toppings, and average number of hours spent in the rink. You may have grown accustomed to being on the outside looking in, but in order for your center to thrive, developing an inside perspective is absolutely paramount to your success both today and tomorrow.

Installing a WiFi access point in your roller skating facility and offering free wireless internet to guests can be an ingenious way to both provide a service and acquire customer data points. To connect, customers would simply need to sign in with their email, phone number, or social profile—all viable leads you can use to send future audience-segmented promotions and coupons.

Data collection represents a tectonic shift away from marketing on the whim of what you think your customers want, to marketing with a renewed purpose behind the strength of relevant information. We’ll teach you a variety of effective methods to actively capture essential demographics and turn customer data into the kind of repeat revenue you can set your smart watch to.

From MVP to VIP: Establishing a Loyalty Program

Building Your Birthday Buzz Nobody can make the big day even better quite like you. The most personal of celebratory occasions, consumers have become conditioned to expect something special for themselves (or children) as the date nears—and while a surprise is always welcome, this is when they expect a price-slashed birthday party offer, exclusive savings, or even a free treat. You see where we’re going with this, right? Collecting your customers’ birthdays means you can follow up with email offers, knowing full well this is the time they’re likely to purchase. After all, when it comes to their children, parents will stop at nothing to secure the perfect party package or birthday experience for the guest of honor and all their friends.

Let’s face it—customers don’t just come to your center to skate. They visit to share their experiences across a multitude of social profiles. When it comes time to post a selfie and start their takeover of the timeline, however, nothing is worse than unreliable cell service. This is where your center can save the day, and obtain valuable information about your visitors in the process.

Every customer deserves to feel important, and never is that more evident than through the opportunity created by a rewards or loyalty membership. Retaining guests is less costly than acquiring new ones, which is why developing a program or club is a vital prerequisite to increasing the lifetime value of your customer base. With the proper plan in place, guests will feel reinvigorated by the rotating influx of incentivized offers, and in turn, your business will benefit from repeat visits and new customer referrals. While there’s nothing wrong with making your customers card-carrying members in the physical sense, prepare yourself to accommodate today’s generation with mobile check-ins, online redemptions, and social media contests for newer members. Identifying who’s returning to the center repeatedly will help you cater to the most devoted fans of your business.

Stay On Top of Things with a Website Popup

From timely updates to your hours of A digital marketing platform can help you send operation to an overview of your famous attractions, there’s plenty of reasons for your out a birthday collector form to your email list. For a more direct-response approach, try placing a website to collect traffic—but is it enough to date collector kiosk or tablet in your party rooms. really the move needle? Keep all eyes on you by installing a popup to claim a coupon such as free While you can expect a fair share of people to share their big day voluntarily, adding a small but admission to celebrate National Roller Skating Month in October or a sign-up to get the party special gift or discount in return for each date started by joining a birthday rewards club. By collected provides the proper push to build up providing their name, contact information, and your birthday bank. whatever basic information you set up to collect, 20 /

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

they will be able to access exclusive specials, giving them even more incentive to visit you in person.

Keep Your Options Open Like finding the right tool for the job, discovering the best way to collect data comes down to what works best for you. While most businesses are accustomed to pulling data from nearly every nook and cranny, the landscape is constantly evolving and remaining open to new technology and shifts in strategy can help you stay ahead of the competition. Presently, there’s a cornucopia of alternatives to choose from and as we’ve outlined above, the options are plentiful. Additional means include directly asking customers to supply information on their own through a digital waiver that can be sent via email or deployed as a pop-up on your website. Installing a customer satisfaction kiosk, like ServiceGuru or Avius, captures your visitors’ feedback at the point of interaction which will provide you with both valuable insight and information with each and every experience. Finally, utilizing a cashless card registration for all the action both in the rink and in the arcade is the premier way to make it easy for regular rollers to load up on all the fun from their very first visit. At FetchRev, our goal is to help you grow through retention marketing that keeps customers coming back for more skating, more birthday parties, and more memories made. It’s more customers with less effort—if you’re into that kind of thing. Call us at (877) 394-2410 to request a demo today or send us an email to BRANDON WILLEY Brandon Willey is the CEO of FetchRev and has broad knowledge of the local digital marketing ecosystem with extensive experience in email and search marketing, social media, retargeting, geotargeting, segmentation, automation, machine learning and more. He can be reached at or by calling 855-979-7833.

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 21



What is a Cash Discount Program?


hen a merchant account provider contacts you about offering a cash discount program, in most cases they are actually referring to a surcharge program. Regardless of how it’s named, this is a way for you to eliminate some of the costs of accepting credit cards by passing those costs to your customer.

A cash discount is when you post credit card prices and offer a discount on that price for customers who pay with cash.

apply the surcharge to all credit card transactions. Merchants are not allowed to pick and choose by card brand or by card issuer.

For example, think of those in the automotive fuel market. These businesses typically have signage that clearly displays the credit price next to the discounted cash or debit price. In addition, the discount is taken from the regular price of the fuel and does not include any additional fee or surcharge that is removed when the costumer

In addition, you must display appropriate signage. The card network (Visa/Mastercard) rules require prominent disclosure and clear wording to distinguish a surcharge from a cash discount.

The program encourages your customer to pay with cash or check. If the customer opts to pay with a credit card, then the customer will pay a higher amount or a service fee.

Note: You’ve all probably paid “convenience fees,” which are separate under the network rules from surcharges and cash discounts. Such fees typically apply only to certain merchant categories, such as utilities and government, and usually involve flat fees regardless of the purchase amount.

It is VERY IMPORTANT for What Happens you to understand if You Get it that in most cases, Wrong? merchant account The consequences providers make for surcharging debit more money when a transactions or for business offers a cash implementing a cash discount program. discount program that In most cases, a is actually a surcharge processor is charging program without you 3-4% on your For the sake of your merchant account and your wallet, be sure you’re on the complying with surcharge traditional merchant right side of state laws and card brand regulations before surcharging or signing rules can be serious. account program, up for a cash discount program. but when you switch Processors may shut to a cash discount down merchant accounts program that rate when they’re informed by can increase to 4%. Technically, your customer the card brands of non-compliance. Furthermore, pays with cash or a debit card. is paying that 4% rate, but merchant account both Visa and Mastercard have forms on their processors are reaping the benefits of these higher A surcharge is when you post cash prices and websites that allow cardholders to easily report rates. then charge an additional fee on top of that price being charged a fee for card use. for customers who pay with a card. The surcharge Important side note: There is not a single CSA For violations of the card brand rules, rate is commensurate with your discount rate merchant in any industry who is paying a rate of merchants can be fined $1,000 per occurrence, and is capped at a maximum of 4%, which is 4%. None of our RSA merchants pay more than increasing to $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000 per why most providers who advertise cash discount 2% effective rate. occurrence for repeated violations. Ultimately, programs automatically advertise the rate of 4%. the merchant may be added to the Terminated It means maximum profit for them. Is it legal to offer Cash Merchant File (“TMF,” or MATCH list) which In the first situation, a true discount program, makes it difficult to secure a merchant account Discount or Surcharge? a customer pays less than the listed price. In the from any processor in the future. It’s legal to offer a true cash discount program, second case, a customer pays more than the listed and in most states it’s legal to charge a surcharge For the sake of your merchant account and price. as long as it is done correctly. your wallet, be sure you’re on the right side of If you charge more at the register than the state laws and card brand regulations before However, there is a lot of confusion out there listed price, it is a surcharge, regardless of what surcharging or signing up for a cash discount about the difference between cash discounts other processors call it. Even if a processor tells program. and surcharges. That confusion has led to many you that you’re simply adding a “service fee” or a processors and merchants incorrectly labeling “non-cash adjustment,” it is still a surcharge. Why I am not a fan of cash surcharge programs as cash discounts. Surcharging can be done with online purchases discounts or surcharge Here is the basic difference: programs as well as in-store sales, but merchants must

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1

TECHNOLOGY The number one reason is that more often than not it puts a bad taste in your customer’s mouth to look at their receipt and see a service fee. They are coming into your facility and paying you the money that you requested and then you are going to charge them more to pay you in the way that’s most convenient for them. Some of your customers will balk big time at this. Some will get mad and never come back. The second reason is the 1099s that the processors will send out for these businesses will show the revenue as price of goods + surcharge amount. The processors are taking in the revenue from the surcharge and then paying it out via daily discount. So, the merchant is receiving the surcharge revenue and paying out the processing fees as an expense. I know that many of you, even after reading this thinking, “Well I want to try it. I’m tired of paying these fees.” So, with that said here is how it works if you want to offer a surcharge program: You don’t do anything differently. Your staff still enters the amount of the charge on the terminal, but the terminal will have been re-programmed to add a service fee line on the

receipt. Here’s what it looks like to the customer: Sub Total:


Service Fee:


Total Amount:


How to Offer a True Cash Discount Program You must offer a DISCOUNT off of your posted prices for a customer paying in cash. So, if you want to maintain the profit margin you currently enjoy, you would need to increase your posted prices by the appropriate amount and then offer a discount on those prices.

What If I Don’t Like the Surcharge Program? No problem. If at some point you decide that the surcharge program isn’t working for you, we can re-program your terminal back to a traditional merchant account.

you will still pay, but that is usually between $25.00 and $100.00 a month and you will also still be subject to certain annual fees. You now have the information about cash discount or surcharge programs. CSA Business Solutions and its affiliates are major players in the credit card processing industry and we offer many programs. If you want to talk more about this or the merchant account program set up for RSA members which, by the way, in the last two years has saved rink owners over $250,000.00 I would be very happy to talk to you.

DAVID BREWER David R. Brewer is the CEO of CSA Business Solutions, a merchant services and payment solutions provider based in Smyrna, Georgia. David has been working in the merchant services industry for more than 20 years and is dedicated to helping his customers improve their bottom line by reducing their costs. He can be reached at dbrewer@ or 866-400-0272. For more information, visit

Will this Service Eliminate All of my Fees? No. There are some administrative costs that

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 23



7 Steps to Turn Employee Potential into Performance


hen a merchant account provider contacts you about offering a cash discount program, in most cases they are actually referring to a surcharge program. Regardless of how it’s named, this is a way for you to eliminate some of the costs of accepting credit cards by passing those costs to your customer. Imagine on Monday, you discover that your meticulous, rule-following accountant and creative, eccentric marketing person have switched positions. How’s this likely to work out? In truth, some variation of this misalignment is common in most organizations. The Waybeloe Potential Corporation was operating at the breakeven point for the past five years. The CEO, Harvey Waybeloe was

or drive. Here’s evidence: It’s common for top performers to be moved or promoted and then become poor performers. Likewise, many poor performers become top performers when moved to appropriate roles. Bottom line: everyone can be a top or poor performer depending on how well the work aligns with their innate characteristics. How do you deliberately create an organization where people’s work is aligned with their innate characteristics (abilities)? Here’s an overview of a proven process that was used above.

1. Shift your mindset from focusing on skills, experience, and education to innate characteristics first It’s common for people who are “great on paper” to get hired and become poor performers. In that same vein, many top performers started

objective information about people to set them up for success. However, the results are usually disappointing due to four inherent pitfalls: a. What you think of as personality is mostly surface-level, observable behaviors; not what’s underneath, driving these behaviors. The drivers of behavior are more accurate, predictive, and stable. b. Assessment-takers usually provide different answers based on which of the following they consider: how they actually see themselves, how they believe others see them, and how they want to see themselves. c. Assessment-takers use a specific context or situation to answer the questions. For example, answers to questions related to “extroversion” (sociability and talkativeness) may vary depending on context differences: small vs. large groups, familiar vs. unfamiliar people, level of interest in the topic of conversation, etc. d. If an assessment is used for a job application, the applicant often has an opinion on what traits the employer is looking for and skews the answers accordingly. What’s a better option? Select an assessment that delves beneath the personality into what is more core or innate with people. This eliminates the biases of personality assessments and provides more valid and reliable data.

3. Establish trust with the employees

frustrated. Another CEO told him about an employee-alignment process that was delivering amazing results for other companies. Out of desperation he decided to try it. Within two years, profits increased from breakeven to $3.2 mm! The fix? Putting the right people in the right seats! Most business leaders say that 80% of the work is done by only 20% of the workforce. This 20% are the top performers. They usually produce 3-4 times more than the others. The main reason is due to job alignment rather than attitude 24 /

off lacking in the “required” skills experience and education. When people’s work aligns with their innate characteristics, they can utilize their natural abilities and unleash their passion for their work. Also, the best training and management will not turn poorly aligned employees into top performers.

2. Select the right assessment tool Many organizations use personality assessments in the hope of gaining more

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Inform the employees about the company’s commitment to align their work with their natural gifts. Don’t hide things or surprise people. People want to do work they’re good at and enjoy.

4. Develop an understanding of the innate characteristics being measured Before you can align people’s innate characteristics with their work, it’s essential to understand what these characteristics mean. In other words, how each one impacts the way people think and behave. Now you have the basis to identify which characteristics are needed for different types of positions within

Volume 28 / Issue 1

RINK LIFE your organization.

5. Develop clarity on the job duty break-down It’s important to know what people will do on a day to day basis in each job. The hiring team (direct manager and others with a major stake in position success) meets to gain clarity on the percentage of time spent performing each job responsibility. Group together duties that are very similar in nature (family of duties). Estimate the percentage of time spent working on each job duty family.

6. Determine which innate characteristics are critical and where they need to measure The hiring team determines which innate characteristic is critical for each job duty family. They also agree on the desired range for each characteristic. For example, on a 1-10 scale the range for creative thinking should be between 7-9. Now you can develop an optimal range for each critical characteristic.

7. Administer assessment & align employees with job functions

based on the data. Here’s more information on aligning employees: •

When current employees don’t align with their jobs evaluate other positions within the company that do align well.

Openly discuss available options with employees who are misaligned. Develop a plan to shift roles or tweak job descriptions when this is feasible. Frequently, there are other employees who’d be thrilled to trade positions or some duties that better match with their own innate characteristics.

For applicants applying to open positions, only interview the people who align well with the desired innate characteristics. When you interview people who don’t align, you may be tempted to discount the assessment results. This rarely ends well.

BRAD WOLFF Brad Wolff specializes in workforce and personal optimization. He’s a speaker and author of, People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage. As the managing partner for Atlanta-based PeopleMax, Brad specializes in helping companies maximize the potential and results of their people to make more money with less stress. His passion is empowering people to create the business success they desire, in a deep and lasting way. For more information on Brad Wolff, please visit:

In the end, the most important job of management is to maximize the ROI of its workforce. Peter Drucker said “ The task of a manager is to make people’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant. The most important thing you can ever do as a leader is to put people in a position to excel rather than get by or fail. How are you doing in your most important task?”

Assess both current employees and potential new hires and compare to the desired ranges. Take the appropriate action based on how strong the level of alignment is. Top performers almost always fit into desired ranges for each critical innate characteristic. If this is not the case, you need to adjust your desired ranges

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Roller Skating news, videos, celebrities & more Written by: Joe Rayes


Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Provides Roller Skating in Historic Building Located on the fourth floor of the historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel at 12 S. Michigan Avenue you will find Stagg Court, an historic gym that was once a club. The building, built in the 1800s, served as a men’s membership club and the only one of its kind to survive the Great Depression. In fact, it remained alive until 2007 when the recession hit. The hotel was then purchased in 2012 and transformed into a boutique hotel. Despite some skepticism, the owners allowed the creative team to open the court to roller skating sessions, which turned out to be a massive hit. The facility can skate 150 people per session and has received great fanfare from roller skating enthusiasts.

Leesburg Approves Large-Scale Entertainment Complex to Include Roller Skating Rink

New Book Chronicles the Life of a Roller Skating Rink Owner

Skate World in Leesburg, Florida has been a member of the Roller Skating Association for more than 36 years. Longtime owners, Scott and Mary Christley, recently presented plans to build a large scale complex on 9.65-acres near The Villages. Commissioners helped the project by annexing, amending and rezoning in order to make the project move forward.

“Roller Rink Rules” is a memoir, written by Patricia Probert Gott, which chronicles owning and managing the roller skating rink in Oxford, Maine for 24 years. Along with the narrative, this book includes an eclectic collection of 50 old photos and newspaper clippings taken of employees, skaters, and various events celebrated along the years from March 1981 to August 2005 including birthday parties, Christmas with Santa, Easter and the roller rabbit, all-night slumber parties and the outside skate park. If you are, or were, a roller skater or an impending roller rink owner, you will thoroughly enjoy this book now available on

The facility, slated to open in the fall, will include a 12-lane bowling alley, roller skating rink, a two-story laser tag arena, rock climbing walls, mini golf, bumper cars, go-cart track and a full restaurant and sports bar.

Shuttered Skating Center Reopens With Significant Upgrades Closed since 2017, the bowling alley in the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center is set to open this spring with 22 newly renovated lanes. The rink, named after founder, Baltimore Colts wide receiver Glenn “Shake and Bake” Doughty in 1982, closed a year and a half ago after needing significant upgrades that couldn’t be done while the rink remained open. Now, the remodeled rink, arcade and concessions are open to the public with a new floor, sound system, lighting, 500 new skates, kitchen and restrooms with much needed HVAC and roof repairs. The city approved a $1.15 million award for Brunswick Bowling Products to rebuild the bowling alley in the basement.

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Volume 28 / Issue 1


The U.S. Roller Speed Skating (USRSS) and the Inline Hockey Associations (IHA) membership is affordable, covers both sports, and are 501(c)3 organizations offering both quad and inline competitions.

How much does it cost? • Team charter: 100% FREE • Athlete competitive membership card: $35 • Sanction to hold as many competitions as you would like for one (1) full year: $100

How many sets of rules are there? One rule set for both indoor and outdoor based on FIRS International Rules.


Preorder pins, download forms and instructions at...

or International competition.

How do I participate in local competitions? Visit and search for participating clubs near you. If there are none, contact the rinks in your area to start their own clubs to then develop a league so that athletes can compete.

Who can I call if I need help on getting a team started in my skating center? Call 317-347-2626 Ext. 105 or email

What kind of track is used? U.S. Roller Speed Skating utilizes the oval track. This allows more lanes for racing and angles for passing, which makes U.S. Roller Speed Skating more exciting. USRSS rules work for both indoor and outdoor competitions. Indoor will compete on a 100 meter oval track. Outdoor will compete on a 200 meter oval and road course. This will allow skaters, coaches, and officials to have one set of rules that will be followed whether it’s a Rookie Series, Point Series, Invitational

317-347-2626 Ext. 105

Where: Xfinity Sports Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado When: June 12-16, 2019


Who: All U.S. Roller Speed Skating athletes. Anyone who holds a USRSS membership card may participate.


June 12-16, 2019

Colorado Springs, Colorado US Roller Speed Skating Presented By:

Prizes: $10,000 in cash prizes sponsored by Comcast.

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Products from the RSA Fill er Up! 32 Ounce How We Roll Cups (#32HWR) These cups aren’t like any other cups you’ve seen. They’re thick, reusable, dishwasher safe and are in 32oz size. Each case comes with 250 cups with lids and 500 straws. The RSA now houses and sells these cups in the national office to ensure you’re receiving the best rates possible.

Kooky and Friends Folders Roller Skating Folders (#Folders) We’re bringing Kooky and Friends licensed characters back with these fun and colorful folders complete with roller skating facts. Includes business card slot on the right hand side. Pack of 25 folders. Cost: $20

Fitness Facts

Cost: $120.75

Roller Skating Fitness Facts Brochure (#B117)

New Pencil Design!

Infographics are visual diagrams of information, statistics and facts that are wildly popular. These brochures offer a variety of facts about health, fitness, safety and history of roller skating and are great to hand out at local events, schools or in your rink to inform the public about why roller skating is a healthy, safe and fun activity for the whole family. 100 brochures per package.

Fluorescent “Why Walk When You Can Roll” Pencils (#PENC19) These pencils each say “Why Walk When You Can Roll” and come in fluorescent colors. Each box contains 100 pencils and are great for school trips, trade shows, or just getting the word out about roller skating.

Cost: $18 per 100

Es Gratis!

Cost: $17

Kids Skate Free Invites in Spanish (#KSFCRD-SP) These KSF cards are translated to Spanish and customized with your logo and KSF URL address. Great promotional hand out to your customers to increase the number of Kids Skate Free signups for your rink. Each postcard is 4.25” x 5.5”, full color, glossy on both sides and include your logo and KSF URL. 5000 custom postcards, shipping included in the cost. Ships from manufacturer. This is an invitation, not a mailable postcard. (Also comes in English version.)

Label it! Magnetic Name Badges (#MAGBADGE) These magnetic roller skating name badges come with 10 in a pack and include paper inserts for names. Magnetic back. Cost: $25.00

Cost: $175

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Hang it Up Banners (#RSABAN6) Promote roller skating fitness with these hang up vinyl banners. Each measures about 83” x 33.5” with grommets to hang. Cost: $75

Invite Your Friends! Birthday Party Invites (#INVITES) These invitations are customized for you by the RSA to include your logo and rink address. Great product to hand out to your customers who purchase birthday party packages! Choose from 2 options: Purple or Rainbow. Each invitation is 4.25” x 5.5”, full color, glossy on both sides and include your logo and address. 5000 custom invitations, shipping included in the cost. Ships from manufacturer. This is an invitation, not a mailable postcard. Cost: $175

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o t g n i w a l C

p o t the Written by Lori Lovely


w e N s ’ t a h W e n a r C , w in Cla n o i t p m e d e and R Games 32 /

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ince the early 20th century, the claw machine has been a favorite attraction at arcades. Its predecessor, originally known as a “digger,” was designed in the 1890s to mimic the steam shovels excavating the Panama Canal. Mass-produced in 1926, these early claw machines first dispensed candy via a shovellike contraption guided by a series of internal gears controlled by a wheel the player cranked. In fact, early versions of the claw machine were named the Panama Digger, the Erie Digger, the Miami Digger and the Iron Claw, according to “Dime After Dime: A Gripping History of Claw Machines” by Jake Rossen. Acceptance spread during the 1930s because they offered an inexpensive way to acquire prizes ranging from candy and money to radios, jewelry, and other valuable trinkets during the cash-strapped Great Depression. The machines were also beneficial for store owners because they attracted a lot of foot traffic.

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Dark history

Eye on the prize

Often thought of as novelty carnival games, into the 1950s the digger and its off-spring, the claw machine, came to be considered comparable to slot machines, and thus, illegal gambling devices. This caused the industry considerable inconvenience because the Johnson Act, also called the Transportation of Gambling Devices Act of 1951, prohibited anyone from transporting such a device across state lines. In addition, money could no longer be offered as a prize and prizes couldn’t be worth more than $1. The government also slapped a $10 tax on each machine.

As these games of chance became more prolific, their prizes evolved. From the early days of candy and silver dollars or rolls of coins, prizes evolved to practical baubles such as cigarette lighters, watches and toys. Whimsical prizes reached new heights when makers of plush stuffed animals

code you enter in an app to get tickets to shop at the GamerGreen store. “It’s a loyalty program that encourages you to keep playing,” she continues. An added benefit is that players must provide information to sign up for the program – information the rink owner can collect and use in marketing. The program also “drives people back into brick and mortar,” Hamilton believes, citing a 25% return rate for customers.

Beyond the claw

By 1973, the FBI pretty much disregarded the Johnson Act. At the same time, the modern trolley-style claw machine was introduced. It was electrified, which changed the game of skill into a timed speed grab, particularly after the introduction of the joy stick in the 1980s.

Popular as it is, the claw machine has some competition. Benchmark Games recently introduced a new game: Space Jump. It features 100% skill-based interactive and physical play, and marks a new approach for the manufacturer.

Now shed of the lingering taint of gambling, the claw machine increased in popularity and competed with pinball machines at grocery stores, bowling alleys, arcades and even hotels.

“Cadets” must bounce on a “launch pad” and control their jumps to navigate the rocket to successfully complete their mission to land in the bonus zone or planetary ticket values after a twenty-second play period. The unit has a stratospheric centerpiece cabinet design within a modest footprint, making it an ideal – and value-priced – attraction for any size game room, according to Paula Rinker, sales director. It features a 13” monitor that illustrates game play, an LED light package and illuminated scoring zones, and subwoofers for an immersive play experience with interactive sounds and player prompts.

Popularity “The claw is the most popular machine,” contends Gary Balaban, manager at Coast to Coast Entertainment. He mentions two that are getting a lot of attention lately. Fun Zone is a patented game with a 36-inch crane and fullcolor changing lights that are linkable if you have more than one machine. “It comes with a cable to keep them in sequence. You can do patterns like chase left or chase right.” Duck Catcher is a smaller crane – 24 inches – that’s made to be used with two-inch rubber ducks. “Ducks are popular,” Balaban states. “There are lots of styles of ducks.” Both claw machines can be used as a play-until-you-win or a skill crane by adjusting the settings. Balaban travels extensively. Everywhere he goes, he looks at arcades. On his last overseas trip, he took pictures at other arcades. He also listens to feedback from product promotion at bowling alleys and arcades. Then, he says, he tries to “take ideas to the next level.” That informal field research led to the introduction of a new prize vending machine in which players time the dropping of a ball that’s loaded with a prize into a rotating win hole. It’s a skill game, with the player in control, he says. He considers it a value prize machine; because of the lower price point and player control, he says customers get their money back faster. Each ball contains a prize, such as a small plush animal, gift card, game tokens or other small novelties like key chains. “Some balls are clear so they can see the prizes and go for them.”

took note of the claw machine. During the late 20th century, several sporting organizations even made use of them for promotional giveaways of team merchandise. “Claw machines are really about the products,” postulates Holly Hampton, director of innovation, Bay Tek Entertainment. “It’s all about merchandising – marketing.” She offers several strategies, such as following the latest trends, go gender-neutral, do movie themes, offer seasonal and holiday items, choose regional favorites or go promotional with gift cards and coupons. But one caveat she insists upon: Keep it fresh. One way to keep it fresh is to introduce new products like the mystery prize box: a 3-inch square box with random toys inside. “The box plays well with the claw and bounces in the machine well,” Balaban says, adding that they also sell the boxes empty so the rink can put in its own promotional material or prizes. Boxes are sold flat for easy shipping and storage.

It’s easy to maintain, Rinker notes, because there are no moving parts (other than the rocket). It features a reliable opto-system, which is contained in a durable non-skid jump pad and sturdy steel grip bars that can withstand vigorous tactile play. Benchmark has been testing the new game with local operators and receiving positive feedback. “What sets Space Jump apart from other concepts is its interactive game play,” Rinker says, adding that operators are attracted to its “unique presentation, attractive price tag and profitable physical play formula.” While games that require physical play are fun, they aren’t expected to usurp the rank of the tried-and-true claw machine. Like the pinball machine, Hamilton says the claws are so popular, most locations have more than one.

Similarly, Hampton says Bay Tek invested in GamerGreen in 2016. It’s a rewards program. GamerGreen-linked machines provide G-tickets, or digital currency, that can be redeemed for bigger prizes. “We sell mystery boxes that have a Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

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Tips and Tricks for Arcade game Maintenance Written by Lori Lovely


rcade games can be great revenue generators for a skating rink – if, that is, they are in good working order. A machine that is broken does little more than take up space and make your game room look bad.

Keeping arcade games in shape requires a certain amount of effort and attention, but Gary Balaban, manager at Coast to Coast Entertainment, says there’s “not a lot of preventive maintenance to do.” It’s important to keep the machines clean and all the lights in working order, but he doesn’t envision much beyond that. And, he adds, although custom LED lights commonly used in arcade games are no longer terribly expensive, rink owners can change out the fixtures in order to save money by using less expensive locally supplied bulbs. Although Jeff Warrenberg at Paradise Skate agrees that the game machines don’t require much maintenance, he admits that they are “always an issue” and “always get jammed because kids pull the tickets too hard to try to get extra out.” That’s why he provides training for his staff on how to fix token jams and refill tickets – an expense he splits with the vendor who maintains his machines. “A game is out of order until it’s fixed. That’s lost revenue.”

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Volume 28 / Issue 1

The little things

Before you call the tech

Keeping up on maintenance guarantees that your games are in good working order and will also look more pleasing to customers. Creating a good impression promotes return visits and more play.

Before calling technical support, Jeff Delong, quality assurance director for Benchmark Games, recommends having some basic information on hand. “Basic stuff that would always be helpful to have on any redemption game” before calling includes things such as:

But it’s more than simply appearance. The key to longevity is preventive maintenance, Mike Pantalone, service and support manager with Bay Tek Entertainment, believes. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily complicated. A lot of preventive maintenance is basic housekeeping and common sense. For example, some games have optical sensors. When was the last time you cleaned them? Also clean the push button starts, which is where drinks often get spilled. “Check for the spring in the button,” Pantalone advises. “Listen for the switch engaging.” He says it’s easy to clean the switches and switch housings. Another cleaning suggestion he offers is to get inside. “You won’t believe what you’ll find! People stuff French fries in them, spill soda on them …”

The serial number of the game. Most manufacturers and distributors are able to track game serial numbers to specific delivery dates or batches; that can give the tech a better idea of the age of the machine, as well as what to expect of some of the parts that tend to wear down over time, or other issues that may be present.

Error codes. Many redemption games in the industry report an error code in some form when a problem occurs. These error codes can sometimes provide the support technician with far more information than just a description of the issue.

Check the manual. Technicians receive numerous calls and emails every week that could have been resolved without delay by taking a look in the manual that is provided with the game. No manufacturer could list every possible problem that can arise in a machine in the manual, but the most common problems are almost always mentioned in the service manual for easy reference.

Turn it off and back on again. “This troubleshooting has become a bit of a joke in the technical fields in recent history, but it does work,” Delong says. With the growing complexity of redemption and arcade games in recent years, there are far more computer- or softwarecontrolled systems than there used to be. For many smaller “hiccups” in the control of a complicated system, a simple restart will tend to resolve it. When you do this, check the clock so if it happens again, you can provide the amount of time it took for the problem to appear after a restart.

Sometimes it’s just the “simple things,” he reflects. He considers basketball the harshest game because the balls repeatedly beat against the backboard, but he says rink owners don’t check the nuts and bolts very often, if at all.

Prevention The best way to keep on top of issues is to create a maintenance schedule. One of the most important duties an arcade technician has is to schedule and perform preventative maintenance and cleaning tasks for the games. “Just like changing the oil and filter in your car, these tasks will help ensure that your games have the best chance to perform at their highest earning potential,” says Rob Zigmont, director of operations at Betson Enterprises. When establishing a preventative maintenance schedule, it’s wise to consult the machine’s operator’s manual because each game might require specific cleaning procedures. That said, some general rules apply. Zigmont shares his check list: •

First, give your games a good visual safety inspection. “Look for anything that will cause harm to the customer: broken plastic, loose screws that can cause an injury or other harmful items.” This is something that each employee should be made aware of and constantly be watching for.

Clean the cabinet’s exterior, using a mild general-purpose cleaner. Do not use any commercial glass cleaners unless specifically instructed by the game’s manufacturer.

Never use paper towels to clean plexiglass; it will scratch the plexiglass. Instead, use a soft rag, such as a microfiber towel.

All cabinet vents and fans should be kept clean of dust buildup. Use compressed air to blow out the fans. Also, verify that the fans are operating properly and change as needed.

The interior of the cabinet should be vacuumed occasionally. Some games collect more dust and dirt and will need to be cleaned more frequently.

Make sure there aren’t any loose items in the cabinet that could cause a short or block the ventilation fans.

Use a can of compressed air to blow out the ticket notch sensor on all ticket dispensers.

While you have the cabinet open, check steering belts and change if needed.

Games should be played and all I/O functions tested. Re-calibrate any controls and replace any parts as needed.

Please note, he adds: the game should be turned off when performing cleaning tasks.

Pantalone adds to Delong’s list: Trust the guy you called on the phone for advice. “They ask questions in sequence for a reason. It’s important to tell what’s not working and what is working in order for them to isolate the problem.”

Manufacturer-specific Delong says that Benchmark has an extensive range of products beyond the “legacy” machines they still support. He highlights some of the most common service calls and tips that work with the majority of their products specifically. Ticket Station •

Tickets not feeding? This is almost always a slipping problem. Check all the belts and gears on the ticket eater assembly; most likely, one of them has either come loose or has worn down. Many operators seem to assume it’s an electrical or motor problem since it appears it’s not feeding, but that is almost never the case.

Losing tickets or stopping in the middle of operation? This is not a symptom of a bad board or memory issue; this is a power problem. Check the power supply and wiring to make sure everything is as it should be – no damage or shorted wires. Then try changing where the game is plugged in for its AC supply. Sometimes, if a machine is at the end of a line of games all plugged into the same outlet, there can be small spikes or surges. If this happens, the machine might end up restarting, due to the sudden change in power, and there is a chance it will “forget” what it was doing. This is obvious for most games, as there is a boot-up sequence, but on the ticket station, the boot time is near instant.

Monster Drop Family (Regular, Single, Extreme) and Fireball •

If you notice the play balls are becoming dirty or damaged, they

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should be replaced. The rubber material of the balls can become damaged over time, and you don’t want the little pieces getting on the various sensors, optos or bearings in the machine, which could cause problems later. Change them when they start showing signs of wear. A good tip is to keep a spare bag of them available. You don’t have to change out every ball at the same time; it can be done one at a time as needed. Reorder when the supply gets low. •

Wrong payout? If every value pays out wrong, that indicates it’s a setting in the programming options. If some pay out correctly and others pay don’t, that’s because the wheel is slipping. Check the bearings under the playfield wheel. Check under the wheel for anything jamming or rubbing. Most importantly, check the blue rubber friction drive that turns the wheel. Any of these could cause the wheel to turn at an unexpected speed and throw off the winning value positions.

Another way A different method of maintaining game machines is to leave it to the vendor. Warrenberg says this plan allows his staff to focus on other things. Relying on a vendor has added benefits, such as changing out the games sooner. “Games are very expensive – as much as $14,000. They take a long time to pay off, so it’s hard to get the value out of them unless you keep them 4-7 years.” But by having a vendor, he’s able to switch out games two to three times a year. That heightens interest in his arcade room while eliminating the headache of maintaining the machines.

Explosive and Pop-It and Win •

Loss of air in the balloon is caused by a misalignment of the balloon wheel to the air pump assembly. There is some troubleshooting for this in the manual. The rubber ring should line up in the center on the air valve. If the game is moved or shaken, or if it has sat in a warehouse for some time, it is possible to have moved out of alignment.

A Division of H. Betti Industries, Inc.

Generic Benchmark Troubleshooting •

38 /

Many of Benchmark’s products share common PCBs. If you have more than one of their products and suspect a specific board to be an issue, look in the other games for a matching one. The little white sticker on the board lists its programming; as long as they show the same information, it will work. NOTE: never place a known good board into a suspected bad machine until you have ruled out any wiring issues as the cause. If a short in a wire damaged the board originally, it will take out the new board too. Many of Benchmark’s machines use a 485 communication line to coordinate functions between PCBs. This requires unique addresses on the boards to be set to work correctly. Sometimes, in troubleshooting another issue or in swapping out boards, these might get set incorrectly and cause new problems. The correct ID settings are listed in the game manuals or can be provided by contacting tech support.



HERE’S WHAT SOME OF OUR STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY: “Lots of industry insider practical knowledge from people who have been working in the field.” “The information presented is fitting for our industry. The presenters did a great job.” “The trouble shooting blocks were very informative!”



Game System Overview, Digital Multi-Meter, Basic Electricity, Basic Soldering/Splicing Techniques, Game Maintenance, Card Reader 101, Troubleshooting, Electronic Circuit Theory, Advanced Troubleshooting, Wiring Schematics, Computer Repair, and Basic LCD Repair. *Followed by a BTU certification exam

✓ Hands-On Training ✓ Manual ✓ Multi-Meter ✓ Ticket Emulator ✓ Tamper Proof Torx Bits ✓ Receptacle Tester

Ask your salesperson about scholarship eligibility.

Parts wear down. Just as the tires on your Contact Joe Hale at: (201) 438-1300 ext. 3428 or email: Copyright 2018, Betson Enterprises, All Rights Reserved car wear down, oil needs to be changed and the seat covers get torn, it happens over time. Looking to learn the ins and outs of game repair? Betson offers classes The same is true for arcade and redemption to teach you how to do just about everything necessary to make machines. As a rule, anything the player can repairs. touch will wear down eventually. Any part that is a required mechanical function of the game that is made from rubber will also need to be replaced at some point. Just like your car, it is much more cost-effective to get these things corrected soon after the damage is noticed to prevent the problem from getting worse, or causing even more problems.

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The 3 Values of Great Leaders


eadership is an overused word. There are a lot of managers in companies, but very few leaders. Even the ones that call themselves leaders possess attributes that leave much to be desired. Great leaders have a few qualities that make them special and make the companies they lead extraordinary for people

responsibility and work on it daily.

and profits.

people do not believe in the new strategy? Will you be successful?

So what is the definition of leadership? Great leaders are not the people that you’re forced to follow; they are the ones that you want to follow. Great leaders are humble, care more about others than themselves, and know that it’s not about the leader, it’s about the followers. Most of the best leaders have a dream and turn that dream into reality with others. So what’s in the DNA of great leaders and what values do they stand for? What makes them V.I.P.’s?

Values Value lies in the values. The great leaders know that they are responsible for establishing the culture of the company. As a matter of fact, the great leaders know that culture is their number one 40 /

Let’s say that you take over a company that has been in business for 100 years, is currently about to go bankrupt, and has almost 100,000 people? What do you do first?

train on; and it is at the core of how they hire, fire, and promote. So what are some things you can do today that would make you a better leader? •

Select or pare down your values to one to three values (no more than that) that are unique to what makes you successful.

Define how these values should be lived down to details like “Our people smile with teeth.”

Hire, fire and promote for these behaviors and make sure to hire people who already believe in them as they are more likely to do what you are going to ask them to do anyway. Emphasize and train the specific behaviors in detail. Success or failure in companies is all about people and how they behave.

Leaders should work on Why—Culture First through values and daily behaviors, How—Structure second through coaches and paying attention to how to serve the customers, and What—Strategy third through managers. Identify your sustainable competitive advantages and when they will be executed to produce results and profits. The best leaders are also master communicators.

Most people would analyze the strategy and probably change it. What happens if the 100,000

Others would change the strategy and when that didn’t work, they would focus on restructuring. Maybe a Chapter 11 will be their saving grace. But if that doesn’t work? Then, of course it was not the leader’s fault; it was because the people did not execute the strategy and then did not work well in the new structure. The best leaders would analyze what the company was doing well when it was successful and see how they could replicate it. Most companies had a founder and beliefs that people followed that made the company successful. The best leaders work on the values and behaviors of the people and make sure they worked on the culture first. Because without the people knowing and living the values that you stand for you may be doomed on getting people to follow you. So the best leaders work on culture first and have unique values that they all know and they

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Inspire on purpose.

to serve them so they can serve the customer. Most companies are strong in technical skills and weak in people skills.

Be in the people business.

Great leaders make sure that everyone knows, is inspired by, and lives the purpose of why they are there. Many of the great leaders talk about the purpose of the company often and make sure that everyone cares about why they are there in the first place.

The best leaders realize that if you do not put people before profits you will make fewer profits. The leaders that connect with the frontline and have the support of the people that make the money are the ones that people are willing to follow voluntarily.

People in companies don’t get frustrated necessarily by what they do, they get burnedout because they don’t know why they do it or don’t like who they are doing it for. Purposedriven companies continually outperform companies that lack purpose.

There are leaders that care about the money, others about the customers, and still others that care about people (starting with the employees). The best leaders care deeply about their employees and put them first, knowing that if the employees live the purpose and values (culture) then they will be great to customers and produce more profits.

Do you have a purpose, other than making money for why your company exists? Define this transcendent or noble purpose by: •

Talk about why you are in business. What is the ultimate outcome if you do great work? Who will it benefit?

Decide what your purpose will be— some made up examples are “We Believe in Better Living”, “We Help People Be Better”, “We Inspire, Inspiration”

Communicate a inspire people to live the purpose daily.

Leaders can inspire on purpose if they have a purpose. Make sure that you develop a purpose that others are willing to follow voluntarily.

The best leaders are loved by their people, not feared. They care about each one of them even more than they care about themselves. They know that they are the examples for how they want others to behave. The best ones eat in the employee cafeteria, spend time with the front line, and value them. These leaders are especially adept at communicating with actions before words. Some ways to focus on people first are: •

No matter what industry you are in, you should become an expert in people; because if you think about it, you are in the people business. First, you need to understand your people and need

Train on people skills and benchmark internally and externally against the best in the business.

Make your headquarters “the people headquarters” and make sure you focus on hiring for purpose and values. Make sure your leaders are humble and believe they are and know how to be in the people business.

Want to be the best leader? Become a V.I.P. leader who focuses on Values, Inspiration, and Purpose and you too will be a V.I.P for your employees, customers, and the bottom line. John Waid John Waid is the founder of C-3 Corporate Culture Consulting, a keynote speaker and author of the forthcoming book, Inspiring Isabella – A Little Story for Leaders About Culture-Driven Leaders. With a specialty and passion for corporate culture, sales and global business, John believes culture is the engine that drives companies to better results, higher morale, and increased profitability. An active speaker, trainer and subject matter expert, John Waid holds an enduring belief that corporate culture is the key to success for companies. For more information on John Waid, please visit: www.










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Preventative Tips to Avoid Costly Insurance Claims

Written by: Lori Lovely

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Volume 28 / Issue 1


o one likes paying insurance premiums, but it’s an important protection against financial calamity if an incident occurs at your rink. “RSA unity and our insurance program have saved a lot of rinks,” states Anthony Profaci, president, JBL Trinity Group, Ltd.

The Roller Skating Association established a program of general liability insurance, property insurance and more to benefit rink owners. As part of the program, routine inspections are conducted. The main focus, according to Profaci, is the roof because roof damage is one of the biggest claims his company sees.

RAISING THE ROOF Roof repairs can be costly and time-consuming. Insurance claims can be complicated and may not pay out fully if it’s determined that the roof wasn’t properly maintained. There are many steps to protecting and preserving a roof. Much of the basic maintenance can be performed by rink staff. •

Remove loose debris. Debris, such as branches and leaves, can block the flow of water to roof drains, causing ponding that can damage the roof. This includes removing debris from the gutters and downspouts. Clogs will block water runoff, creating ponding on the roof.

Remove moss and mold. They can cause deterioration, so affected areas should be cleaned with a solution and a soft brush. A power washer or hard-bristled brush can wear away the roof ’s surface if not properly used.

Repair or replace loose or missing sections of gutters, hardware and caulk.

Repaint as needed.

Keep foot traffic on the roof to a minimum, particularly during winter months when cold weather makes the roof membrane brittle and more susceptible to damage. General access should be prohibited or at least limited. However, sometimes electrical and mechanical trade technicians need access to systems on the roof to conduct inspections or perform repairs of heating, venting, air conditioning or other equipment. Occasionally, service professionals will stage work from the roof – window washers, for example.

Provide a protective membrane, walkway pads or roof pavers for workers who need access to the roof.

Conduct regular inspections, preferably bi-annually (spring and fall) by trained roofing professionals. Check the ceiling for stains indicating leaks. Check the roof ’s surface (or field) for damage or missing sections, missing or loose flashing, nails and metal roof bolts. Because most leaks originate at the flashing, and because flashings are stressed more than the roof membrane due to thermal movement and UV degeneration, it’s especially important to look them over closely. The field (surface) should be examined for surface wear and overall degradation.

Develop a maintenance checklist.

Inspect the roof after extreme weather conditions, such as hailstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes or heavy snows.

Keep a log. This historical file should include a copy of the warranty, documentation of maintenance and repairs, the original plans and specifications, a list of any changes made, dates of inspections, a list of who was on the roof and an annual report of observations and recommendations.

Document rooftop conditions with photos before and after anyone

accesses the roof to perform repairs or conduct maintenance. •

Hire a professional roofing contractor to perform necessary repairs. Allowing rink staff or unauthorized contractors to do repairs may void the warranty.

MAINTENANCE While roof maintenance is critical, it’s not the only area that should be inspected, cleaned and repaired. Start with the building’s structure, Profaci advises. Be sure to check things like the carpet to ensure it’s in good condition. Make sure all step-ups and step-downs are marked. Prevent issues when you can. “Be aware of what causes damage,” Profaci suggests. “Then walk through the rink and look for torn carpet, protruding nails … things like that.” Make repairs immediately, he says. Keeping your rink in good working order can be costly, but he reminds his clients that people prefer to skate at a nicer rink, so the investment is worthwhile for many reasons. After roof issues, Profaci says the most claims he sees involve flooring, but the most liability claims come from skate defects.

BEYOND THE BUILDING Maintenance extends to skates, and to ensure that rinks are keeping their skates in good condition, RSA and JBL designed a skate maintenance and repair program. This system, named MySkateRepair, was created to help simplify the task of documenting skate inspections, maintenance and repairs. The program is free to RSA members that currently use JBL as their liability insurance provider, Profaci indicates. “We always push maintenance, but the last few years it’s become a really big deal.” Although Profaci says all rink owners have been required to keep a paper log in the past, this new program is electronic. It’s also user-friendly, with an app for use by personnel completing the repairs and inspections and a panel for managers to use for reviewing and reporting. A video to educate skate room attendants has been created. Profaci says to date, somewhere between 300-400 have taken the test. Once the system is set up, the functions for inspecting and repairing can be completed on an Ipad or any other electronic device in the skate room or the office. “The maintenance program is Internet-based,” Profaci elaborates. “You can scan reports on what you did, when you did it and what you need to do again.” The program offers numerous reporting capabilities, including a breakdown of inventory by skate type and size, repairs and/or inspections completed during a given time period, and a log of all activity performed on a specific skate. This report is the most important when it comes to fighting a lawsuit. Insurance companies establish a requirement of how often rental skates should be inspected and can deny claims based on inspections not being completed. JBL requires that all rental skates be inspected every three months. MySkateRepair provides an alert two weeks before skates are due for their three-month inspection to help rink owners ensure all inspections are completed every quarter. In addition to the mandatory three-month inspection, Profaci says employees must also check as the skates leave and return to the skate room. Skate inspections are done by skate type and size. Any skates that don’t pass inspection are logged accordingly. Missing or destroyed skates are also recorded to update inventory. Skates in need of repair are also logged. To enter a repair, the user enters the skate number, checks off the corresponding repairs and enters any parts used. The Parts feature is not mandatory, but can be used to track inventory Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

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and receipt of parts used for each type of skate. Once the Finish Repair button is selected, an entry is automatically created and attached to that particular skate number. Profaci envisions this process becoming even easier in the future because, he says, “we are heading to a bar coding system for the skates.” Another feature of the current system is its ability to store accident reports and mark skates that were involved in accidents. Profaci explains that a manager must sign off on all post-injury skate checks. “You’ll need this [report] if there are allegations of skate defects, an ambulance call, or an injured person blames the rink.” Profaci says. He advises getting as much documentation as possible immediately. “You can never have too much information: document, photos, video…” Documentation can include witness statements and video. Because many video systems override themselves every 7 days, it’s important to secure that right away, even though “you may not get sued for 30-40 days.” Skate defect claims can cost $30,000-$75,000, depending on what’s involved. There can be first and second surgeries, medical bills, hospital fees, lawyer fees and loss of earnings – because most injuries are sustained by adults. The average cost of an injury at a rink is $100,000.

THE CASE FOR INSURANCE Claims are dwindling, Profaci observes. He says the addition of video cameras helps to further reduce claims. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep safety and maintenance on the priority list to prevent issues and accidents.

what circumstances. It delineates incidents resulting from the inherent risks of roller skating, such as contact with other skaters and falls due to loss of balance, from issues arising due to a rink owner’s negligence. Although skaters may incur injuries from inherent risks, New Jersey state law prevents them from filing a lawsuit against the rink owner because of that. Incidental contact is contact that naturally occurs while roller skating.

COMMON SENSE PRACTICES Whether or not it’s mandated by state laws or insurance policies, it’s a good idea for rink owners to enact some safety and preventative measures designed to avoid incidents. •

Post signs with rink rules in multiple conspicuous locations. They should be easy to read.

Schedule a sufficient number of trained floor managers for the number of skaters. They need to enforce all rules.

Maintain the skating floor in clean, good condition. Ditto all railings, kickboards and walls. The same goes for all areas of the rink, inside and out.

Lights in service areas and exits must remain on during business hours.

Address parking lot security.

Above all, inspect, repair, replace, report.

Although the onus is on rink owners to provide a safe environment, some states have implemented rules and laws outlining an owner’s responsibilities. For example, New Jersey enacted the Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act, to determine who could sue roller skating rinks and under

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Volume 28 / Issue 1

Protect Your Business. Protect Your Skaters. Protect Your Future.

The Official RSA Endorsed Insurance Carrier OUR COMMITTMENT TO THE RSA


► Serving as the RSA Endorsed Insurance Provider Sponsor ► Diamond sponsor at every Roller Skating Industry Event ► Kids Skate Free Sponsor ► Roller Skating Manufacturer Associate Member ► Sponsor of local RSA Chapter Meetings ► Roller Skating Museum Sponsor ► My Skate Repair Program Sponsor ► Risk Management assessments for all customers ► Inline Hockey Association Insurance Provider

JBL Trinity has a division of underwriting and claims managers dedicated to the roller skating and FEC industry. Thanks to the dedication of these skilled professionals, JBL is at the forefront of the industry. We provide a full menu of insurance coverages to meet your specific needs, including but not limited to: General Liability, Property, Liquor Liability, Employment Liability (EPLI), Builders Risk. We hope that you will give JBL Trinity an opportunity to quote your roller skating rink or family entertainment center. Visit us on the web at to fill out an application.

General Liability Coverages

• $0 Deductible • Additional Insureds • Schools & PTAs • Rides and Arcades • Medical Payments • Active Shooter Coverage

Property Coverages

• Hired and Non-Owned Auto • Boy and Girl Scouts • Special Events • Assault and Battery • Sexual Abuse and Molestation • Teams, Leagues and Roller Derby through Inline Hockey Association Program

Refer to the actual policy(s) for complete terms/conditions. • HVAC Equipment Breakdown • Computer/EDP Equipment • Replacement Cost • Crime Coverage • Money - In & Out • Food Spoilage • Ordinance or Law • All Risk - Special • Hurricane and Wind • Garages and Sheds • $1000 Deductible

Endorsed Provider for the RSA

These coverages are provided by “A-rated” carriers that understand your business and provide the specialized coverages you need. Our industry-wide expertise and claims assistance completes your insurance protection at a price you can afford.

50 First Avenue Anthony Profaci Atlantic Highlands, NJ Phone: 1-800-925-RINK 732-888-4646 | Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 45 1-800-925-RINK Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine Fax:

Written by: Sara Hodon

Balancing Mental Health and Competitive Skating

Photo provided by: Mark Russell


ike all athletes, competitive skaters require different types of conditioning to stay in tip top shape. Besides the necessary physical training, it’s equally important to maintain a positive frame of mind. The mind and body work together to allow an athlete to perform— any distraction or interruption to that critical relationship could be disastrous.

Getting your game face (and mind) on To keep that delicate mind/body balance strong, skaters, with some help from their coaches, use different techniques to get themselves into the right mindset before, during, and after a competition. Jen Schumacher, performance psychology instructor with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, says developing a performance plan is essential to get into the mindset you need. Performance plans help align your physical and mental well-being, and Schumacher advises working on this at practice well in advance of a competition.

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She always discusses this with the athletes and cadets she coaches. “I might ask them ‘What will you eat that morning?’, ‘What will you pack in your bag?’ and other operational things. You want to be set up well before you leave the house. Then we’ll move into ‘What will you be saying to yourself?’, ‘Where do you want your breathing and focus to be?’” Feeling prepared and ready to go helps ease pre-competition jitters. Jeanne Sincavage, owner of Fantasy Skating Center in Reading, PA, has been a competitive skating coach for over 20 years. She believes the more prepared you feel going into the competition, the better you’ll do when it’s your turn on the floor. “I do warm ups with the figure skaters. I’ll have them do warm ups for 2 minutes, then go to the competition circle for 2 minutes, then back to the warm ups so they know what’s coming. I’ll do the same with dance. They’ll do a 2- or 2-and-a-half-minute warmup, then have a one-minute rest. If they’ll be skating a 3-minute dance, they do the three minutes. It’s about getting them into the mode,” she explains, adding, “I use a lot of video when I’m working with skaters. I like

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to record practice or components of lessons with the skater and save the ones that are particularly good. I pull them out prior to the contest and the skater looks at it and reviews it. The movements feel different to the skater than what I’m telling them. I might tell them to put their arms a certain way or move their foot, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ right to them. That’s why video is good— they can go back and look at the video and I can say ‘you’re rocking’ or point out where they may not be doing the movement right. Preparation ahead of time is important— you have to learn how to win.” Some skaters have conscious or unconscious habits or rituals they practice before taking the floor. Schumacher says there are subtle but important differences between these behaviors. “A ‘ritual’ makes me think of a superstitious behavior, and they are often rooted in an irrational belief. There are some that are harmless, but there are others we want to work through.” For example, what will happen if you forget to put your “lucky” pair of socks in your bag, or you’re not wearing those “lucky” laces in your skates? She adds, “A ‘habit’ is something you do and don’t really think about, such as

Volume 28 / Issue 1

pulling on your ponytail while you’re waiting to go out on the floor.” Lisa Dunham, coach for Team Illini at Illini Skateland in Danville, IL and Director of Sports Organization for the U.S. Roller Speed Skating Association, says every athlete gets into their competition mindset differently. “I know some athletes who don’t have any pre-race habits and can just jump on the line and race. Others, if they don’t do their ‘thing’, they can’t function. Some have a certain song they have to listen to, or a certain way their skates have to be tied, or [drink] a certain color of Gatorade. Some only eat certain foods, or exercise a certain way,” she explains. No matter how prepared a skater might feel, sometimes you just need that last-minute reassurance from your cheering squad. “I crochet, and some time ago I made a unicorn for one of my little skaters. Her dad has to hold it up for her when she is skating dance. Whatever gets you calm and helps you perform—I’m all for it,” Sincavage says. Denise Kerr, skater and coach with Capital City Racing in Springfield, IL, says the importance of skaters’ pre-competition activities cannot be overstated. “Pre-competition habits can be 75 percent of how an athlete performs,” she says. “Nutrition, self-talk, visualization, and off-skate warm ups can all contribute to an athlete feeling that they are ready to compete.” And pre-contest routines don’t have to be lengthy or complicated. Some of the simplest techniques have proven to be the most effective. Sincavage says her personal practices of tai chi and meditation have had strong influences on her coaching methods and the pre-competition habits she passes on to her athletes. “[My tips are] breathing and mindfulness. I tell my skaters to stay in the moment because it relaxes you. When you’re stressed you forget to breathe. I try to help bring them back to the breath, because it stabilizes you. Just listen to the music and pay attention to what your body is doing.” Dunham advises her skaters to keep things in perspective, “Just breathe. Remember that everyone is nervous. It’s just a race. Give it everything you have and leave it all on the floor—no regrets.”

going to do, like lace up your skates, and use that time to ‘click in’ and focus on the task at hand,” Schumacher suggests. A coach should help, too. “It can be difficult, especially if a coach has multiple athletes. Remind them of their own personal goals. Remind them that every athlete is a person. Everyone trains; it’s all about how you skate now,” Dunham says.

Do an After-Action Review, or AAR. A good AAR has a deep self-reflection component where you have a key takeaway or lesson learned from that performance or competition. It’s not a time to beat yourself up.” Kerr says mental exercises, belief in your program, and taking responsibility for your performance are a few healthy postcompetition behaviors.

When your turn is up, all that mental and physical preparation will be for naught if you lose your focus. It’s important to be aware of your body, but if you’re too hyper-focused on your movements, it could affect your concentration and cost you points. “As important as it is to have a pre-performance routine, it’s just as important to have a ‘reset’ button that helps you get back to the moment if you misstep or get distracted. You have to have something where you can release that distraction or negative thought,” Schumacher says. “Have a breathing strategy—if you can take a deep breath before you go into the next move, that can help you get back to the moment.”

Sincavage says it’s not necessarily about winning, but how you deal with it. “When a skater wins, you want to celebrate but you don’t want it to go on forever. When you lose I think it’s important to celebrate what the skater did correctly and focus on those things as you move forward,” she points out. And tears are an acceptable reaction regardless. “It does release stress. But then look at your performance and say ‘What am I going to do differently next time?’, ‘What do I want to focus on?’”

And the winner is… Competition can seem like the fastest or longest two or three minutes of your life, but sooner or later it comes to an end. Naturally you’ll critique your own performance, but your self-reflection should be constructive rather than destructive. In other words, don’t be too hard on yourself. Schumacher says the post-performance critique has two parts, particularly if you are doing more than one routine. “You may have had your best performance ever, but after it’s over you have to let it go and get ready to focus on your next one. In between performances, give yourself a few minutes to reflect, process, have whatever emotions you’re feeling, but then there’s the moment where you have to let it go. Perhaps you have to change outfits or you’ll be skating to different music—use those moments to transition and shift

Be here now: staying focused It’s perfectly normal to have some nervous energy right up until the end of your routine. “[Coaches should] help skaters understand that the jitters, or adrenaline, they are feeling are really just the body’s way of saying they are ready to race,” Kerr says. “I tell the little kids it’s their ‘Go Juice’!” She also recommends listening to music, practicing warm-up routines, and getting plenty of sleep in order to stay focused on the day of competition. Put that nervous energy to good use. “Take things you know you’re already

As for any anger you may be feeling, Schumacher recommends giving yourself permission to have those emotions. “Sometimes it’s OK to be angry or upset about a poor performance. As a coach, we’re so eager to make everything OK. If you’re an athlete who just had a poor performance, you can’t just make that all go away. Have a period of time where you reflect. I encourage sports journaling or reflecting with teammates, but then there’s a time where that window of reflection closes. That’s when you have to stop reflecting and being upset.”

Keeping your morale high Never underestimate the power of a strong cheering section—your coaches, teammates, and family. Sincavage says she encourages her skaters to stay at the meet and cheer each other on. “You need to encourage each other. It’s good for the older, more experienced skaters to cheer on the younger, less experienced skaters. It usually works pretty well.” Kerr says although everyone handles the stress of competition differently, all skaters need support and encouragement. “There is no cookie cutter plan for everyone. Celebrate the little and big successes! Cheer for everyone—from the 5-year-old to the 77-year-old. Celebrate the good, shake off the notso-good, and move on to focusing on the next race,” Kerr says.

your focus,” she advises. “Then at the end of the competition, reflect on the entire day.

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RSA Applauds Their 2018 SRSTA & SCA Coaches on Their U.S. National Champions The RSA operators are proud and appreciative of the hard work and effort of their coaches to be honored by receiving the coveted “Sissy Pin.” This pin has a 75+ year old tradition of excellence in coaching and a record is maintained of the many iconic coaches who have contributed to this proud history.

Congratulations goes to following SRSTA & SCA coaches who trained their skaters to achieve the honor of being a U.S. National Champion. Name

# Sissy Pins


Christy Baerg Richard Baltierra Margaret Bargmann Fitzgerald Vickie Bateman Tom Beebe Gerald Bruland Marlene Bruland Amber Burgess Mary Margaret Campbell Lynnette Cassio Karyn Cormier Anthony DaPonte Name


Cory Allen Barbara Becker Clinton Ross Carson Kevin Coffey Ely Dunham Lisa Dunham John Gustafson


9 5 12 15 10 19 20 5 11 10 6 12

# Sissy Pins

2 1 1 1 1 6 18

Monica Delvy Ron Fitzgerald Pam Grenier Jody Harrah Robert Hopkins Vickie Hudson Pat Jacques Rene Johnson Shane Locklear Tiffany McKinnon Caroline Mirelli Stephanie Moore Name

Chris Keesler Denise Kerr Patty Leazier Paul Leidy Tracy Motter Julie Parlett Alexandria Rys

# Sissy Pins Name

6 6 1 2 3 25 26 3 3 4 16 2

Mary Nendza Richard Parks Janet Pavilonis Heidi Permatteo Cindy Schrader Raymond Simas Gary Stecker Danielle Storm Brian Tilley Jodee Viola Tina Ireland Yow

# Sissy Pins Name

1 1 2 1 1 1 1

Ken Shelton Joe Smith Jack Study Jay Whitehouse

# Sissy Pins

18 1 12 8 5 9 2 7 1 6 10 # Sissy Pins

17 1 1 1

For more information on the SRSTA, feel free to contact Sharon McMahon at or call 317-347-2626 Ext. 108 48 /

Roller Skating Association International • 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278 28 / Issue 1 •Volume F: 317-347-2636 •

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Book More Parties | Monetize Your Website | Drive More Foot Traffic | Save Time & Money | | 877-394-2410

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Written by: Keith Loria

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Volume 28 / Issue 1


ne of the main complaints from people writing reviews of roller skating rinks is a bad lighting or sound system, and this is something that a rink operator should never let happen. With prices lower than ever and systems that can light up a skating center like never before—not to mention sound systems that will blow people away—this is an investment every rink operator should be making. After all, customers will enjoy light shows and great sound immensely and it will drive traffic to your center. Todd Thompson, general manager of Sparkles Family Fun Center of Hiram in Hiram, Georgia, says the center decided to change up its lighting system to “increase the wow factor” in its light show, hoping it would bring in more business. To do this, the center hired Michael Couey at Sharpsburg, Georgia-based Star Wholesale Lighting & Sound, and learned about his new design concept of wash lighting, which is a color emersion system. “This is the latest trend in the industry. We light up the ceiling in one big ray of color, giving almost a disco-like effect,” Couey says. “We have multiple packages for that and it really transforms a skating center. Even if a center is 50 years old, this would be a transformation like no other and it would seem brand new.” Couey explained that the system was a good fit for the business as a wash light is just a light with a broad beam angle which allows lighting design to smoothly cover wide areas and fluorescent lighting is the most commonly used wash lighting used in skating centers. Therefore, LED fixtures make a great wash light because the color saturation is better than with any other type of lighting. “I’ve been installing versions of this show for years and it was getting better and better, but we pretty much perfected it now,” he says. “Where we’ve installed these particular shows, it’s increased the revenue in many rinks almost 15 percent month after month for at least eight months.” Sparkles Family Fun Center was certainly impressed and is seeing some of that profit themselves. “The Truss lighting program he brought in is the most innovative state-of-the-art system available,” Thompson says. “The multi-programs within the system allows us to give the very best skating experience to our skaters. Included in the system is a fog machine option for those ‘all night’ skates to bring the session to another level.” Combine this with DMX control and your ambient wash lighting becomes a central part of any solid light show. It’s certainly been a hit at Sparkles Family Fun Center.

“The final project is outstanding, better than anticipated,” Thompson says. “It gave the rink a different look and feel. Our guests were blown away with the product giving nothing but compliments and praise. We also use the light show during our education STEM field trips showing the students the different kinds of lights being used.”

LIGHTS IN VOGUE Cody Maxfield, project manager of Audio Lite in Emporia, Kansas, has been involved in the lighting and sound business for decades and has seen intelligent lighting fixtures using LEDs as having taken over the industry of late, explaining they can provide a lot of light and color while using very little power and produce very little heat. “Full spectrum, RGBAW+UV LEDs produce beautiful colors effortlessly,” he says. “Adding new lighting will always give the kids something to talk about in school on Monday. That’s advertising that is indispensable. Utilizing lighting you can create visually interesting spaces by coordinating colors across various fixture types and there will also be savings in electrical cost.” Many rinks are turning to lights for custom birthday parties. For example, Couey says if there’s a little girl having a party, and you bring her out to the floor to wish her a happy birthday, you can turn the whole rink to purple and pink, creating an ideal photo moment. “That will lead to more parties there as it snowballs on social media,” he says. “That’s great for the industry as a whole.”

DESIGN IN ACTION Recently, Audio Lite consulted with a skating center outside of St. Louis that needed to change from an existing multiuse hockey facility to an entertainment complex and made some big changes. “We were able to change the entire light show to Chauvet Professional outdoor fixtures that are built with higher quality components than the DJ lines,” Maxfield says. “They are completely sealed, monitor their own temperature and don’t have any maintenance requirements. We were also able to balance the electrical load so that entire light show was added without having an electrician add any outlets saving them money.” The guest experience at the center has completely turned around and they are receiving praise in person and on their Facebook page as there are more photos posted from guests at the new light show than there had been in their entire previous history. Star Wholesale Lighting & Sound did a unique install at Wheels and Thrills in Owasso,

Oklahoma, where it installed 800 pixel tubes hanging from the ceiling, so it gives the impression of icicle lights. “When you are skating around, it looks like one big chandelier,” Couey says. “They do all kinds of incredible things and we got a bunch of awards for that install because it was so different. It’s not the norm for the industry but sometimes something like that can really make a rink stand out.”

SOUND MATTERS Though many rinks turn to lighting first, adding a new sound system can also pay some nice dividends in the long run. With efficiency, accuracy, control and aesthetics better than ever, now is a great time to think about making a change. “The new systems allow us to put the sound where the people are and give them an experience that is second to none,” Maxfield says. “Installed speakers have a clean look and are rated for overhead suspension. DSP (digital signal processing) replaces a rack full of equipment and gives us the tools to compensate for acoustical problems in your facility.” There is also a DJ mixer that processes digital audio for a cleaner sound and amplifiers that keep increasing their power without getting bigger and produce their power with less heat and waste, saving electricity. Both of these options are popular with rink operators. “Your customers are expecting perfect sound and we can help a rink get there with many of these things,” Maxfield says. Last year, he worked with a facility in New England that had an aging and failing sound system, and after a simple evaluation, determined amps, DSP and a mixer were the only thing that needed replacing. “I was able to rework all of the cabling that the

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DJs had added over the years and get the new equipment consolidated into a new location out of the way,” he says. “I test the sound averaging multiple locations to get the most accurate frequency response from the system. Once I have set limits to keep the equipment from being overdriven, I gave the owner and employees a demo. They were thrilled and said that the sound has never been that good, even when it was new.” Couey has seen a lot more power speakers going into centers, with amplifiers inside the speakers. “These sound systems are more efficient in the way they are making them now,” he says.

DIY When adding light or sound, not everything has to be done by professionals, though a rink operator should check with their liability insurance rep before making any decisions. While Maxfield says there are many lighting systems the operator can install themselves, to get the most functionality out of a system, having a professional design, install, train and support those in the center will give you the best performing light show. “There is a big difference between hanging something like an 11-pound Revo 4 from a ceiling T-bar or hanging a 70-pound speaker or

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people think. LEDs aren’t what they were and you can get a decent one for $80 a piece.”

a 500+ pound truss safely,” Maxfield says. “There are many factors to consider like capacity of mounting point and detailed specs of every part used in all suspension lines. Permanent records should be kept of all suspension parts.”


Scott Campbell, owner of Scooter’s Family Skating Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, had a background in nightclubs before joining the roller skating industry, so he felt comfortable doing all the lighting and sound work himself.

Any center still working with lights or sounds from the 20th century should be running to make a change, but even those that have updated their systems over the last 5-10 years should be looking at what’s new and how it can improve their center.

“My speakers are actually from the ‘80s, but they sound better than anything on the market today, but I have replaced the amplifiers to create a phenomenal sound,” he says. “I have the older light labs that most skating rinks from the ‘80s have, but I put a ton of LED fixtures in. I am replacing all the lights with newer and brighter LEDs so the rink can change color to any color I want, which makes it interesting.”

“If you go down to your local church or youth center, they’ve probably got a better light show or sound system than you do, so you have to look around at what else is out there for people and the standards they are expecting today,” Couey says. “If you don’t have at least the standard inside your center, it’s going to be very hard to compete for customers in 2019.”

The reason he’s doing that is because he knows that kids today can be fickle and you can’t just have the same old lights that have been in for years. “Everything on TV for these kids is big, bright, new and clean and you have to keep up with that and deliver that ‘wow factor’ or else they will get bored and not come back,” Campbell says. “People think it’s really hard to do, but it’s basic stuff. You can go to YouTube and watch how to do it, and it’s not very difficult. Plus, it’s way cheaper than

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Looking ahead, Couey believes that in the future, roller skating rinks will stop painting the skating walls and will use projection mapping the way they do on the Disney castle in Orlando. “I see a bit in the future where the outer walls of the center will be able to have logos, the colors you want or any type of graphic,” he says. “You can put food up on the walls and remind people to go and get something. That décor is coming down the pike and once it’s priced effectively enough, it will come.”

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s r o t a r e p O k n i Long-time R k n i R w e N o t s p i Offer T Owners Written by: Keith Loria


uying or opening up a roller rink in today’s climate can be an exciting and stressful endeavor. While you may have plenty of ideas to make your rink standout, sometimes a new owner will not think of everything that needs to be done to make a rink a success and that can lead to frustration and second guessing. Charlie Johnson, owner of Landmark2 Skate Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, started working at the rink in 1976 and purchased it in 1999. One thing he has always been impressed by is the ultimate honesty and helpfulness of fellow rink operators both locally and across the nation. “The roller skating industry is known as one of the few ‘tried and true’ industries still surviving and succeeding today, so people shouldn’t get caught up in the ‘quick buck,’” he says. “Patience is a valued virtue that most operators have gained or possess in order to achieve success.” Johnson learned early on the importance of creating good relationships in the community with customers and employees. “In the beginning, if you hope to achieve longevity, you need to manage your money wisely and plan through your budget with any future plans and programs that you want to implement,” he says. “Don’t overload in the beginning.” With 20 years as an owner, his biggest pieces of advice for those looking to open a rink in 2019 is to not be afraid to reach out to surrounding towns or

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communities showcasing what your rink offers, spend time and effort to create a mission statement and live by it, and don’t limit the social aspects of the business. “For example, you need an easy-tounderstand website that includes online booking and you need to participate on social networks,” Johnson says. “Today more than ever, your customer service skills will help you survive when others fail.” Frank Torries, owner of Fun Nation in Lafayette, Louisiana, has been in business for 44 years and at the same location the past 37. He says there are so many things he looks back on and wishes he knew before getting into the business. “So much has changed, but mainly I wish I knew more about promoting my business in 1975 the way I understand how to do it today,” he says. Those that think they can survive and thrive without the help of other operators are going to be in for a letdown, Torries adds. “Fellow operators are there to help and will,” he says. “Before you get into this business, people should make sure that skating and dealing with the public on a large scale is something they really want to do. They should also open or build in an area where if they do decide to get out of the business, they still have the land and building in an area that will sell.”

“I have shared this statement over my 30 years with each of my employees,” Winkler says. “I believe we have created better employees with this great tag line.”

downs with owning a rink.

Erika and Jeff Wymer, owners of Jumpin’ Jupiter Skate Center in Muskegon, Michigan, purchase their rink in 1998, though both had For those getting in the business today, Winkler plenty of experience around the sport. He worked at a skating center beginning when he was 15 and says one thing someone might not think of is she skated for the speed team for a short while. having all of the proper licenses and documents in place. “My biggest piece of advice is to connect with “For example, when I worked for the old owner, people in the Roller Skating Association and Torries biggest pieces of advice for those surround yourself with successful advisors and he did late skates and all night skates. When I starting out today are to do research on the took over the business, I continued with the same mentors,” Erica Wymer says. “Many operators demographics of the area you want to open so have been there and done that, and they are process and purchased all the licenses he had you know if there’s enough of a customer base to previously purchased,” she says. “I was advertising willing to share their successes and pitfalls.” stay viable; check out competition in the area and an all-night skate and a week prior to the event, make sure there’s not another rink nearby that will Early on, the Wymers were told that success the police department stopped and asked to see keep customers away; and don’t just open a rink is not a straight line, and understood there were my after-midnight license. I explained I did not and expect it to work. Add more activities that dips, valleys, curves and loops in the business. have one and that I was unaware of such a license. will attract people to the rink. They explained to me ignorance was no excuse “When something goes wrong, reflect on it, “Work hard. You can’t just expect to open and that if I planned to have an all-night skate the determine how to fix it and what could have been the doors and people will just show up,” he license was required. I quickly jumped into action done differently,” she says. “Plan, evaluate what’s says. “Treat people right, get involved in the and secured the required license.” most important and execute your plan. Do one community, and most of all, promote!” thing perfectly, not 10 things poorly.” Other tips she has for those contemplating Tina Winkler went to work at Sk8away in starting a rink are know your demographics and When it comes to money, new owners should Topeka, Kansas in 1989 and purchased the make decisions that will keep you in the business be frugal and watch every dollar. business in 1995. Having worked in the business long-term. “Don’t over extend your credit limit just for five years prior to buying the rink, she learned “If you plan to make this a lifetime career, because you want to purchase ‘the next big thing,’” a lot of lessons along the way. you will have to make some decisions that will Wymer says. “When we first started, we had very “When purchasing a business, if the business lose you some money (like kicking people out), little money. The only thing we could do was to has been successful and operating well, I would however, by doing this you will maintain the keep the skating center looking clean all the time suggest to change nothing for 6 months,” she integrity of the business,” Winkler says. “Your (which includes sweeping floors, wiping tables, says. “This gives the opportunity to review and decisions will determine whether you make a checking restrooms during the session), creating a determine what needs changed. I am a firm lot of money fast and then get out or make your fun atmosphere with games and friendly staff.” believer that if it is not broke, don’t fix it.” money slow and steady and stay in for life.” Budgeting money is also important, as is One piece of advice she received early on that Speaking of money, Winkler also suggests balancing business and family life. But Wymer’s she still follows to this day arises from the phrase, maintaining savings for a rainy day and spending biggest piece of advice for someone starting a “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” wisely are important, as there are many ups and center today is to look at every square foot of the

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space and figure out how to make it a profit area. “Look at other ways to utilize the space and time availability for other activities or services,” she says. “Keep your center looking good, which includes your flyers, website and social media platforms. And train your staff, as you’re only as good as your worst employee.”

it would be in hiring good, competent help. “That’s something that hasn’t changed either,

“Leasing is fine to start, but not more than five years if possible,” Sherman says. “I know some rinks are located in shopping centers, which is impossible to own, however if your building is a standalone, secure the property as soon as you are financially stable. Also, open a line of credit account for emergencies, needed expenditures and slow periods until business is established.”

Additionally, she says it’s important to create a center that you enjoy managing and try to grow the business all the time. Make small changes, such as painting one year, updating restrooms the next, and bringing in new carpet. Customers will notice the little changes and keep coming back.

Another thing she feels new owners might not consider is liability insurance, but that is needed because it is a costly expense if a guest has an accident while on skates in the facility. “It usually isn’t your fault, but the courts seem to always side with the public for some kind of pay out,” Sherman says. “The business needs to be insured as a separate entity so you are protected as an individual. Also, new owners may not think about facility maintenance. Your rink surface, rental skates, all machines and carpets need to be on a maintenance rotation schedule. It’s important to create a maintenance schedule and stick to it as best as possible.”

“Always be ready to pitch your business. We have saved a lot of money by learning to do things ourselves,” Wymer says. “Stay true to who you are. Be honest, ethical and stay humble. Be consistent on every level. Focus on the 99 percent of the customers that appreciate what you do and don’t dwell on the 1 percent who make you feel like you want to pull your hair out.” Debbie and Joe Cotter inherited Roller City in Wichita, Kansas from Debbie’s parents, who had bought the rink in 1994, and have run it together for the past 25 years. “The three pieces of advice we would give potential new rink operators is your skating schedule should run all day when you can; don’t start and stop your sessions and replace your rental skates every 5-7 years,” she says. “People don’t like worn out rental skates. It can make for an unpleasant experience.” Understaffing or overstaffing is something that the Cotters feel is something that new rink owners might not think about it until it’s too late, and they recommend really coming up with a savvy schedule. Wendy Sherman, owner of the Skate Zone in Gambrills, Maryland, purchased the rink in 1996 with her husband. One thing she was surprised about during her early days was just how difficult 56 /

recommends securing the building in a mortgage that you are growing this business in.

and it seems to be getting harder, as well,” she says. “As minimum wage continues to rise, high school kids and even college kids are not as dependable nor competent to handle simple sales and customer service procedures. Training this age group now is the most challenging part of the job. Most of them do not have people skills or know how to mop a floor or clean dishes.”

One last piece of advice she received when first starting out was to always pay yourself, because your time is valuable and you shouldn’t work for free. “If you put time and energy, and heart and soul in a business until it gets established with good people you can rely on, it will pay off later on down the road,” she says. “Then, you can work on your business and not in it.”

Based on her experiences, she has loads of advice for future operators, though three things that stick out the most to her all share the theme of strong business practices. “Always answer the phone and return messages within 12 hours,” she says. “Do your own bookkeeping and put a payroll company in place. Put a HR procedure together and keep records and logs of employee’s actions.” When it comes to money issues, she

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2019 RSA Affiliate Member Listings

The companies listed below are “RSM” members of the Roller Skating Association International who provide goods and services to the roller skating industry. Company information is updated in each issue of Rinksider for your reference. If your firm services the roller skating industry and you would like information about becoming a member, or you are a current member needing to update your information, call the Association headquarters at 317-347-2626 Ext. 108. If you would like an additional listing under another RSM category, there is a charge of $125 per additional category. Information below is as provided on 2018 RSM renewals. Changes and category updates must be made with Sharon McMahon at

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY FETCHREV Greg McGuire 855-979-7833 1232 E. Baseline Rd. Floor 2, Tempe, AZ 85283

INTERCARD INC. Rhonda Stevens 314-275-8066 1884 Lackland Hill Parkway Suite 1, St. Louis, MO 63146

PARTY CENTER SOFTWARE Scott Drummond 888-804-1166 1010 Camerado Drive #206, Cameron Park, CA 95682

PARTYWIRKS.COM Larry McLean 877-345-4012 9450 SW Gemini Dr Suite 30375, Beaverton, OR 97008

SACOA PLAYCARD SYSTEM Hiara Elias 214-256-3965 PO Box 5258, New York, NY 10163

TIMES TWO TECHNOLOGY Kendall Cabe 708-497-9896 113 McHenry Rd., #380, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 kendall.cabe@timestwotechnology. com

TRAY Christina Calhoun 844-873-8729

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7135 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 360 Scottsdale , AZ 85251

TRUSTWORKZ INC. Gabrielle Shaiman 770-615-3275 3101 Cobb Pkwy SE, Suite 124, Atlanta, GA 30339

CONSULTING AND RINK PLANNING BEDROCK CONTRACTING Jessica VanOsdell 1-800-957-7663 3775 N. Beach St., Ft. Worth, TX 76137

RC SPORTS INC. Ronald Creten 913-894-5177 14501 W. 98th, Pillar 18-51A, Lenexa, KS 66219


FINANCING/FINANCIAL PLANNING AXE PAYMENTS Brian Worth 877-385-0531 530-B Harkle Road. Suite 100 Santa Fe, NM 87505

CFG WEALTH MANAGEMENT SERVICES Michael Puckett 317-841-7959 9840 Westpoint Drive, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46256

CSA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS David Brewer 866-400-0272 791 Park Manor Drive, Smyrna, GA 30082

FLOOR MATERIALS AND INSTALLATIONS ASTRO CARPET MILLS Edward Hurney 800-542-4189 PO Box 1059, Calhoun, GA 30701

Daniel Wortman 480-748-4191 3098 E. Bellflower Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85928 FINCHUM SPORTS FLOORS Larry Finchum 865-453-3995 2812 Boyd’s Creek Highway, COSTUMES Sevierville, TN 37876 MASK US INC David Bragg 619-476-9041 FLAGSHIP CARPETS 3121 Main Street, Suite F, Chula Vista, Marsha Long CA 91911 800-778-5241 734 S. River St., PO Box 1779, Calhoun, GA 30701

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

FLOOR SYSTEMS INC Kim Wall 260-484-7746 4517 Industrial Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46825

ICE COURT Jamie Noble 843-884-0603 205 Boring Drive, Dalton, GA 30721

OMEGA PATTERN WORKS Kristin Messick 800-241-4908 716 S. River Street, Calhoun, GA 30703

RINK-COTE/ PORT CITY PAINTS Roy Spencer 231-726-5911 1250 9th Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

ROLL-ON FLOOR PRODUCTS Joseph Nazzaro Jr. 817-571-2938 233 W. Pipeline Rd., Hurst, TX 76053

SOUTHEASTERN SKATE SUPPLY #2 David Ramsey 800-241-8060 462 Veterans Memorial Hwy, SE, Mableton, GA 30126

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TITE COAT INTERNATIONAL Scott Gray 800-442-8483 5365 Dorsey Evergreen Rd., Fulton, MS 38843

MCGOWAN INSURANCE Drew Tewksbury 440-263-1882 20595 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, OH 44126 dtewksbury@mcgowaninsurance. com


Nancy Clay 913-266-5325 11880 College Blvd, Ste 500, Overland Park, KS 66210



Charles Krugel 312-804-3851 CINTAS CORPORATION 1001 S. State St. #1904, Chicago, IL Dustin Wilkins 60605 317-387-9000 6800 Cintas Blvd, Mason, OH 45040


CPI ROAD SOLUTIONS Jay Walerstein 317-243-3248 5616 Progress Road, Indianapolis, IN 46241

INSURANCE HANASAB INSURANCE SERVICES INC Robert Ferrer 323-782-8454 625 South Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

JBL TRINITY GROUP LTD Anthony Profaci 800-925-7465 50 First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 7716

RINKSIDER MAGAZINE Lynette Rowland 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 6905 Corporate Drive Indianapolis, IN 46278

ROLLER SK8R MAGAZINE Susan Geary 540-339-9461 4712 Oak Rd. NW, Roanoke VA

NOVELTY ITEMS/ REDEMPTION PRODUCTS A & A GLOBAL INDUSTRIES Stacy Johnson 800-638-6000 17 Stenerson Lane, Cockeysville, MD 21030

BMI MERCHANDISE Dave Schwartz 732-363-0212 1960 Rutgers University Blvd., Lakewood, NJ 8701

COAST TO COAST ENTERTAINMENT Gary Balaban 732-238-0096 1000 Towbin Ave, Lakewood, NJ 8701

FUN EXPRESS Lae Phonephakdy 402-939-3020 4206 S 108th St, Omaha, NE 68137

FUNTASTIC NOVELTIES INC. Kris Wall Friesner 260-482-1566 4515 Industrial Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46825


MUSIC ASCAP John Bonaccorso 800-505-4052 2 Music Square West Nashville TN 37203

FEC MUSIC Jim Juniper 866-684-8324 787 Adelaide St North Suite 2, London, ON N5Y 2L8

Joe Iacona 800-809-4569 23133 Schoenherr Road, Warren, MI 48089

RHODE ISLAND NOVELTY Dan Highcove 800-435-3456 350 Commerce Dr., Fall River, MA 2720

THE STUFF SHOP - 1516 Mike Hill 800-860-8474 111 Triple Diamond Blvd, North Venice, FL 34275

SURESHOT REDEMPTION 58911 Sondra Doyle 909-923-5700 1500 S. Hellman Ave, Ontario, CA 91761

THEISEN VENDING CO Ted Bratulich 612-827-5588 2335 Nevada Ave North, Golden Valley, MN 55427

PARTY SUPPLIES NORTHWEST ENTERPRISES Gordon Vong 847-806-0034 900 Lunt Ave., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

REBECCA’S Joseph Nazzaro Jr. 817-545-2745 233 W. Pipeline Rd., Hurst, TX 76053

SURESHOT REDEMPTION Sondra Doyle 909-923-5700 1500 S. Hellman Ave, Ontario, CA 91761

PLAY EQUIPMENT AND LASER TAG AMAZING PLAY DESIGN Darrell Weaver (816) 935-3635 1075 West Kathryn St., Nixa, MO 65714

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ARC LASER TAG ARENAS Lathan Gareiss 888-514-0283 5450 Lee Street, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971


Josh Haagen 253-301-3460 2750 Williamson Place NW Suite CREATIVE WORKS INC. 148, DuPont, WA 98327 Jeff Schilling 317-834-4770 350 Bridge St., Mooresville, IN 46158 BONT SKATES Debbie Rice 941-722-2668 INTERNATIONAL PLAY 5004 US Highway 41 N Unit B, COMPANY INC. Palmetto, FL 34221 Kathleen Kuryliw 604-607-1111 215-27353-58th Crescent, Langley, BC V4W 3W7

LASER BLAST Carla Ewald 877-338-7889 6118 Gotfredson Rd., Plymouth, MI 48170

LASERTAG.COM BY ZONE LASER TAG INC. Erik Guthrie 866-966-3797 419 Webbs Lane, Dover, DE 19904

LASERTRON Ann Kessler 716-836-0670 251 Meyer Road, Amherst, NY 14226

PLAYSMART Gary Boots 217-221-4031 107 North Missouri, Sedalia, MO 65301


CHICAGO SKATES/ NATIONAL SPORTING GOODS Joel Aranson 973-779-2323 376 Hollywood Ave., Fairfield, NJ 7004

CRAZY SKATES USA Trent Carter 317-222-6105 5530 W Raymond St, Indianapolis, IN 46241


Stephen Charrier 800-232-7655 19 Technology Drive, West Lebanon, NH 3784

SKATES US INC. David Ripp 765-935-7477 415 West Eaton Pike, Richmond, IN 47374

SURE GRIP INTERNATIONAL Jim Ball 800-344-3331 5519 Rawlings, Southgate, CA 90280

USA ROLLER SPORTS Eric Steele 402-483-7551 Ext. 210 4730 South Street, Lincoln, NE 68506

SIGNAGE & APPAREL ROLLER ROO APPAREL Robert Bentley 850-478-3994 2607 East Olive Rd., Pensacola, FL 32514



Walt Hedrick 817-781-1898 4004 Cedar Creek Ct, Arlington, TX 76016



Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |


Abid Sheikh 919-799-7707 ROLLER SKATES & 5448 Apex Peakway No. 115, Apex, DISTRIBUTORS NC 27502 GOLDEN HORSE RENTALS/LW


Bob Riegelman 800-698-6893 122 Cannon River Ave N, Red Wing, MN 55066

800-241-8060 462 Veterans Memorial Hwy, SE, Mableton, GA 30126


Helen Ou-Chang 886-927-351409 No. 8 Xiamei Rd. Xinyang Industrial District, Hai Cang, Xiamen, Fujian 361022

ROLLER DERBY SKATE CORP Tamara Dean Will Marion 503-606-4438 PO Box 40, Independence, OR 97351 217-324-3961 64 /

311 West Edwards Street, Litchfield, IL 62056

Ronald Creten 913-894-5177 17501 W. 98th, Pillar 18-51A, Lenexa, KS 66219

Glenn Ramsey Jr 800-444-7528 2917 Nicholas Ave, Roanoke, VA 24012


SNACK BAR EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES AUTOFRY/MULTICHEF MOTION TECHNOLOGY Bess Wightman 800-348-2976 10 Forbes Road, Northborough, MA 1532

FRAZIL/FREEZING POINT John Einsfeld 877.372.9455 3560 W. Niniget Dr. Salt Lake City, UT 84104

GOLD MEDAL PRODUCTS COMPANY Stephanie Goodin 8009-543-0862

David Ramsey

Volume 28 / Issue 1

CONNECTIONS 10700 Medallion Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241-4807

ICEE COMPANY Curt Ritzel 803-926-5657 23660 Research Drive Unit A, Farmington Hills, MI 48335

PEPSI-COLA COMPANY Tony Grimes (972) 334-2177 Ross Attn: Ross Bower 7701 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75024

PIZZAOVENS.COM Jason Dees 877-367-6836 121 Dewey Dr Unit E, Nicholasville, KY 40356

QUIK N’ CRISPY Paul Artt 651-669-8993 12021 Plano Rd. Suite 160, Dallas, TX 75243

FROGGY’S FOG Christopher Markgraf 615-469-4906 302 Rutherford Ln, Columbia, TN 38401

STAR WHOLESALE LIGHTING AND SOUND Michael Couey 678-570-7608 55 Thomas Grace Annex, Sharpsburg, GA 30277

SPECIAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES GLOBAL ROOFING COMPANY JoB LeRay 800-257-3758 2117 Goliad Circle, Frisco, TX 75033

HELIX LEISURE Ted Parsons 469-521-8000 2015 McKenzie Dr Suite 106, Carrollton, TX 75006

SCHWAN’S FOOD SERVICE Monte Farrar 813-748-1167 9472 Hunters Pond Dr., Tampa, FL 33647

SOUND SYSTEMS & LIGHTING ACTION LIGHTING Elwood Bakken 800-248-0076 310 Ice Pond Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715

AUDIO LITE Terry Maxfield 800-255-1015 701 Graham St., Emporia, KS 66801

MRB CONTRACTORS Michael Ludwig 972-827-8599 618 S. Beltline, Irving, TX 75060

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PARKS MAGAZINE Scott Borowski 610-645-6940 1062 E. Lancaster Ave. Suite F/5, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


St. Louis, MO 63132

AMERICAN CHANGER Wayne Snihur 954-917-3009 1400 NW 65th Place, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

BAY TEK GAMES INC. Holly Hampton 920-822-3951 1077 E. Glenbrook Drive, Pulaski, WI 54162

BENCHMARK GAMES Paula Rinker 561-588-5200 51 Hypoluxo Rd, Hypoluxo, FL 33462

BETSON ENTERPRISES Brian Murphy 201-438-1300 303 Paterson Plank Rd, Carlstadt, NJ 7072

DANDMAT SERVICES Danny Schutt 321-231-6411 91 Earl’s Lane, Apopka, FL 32712

GOLD STANDARD GAMES Mark Robbins 989-893-1739 3020 N. Water Street, Bay City, MI 48708

PLAYER ONE AMUSEMENT GROUP Bill Freeman 386-747-0845 1920 Center Park Dr., Charlotte, NC 28208

SHAFFER DISTRIBUTING CO. Paul Jones 1-800-282-0194 1100 W. 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH 43212

SSM VENDING Judi Heston-Donnell 877-213-0500 1716 West Broadway Road Suite 111, Mesa, AZ 85202

THEISEN VENDING CO Ted Bratulich 612-827-5588 2335 Nevada Ave North, Golden Valley, MN 55427

VIDEO GAMES NAMCO Marko Mladenovich 630-238-2232 712 North Central Ave. Suite B, Wood Dale, IL 60191

WHEEL AND BEARING MANUFACTURERS ANABOLIX SKATE COMPANY Mike Elsbury 317-903-6172 7304 Atmore Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46217

SKATE ONE CORP DBA ROLL ONE DISTRIBUTION Isaac Oltmans 805-683-4779 30 South La Patera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Matthew Olson 800-991-6818 1317 Lindbergh Plaza Center Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1 / 65


VOLCANIC WHEEL Soo Kim 818-547-9900, 547-9600 1160 North Central Ave #212, Glendale, CA 91202

WRIST BANDS, TICKETS AND TOKENS HOFFMAN MINT - 63290 Wayne Snihur 954-917-5451 1400 NW 65th Place, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309

NATIONAL TICKET COMPANY - 1081 Patrick Carter 800-829-0829 PO Box 547, Shamokin, PA 17872

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Rink owner/operator retiring. Area listed in top 10 “Best Places To Live in the USA�. 252-241-0512 or


Riedell rental skates for sale. They are about 9 years old in good condition. $15.00 a pair. Call Chris at 727-938-5778 or email him at


At United Skates of America, we believe the success of a facility is based on the General Manager/Managing Partner and the team they lead. We are looking for dynamic leaders that have the ability to execute programs, developed over our 40+ year history, to join our expanding team. The candidates should also bring innovative new ideas to the table. A Managing Partner receives a base compensation and a bonus, where dedication pays large dividends. This bonus is paid as a percentage of the profits, creating a strong relationship between the partner and the company. If you are a high-energy leader that will embrace this culture and drive the success of the facility like it is your own business, contact Kim Nesbitt, HR Manager, at for more information.


Turnkey operation - the building is currently operated as a roller skating rink, but very amenable to many alternate uses. B-2 zoning. Completely remodeled in 2012 - wide open space with concession area, bathrooms, 7,000+ square feet of maple floor rink, gaming area, a skate rental and locker area. The building is equipped with an impressive audio system controlled from a DJ booth. Commercial block building over 13,440 square feet - rubber roof, building is heated and cooled, a new air conditioning unit was installed in July 2017. Price for building $169,000 and price for business $50,000. If you choose to purchase the business & not the building, lease for building is $1800 a month. 45 miles from Dayton & 75 miles from downtown Columbus. Contact Paula or Zach Hill at Rolling Hills Skate at 937-638-5867 or

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 28 / Issue 1

Profile for Roller Skating Association International

Volume 28 / Issue 1 Rinksider  

In this first issue of Rinksider Magazine for 2019, readers will learn everything from the hidden secrets of arcade game maintenance to how...

Volume 28 / Issue 1 Rinksider  

In this first issue of Rinksider Magazine for 2019, readers will learn everything from the hidden secrets of arcade game maintenance to how...