Page 1

Kids Skate Free Reaches 1/2 Million Kids!

CALL FOR 2016 CONVENTION SPEAKERS

Roller Skating Business Magazine

15 20 Convention Wrap-Up Photo Gallery

5

Ways to Boost Profits with Indoor Play

Financing Options for Rink Upgrades How Branding Themes Can Mean Big Business 10 Ways to Monetize Your Website

Volume 24 / Issue 3 $9.00 (U.S.) / $11.00 (Canada) / $14.00 (Int’l) www.rollerskating.org

Roller Skating Rink Rehab


RSA Redemption Tickets

95

$

· $95.00 per 100,000 – minimum order of 300,000 · RSA Redemption Tickets printed on recycled stock with purple ink · Front of ticket features Roo, Kooky & Koala skating; back features the RSA logo.

Call National Ticket Company at (800)829-0829 to order today! Available to RSA members only. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.

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

ticket@nationalticket.com www.nationalticket.com


Quality Insurance for Quality Rinks Since 1995

THE RSA ENDORSED INSURANCE PROVIDER

FOR QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT: ANTHONY PROFACI

1-800-925-RINK 50 First Avenue Atlantic Highlands, NJ Phone: 732-888-5000 Fax: 732-888-4646


NEWS & COMMENTARY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bobby Bentley, Lynette Anacker, Meghan Molony, Lori Lovely, Cornelius Fortune, Kevin Ekmark, Sara Hodon, Genie Davis, Holly Meidl, Corrie Pelc, Danny Gruening. COVER PROVIDED BY

PRESIDENT

Wendy Browne Photography. Businesses are welcome to submit

Bobby Bentley, Pensacola, FL

photos for consideration for editorial use to editor@rollerskating. com. Must be 350 DPI or greater.

VICE PRESIDENT Michael Jacques, Granite Bay, CA

COPYRIGHT RSB is published bimonthly by Roller Skating Association

TREASURER Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI

International. Copyright 2015 by Roller Skating Association International. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

forbidden.

Dianne Braun, San Antonio, TX Mark Christianson, La Crosse, WI Charlene Conway, Fairhaven, MA

DISCLAIMER Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the

Chris Finley, London, KY

authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the

Chris Griffith, Sumter, SC

directors, officers or members of RSA. RSA does not endorse,

Ed Hughes, Liberty, MO

represent or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of

Shane Locklear, Richmond, VA Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI

the information, content, advertisements or other materials contained herein.

Randall Ray, Centralia, WA Joe Smith, Hermitage, PA Stephen Turner, Glen Ellyn, IL Cort Wahlig, Newark, DE

SUBMISSIONS RSB welcomes stories, art and photo contributions. All such material must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped

Jeff Warrenburg, Antioch, CA

envelope in order to be returned.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ADVERTISING INFORMATION

Jim McMahon

Please contact Lynette Anacker at 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 or email editor@rollerskating.com to request a media kit and

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/PUBLISHER Lynette Anacker

PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE

rate card. Advertising discounts available for all RSM Affiliate members. POSTMASTER

Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI, Chairman

Send address changes to: 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis,

Stephen Turner, Glen Ellyn, IL

IN 46278, Phone: 317-347-2626 or Fax: 317-347-2636. Presorted

Cort Wahlig, Newark, DE

standard at Indianapolis, IN. Subscription is part of membership in Roller Skating Association International. Subscription rate for

RSA STAFF

non-members is $45. Canada: $55. International: $75

Jim McMahon, Executive Director Tonya Crenshaw, Accountant

MEMBER / SUPPORTER / PARTNER

Lynette Anacker, Director of Communications Angela Tanner, Director of Marketing & Pepsi Programming Stacy Thomas, Director of Membership Services Tonya Dickerson, Director of Achievement and Retail Tina Robertson, Director of Convention KC Perkins, Director of IT for Kids Skate Free

4 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3

www.rollerskating.org


NEWS & COMMENTARY

IN THIS ISSUE

VOLUME 24 ISSUE 3

32

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS News & Commentary President’s Update........................................................... 6 Kids Skate Free Hits 1/2 Million Mark....................... 8 Editor’s Note.................................................................... 9 Important Dates.............................................................10 Golden Skate Winner...................................................11 Call for 2016 Convention Speakers.............................12 New RSA Products.......................................................14 Roller Skating Buzz.......................................................60 In Memoriam.................................................................71

Convention Wrap-Up Photos

Games & Redemption Fully Integrate Games for Higher Profits...................18

Food Appetite Upselling Means Bigger Profits....................20

Marketing

48 Financing Options for Your Next Rink Expansion or Upgrade

52 Roller Skating Rink Rehab

10 Ways to Monetize Your Website............................22 Website Statistics Infographic......................................24 Your Business Through Your Customer’s Eyes ���������30

Human Resources HR360 New Tools and Apps.......................................31

Technology Finding the Right Software For Your Rink ���������������25

Rink Life

62 5 Ways to Boost Profits with Indoor Play

Keeping a Level Head with Angry Customers ����������28

Connections RSA Affiliate Member Listings...................................74 Classified Advertisements.............................................78

Join us online today!

66 How Creating a Branding Theme Can Mean Big Business www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 5


NEWS & COMMENTARY

PRESIDENT’S UPDATE The 2015 Roller Skating Association Convention and Trade Show kicked off with a bevy of honors to a number of individuals who have made an impact on the industry and their community. The Life Member dinner awarded Lifetime Membership Awards to Kim and Danny Brown, Bob Housholder, Joe Champa, Melvyn Wallace, and the SRSTA Life Membership Award to Pat Jacques, all of whom have spent a number of years working to advance the industry and the Association. Dominic Cangelosi was awarded the Vernon Fowlkes Award; Bill and Tanya Hoefler were awarded the Rink Operator of the Year Award; Rick and Lenora Carson were awarded the Bill Carlson Innovative Rink Operator of the Year Award; Gary Miller and Roberta and Don Molaro were awarded with the Heart of the Industry Award; Jerry Ottway was awarded with the Bob Bollinger Lifetime Achievement Award; and Rock Allman, Doug Foval, Bobby Braun, Gary Englund and Chris Cohen were all awarded with the Al Kish Attaway Award. Sunday offered attending delegates the opportunity to attend Roller Skating University free of charge with a number of educational presenters including Charles Kirchner and Nick Mazeika who taught the crowd of nearly 200 people how to increase income during the summer months by creating their own summer camp program. Keith O’Neill taught attendees how to focus on the importance of learning how to be flexible and willing to change attitudes in business, while Alex Grammatico explained how to keep your sessions energetic, colorful and fun for attendees in what they dubbed “Rollertainment.”

and Kevin Baker. A beautiful tribute to Bill Carlson, provided by the Carlson family, ensured there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. This video is available for members to view on the RSA’s Youtube page. The Welcome Reception and Live Auction from the Roller Skating Foundation kicked off the week of entertainment and education with attendees bidding on a number of incredible items up for grabs. Monday morning offered a free breakfast to firsttime attendees of the RSA Convention with a record number attending for the first time – nearly 50 first time convention attendees arrived! The General Assembly kicked off the week with an introduction of board members, award winners, and a complete update of the state of the association from me (video available at https://youtu.be/k999I777yRs). Members who didn’t have an opportunity to attend or who missed a seminar can visit the RSA website at www. rollerskating.org and click on the link located under Members Only Documents to get access to a number of files available from convention, including PDFs of Power Point files, booklets, handouts, videos and more. http://www. rollerskating.com/pages/ convention+followup/100 Throughout the week, members learned how to rope in new skaters, avoid legal issues from NFIB and IALDA attorneys, how to treat your customers right, how to protect your customers from sex offenders, making the most of your concessions, and more. Hundreds packed rooms to learn how to utilize social media to the best of their ability, the importance of understanding basic graphic design concepts for improving your rink’s marketing materials, and the importance of designing good promotions and learning all about creating your own STEM program for your rink. But don’t take my word for it, here are some of the things that attendees had to say…

This day-long event wrapped up by teaching attendees how to improve their marketing tactics with street smart marketing from Don and Susan Perkins, Jim and Cindy Anderson, Kim and Danny Brown, 6 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3

• We signed up for Kids Skate Free at Convention and in 24 hours we had over 1500 kids signed up! • What an awesome convention!! So excited to bring back great ideas to my staff. Thanks for all the hard work and all the FUN!!

BY THE NUMBERS

2015 RSA Convention & Trade Show Stats

115

total booths representing

79 individual companies

190 booth exhibitors attended the Convention.

280

full delegates attended the convention.

17 life member attendees.

146 rinks represented at the convention.

359 Total attendees

www.rollerskating.org


NEWS & COMMENTARY • We have been absent from the conventions for a decade because we have been working IN our business instead of ON our business. We had the pleasure of meeting and working with Mr. Bill Carlson many years ago and we are finally going to take his advice to heart! I appreciate all the work that is involved in creating a well-run convention. For the managers at both our locations it was their first experience with the RSA and it has given them both a new way of looking at their rinks. It was a lot of fun, it created a lot of brainstorming and I’m exhausted today! As I look over all my notes from the past week I’m almost overwhelmed with ideas and “to dos.” • Great time at convention! Feels like I am refreshed with a few ideas and ready to go into summer full steam ahead! Shout out to all who worked so hard thanks for the fun! • Thank you to everyone involved in putting together the convention. It was great to see so many friends and make new ones, too! • After 10 years of finding excuses not to attend the convention, we focused on the reasons we must attend. The seminars, the networking and the knowledge gained from people that understand as no one else can was priceless. Although, we didn’t spend time with a lot of different operators, the ones we did were very open, kind and helpful. No one person or operator has all the answers but as a group, we can help each other be successful. Thanks to everyone who had any input in this convention. We greatly appreciate it and hopefully all of the first timers like my husband and I will take all that we learned and make our rinks and communities better in the years ahead!

• I had a great time at the convention! • The only connection we’ve had with the RSA were our Pepsi issues and our Facebook page interaction. We were thoroughly impressed with how the RSA put together this convention. The seminars were informative, helpful and well thought out to make all of our businesses successful, regardless of the level we are on. Meeting everyone together gave us immeasurable help and insight in improving our business. I’ve seen other members say they can’t get to a convention or a section meeting. All I have to say is that whatever you have to do...DO IT! If it means closing your business for a couple of days, then DO IT! If it means scraping money together to get there...DO IT! Everyone in this group wants to help everyone else. JUST DO IT! You won’t be disappointed! Thank you RSA! See if you can find your pictures in the following pages. You may also find them for download on the RSA’s Facebook Group page under Photos. If you think this year was incredible, we can’t wait for you to see what’s in store for you next year!

• Thank you everyone in the Roller Skating Association! Convention was great! THANK YOU for my award! Words don’t express how appreciative I am to receive an award from the RSAI!

www.rollerskating.org

To celebrate this milestone, the 500,000th child registered, two-year-old Cobey Greer who registered at Skatin’ Station in Canton, MI, will be receiving a prize pack valued at nearly $500, which will include roller skates and other incredible prizes donated by Pepsi, Southeastern Skate Supply, Rebecca’s Toys and Novelties, Riedell Skates, Roller Bones and more. The Kids Skate Free program, acquired in March of 2015, encourages children to stay active and fit by offering them two opportunities every week to visit their local participating roller skating rink. I am thrilled with the capabilities of this program and its ability to spread the joy and benefits of roller skating to families around the globe. Parents are more inclined to remain members of a program that provides them with passes to local entertainment venues. This program is a perfect opportunity to get more skaters in your door on slow days and allows you to customize it as often as you’d like. You can not only download your customer’s information at any time, you can also share weekly flyers and promotions, other coupons, and more every week. As a rink owner myself, I launched the program in all four of my rinks and was blown away by the response. The program is growing so fast that participating rinks are adding more than 14,000 kids to the program every week! If you’re having a slow summer or you just want to maintain contact with your customers on a weekly basis, I encourage you to sign up to participate. We slashed prices by more than $200 to just $299 for first time RSA member Kids Skate Free rinks and $150 to renew. It’s fast and simple to sign up by clicking on “Register” at https://owners.kidsskatefree.com. You’ll see weekly and daily statistics, total children and parents in the program and in your rink, access to download brochures, Power Point documents, health benefit flyers, tutorials, audio promotions, and your complete customer data at any time. Thank you to everyone who attended the RSA Convention and Trade Show and for helping us reach 1/2 million children with Kids Skate Free every week. We continue to work for you and welcome any positive ideas for change. I welcome you to contact me at funtimesk8@aol.com or call 850-207-5502.

• Thank you RSA for a great convention. People were great! • Once again another great RSAI convention. Not only did the committee and the staff do an outstanding job but also I credit myself for being more open and less afraid. I approached people I didn’t know. Participated more than I did in the past and learned more than I expected.

two free roller skating passes weekly for their participating home rink.

Kids Skate Free Reaches ½ Million Children

RSA President Robert “Bobby” Bentley

We were thrilled to announce on June 18 that in just three months since acquiring Kids Skate Free, a milestone record has been reached – 1/2 million kids have now registered to receive Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 7


NEWS & COMMENTARY

Congratulations to the 500,000th child, Cobey Greer, who was registered by his mother at Skatin’ Station in Canton, MI. He will be receiving a prize pack donated by the sponsors below! Prize Pack Sponsored By

Thank you to all of our participating rinks for helping us hit the 1/2 million mark!

Kidsskatefree.com is a program owned and operated by the RSA.

8 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3

www.rollerskating.org


NEWS & COMMENTARY

EDITOR’S NOTE

FEATURE AUTHORS

The importance of making updates within your skating rink cannot be understated, and according to a recent survey of participating RSA members, many of you are well aware - 57% stated they are somewhat likely or very likely to make capital expenditures to expand business in the next 12 months. You’re in the business of sharing the joy of roller skating with the general public, but you also need to ensure that they’re having a good time and happy with your facility. A quick scan of Yelp.com reviews of a few roller skating rinks around the country highlight why it is important to pay attention to what your customers are saying about your business and the updates you’re making (or not making). While you’ll have a random customer who simply won’t be pleased no matter what you do for them, an overwhelmingly large number of negative reviews should tell you that it’s time to pay attention. “… the place smells awful inside. I mean sure you’d expect a skating rink to be a little musty, that’s just the nature of the beast, but this place reeks something terrible. “ “… grimy floors, unkempt bathrooms, tchotchkes” “… dirty, old, worn, broken lockers, and disgusting bathrooms” “… the food was horrible!” “… zero renovations and everything is old and run down.” “… place is nasty... just filthy!” So, should you chalk it up to chronic complainers or take heed to the complaints? Before you write off your online reviews or ignore necessary upgrades, consider this: •

According to Nielsen research, 68% of consumers trust opinions posted online. Your customers are reading up to six reviews at a time, both positive and negative, before they even walk through your doors. As much as they may irritate you, online reviews should matter to your business.

88% of 2104 consumers surveyed by BrightLocal said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If you have a bad experience at a restaurant, your first instinct is to tell others about it, right?

72% of consumers trust a business more if they have positive reviews.

In a separate survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. If positive reviews impact their buying habits this much, imagine how much negative reviews influence decisions to frequent a business.

In a survey by The Social Habit, 32% of social media users (like those who post online reviews) expect a response within 30 minutes, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.

75,000 consumers were surveyed by Customer Contact Council which found that an overwhelming majority of consumers feel the most important factor in increasing their loyalty to your business is to reduce the amount of work they have to do to get their problem resolved.

This month we’re talking all about making upgrades in your business to help boost your company’s image. From the roof to the skate counter, there are options out there to help take your rink to the next level. And about those negative reviews? Take the time to respond to them, ask if you can give them a call and work to make it right, sign up to receive notifications on your phone when a new review comes in so you can stay on top of it. Some days it’s hard to remember that the customer is always right – even when they’re not. Believe it or not, the extra effort you make can often have a big impact elsewhere – they will often update their online reviews of a business once the owner corrects the issue (no matter how minor it might be). Make sure to monitor what your customers are saying. Clean up the dirt, flush the vents to clear the air, wash the walls, spend a week doing a deep clean with your staff, or just fix the mistake (or ask how you can make it right) and invite them back in to take a look or try what you’ve improved and give their opinion; invest in your business and customers will invest their time and money in you, too.

GENIE DAVIS

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist, journalist, and produced screen and television writer residing near the beach in Los Angeles. She is the author of Marathon, Executive Impulse, The Model Man, Five O’Clock Shadow, Between the Sheets, and Animal Attraction; and a literary noir, Dreamtown. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, she’s written on staff for ABC-TV’s Port Charles; written, produced, and directed reality programming for TLC’s A Personal Story, HGTV’s Weekend Warriors and House Hunters as well as documentaries, television commercials and corporate videos. She wrote and co-produced the independent film, Losing Hope. As a journalist, she’s written hundreds of articles on the arts, retail, entertainment, travel, food and dining, music, real estate, security, technology and more got print and online publications; she also ghostwrites novels, non-fiction, and scripts.

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, Pa. and grew up an avid skater.

CORNELIUS FORTUNE

Cornelius Fortune is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in WD’s Ventito, Yahoo News, iPhone Life Magazine, Cinema Blend, and others. Follow him on Twitter @Arlingtonscribe or arlingtonstories@gmail.com.

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 25year member of CARA Charities. She and her husband, an IndyCar mechanic, run Montrose Farms where they raise alpacas and chickens. Lori can be reached at lori@montrosefarms. com

CORRIE PELC

Corrie Pelc is a freelance writer and journalist from Sacramento, Calif. with over 16 years of writing and editing experience as a magazine journalist, freelance writer, and blogger. She can be reached at corrie.pelc@gmail.com

Lynette Anacker, Editor & Publisher

www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 9


NEWS & COMMENTARY

IMPORTANT DATES

SECTION MEETINGS & ASSOCIATION EVENTS Event

Date

Contact or Registration Information

Event Location

Section 6 Meeting

July 19-22, 2015

In collaboration with BPAA. Download flyer from www.rollerskating.org under events. Questions? Contact Erika Wymer at wymerj1@msn.com or call 231-773-5538.

Soaring Eagle Casino/Resort 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd. Mount Pleasant, MI

Section 4 Meeting

Aug 31 - Sept 1, 2015

Come hear speakers Pat Jacques on how to launch your Learn to Skate Program, Mike Hill of Stuff Shop, Jeff Ingrum of Roller Skate City, Steve Earley of Sure-Grip International, and Sandra Levin of Orbit Skate Center. Registration form available at www.rollerskating.com. Questions? Contact Aubrey Ottaway at carouselskatewichita@gmail.com.

Ameristar Casino Hotel 2200 River Road Council Bluffs, IA

Sk8Expo and Conference

September 15-16, 2015

Register online at sk8expo.org. Deadline August 30, 2015. For more information contact Cindy Anderson at funquest2@aol.com.

Tradewinds Island Resorts 5500 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL

Section 5 Meeting

September 27-28, 2015

This meeting will include a Director’s election. Meeting will be held Monday, September 28, 2015, at Rebecca’s at 4:00 pm. Questions? Contact Dianne Braun at skatelandwest74@aol.com.

Rebecca’s Trade Show 233 W. Pipeline Rd. Hurst, TX 76053

Section 12 Meeting

October 5-6, 2015

Information will be made available at www.rollerskating.com as it becomes available. Questions? Contact Shane Locklear at shane@rollerdomeskating.com or call 804-726-2841.

Southeastern Skate Supply 2917 Nicholas Ave. Roanoke, VA 24012

Section 7 & 9 Meeting

October 13-14, 2015

Two day conference with seminars and open house. Section meetings held during the event. More than 30 vendors. Questions? Contact Alex at 800-348-0888 or 260-482-1566, sales@funnov.com.

Funtastic Novelties 4515 Industrial Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Section 11 Meeting

September 28, 2015

Mike Fox from Splash Design Works and Sure-Grip Steve will be presenting seminars on social media, branding and Know Your Skates, NO YOUR SKATES. Open to all sections and rink operators. Cost is $25 for RSA members. More details at www.rollerskating.com. Questions? Contact Cort Wahlig at cortw@comcast.net or call 302-366-8920.

Christiana Skating Center 801 Christiana Road Newark, DE 19713

Section 8 &13 Meeting

October 26, 2015

Skate party at Sparkles of Hiram after Southeastern Skate Supply Trade Show. JBL will provide bus to and from rink. Depart from Atlanta Hotel at 4 pm, return at 8 pm. Questions? Contact Chanel Bellotto at cbellotto@icloud.com or call 863-255-2633 or Ron Parmley at rollertime@gmail.com or 256665-7625. Reserve your room with David Ramsey of SESS, Ga. at 800-241-8060.

Southeastern Skate Supply 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126

Section 10 Meeting

November 1-2, 2015

Join Section 10 in the Northeast for their upcoming meeting at Pinz and the Blue Dog Cafe. Contact Rob Gould, Section 10 President, at rob@interskate91.com for more information.

Pinz and the Blue Dog 110 Main St. Milford, MA 01757

Section 2 Meeting

November 1-2, 2015

Information will be made available at www.rollerskating.com as it becomes available. Questions? Contact David Jacques at rollerking@surewest.net or 916-783-0918.

Monterey, CA

TRADE SHOWS & NATIONAL EVENTS Event

Date

Contact or Registration Information

Event Location

Sk8Expo and Conference

September 15-16, 2015

Register online at sk8expo.org. Deadline August 30, 2015. For more information contact Cindy Anderson at funquest2@aol.com.

Tradewinds Island Resorts 5500 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL

Rebecca’s Trade Show

September 27-28, 2015

Information will be made available at www.rollerskating.com as it becomes available. Questions? Contact Joseph Nazarro at joseph@rebeccas.com or call 800-777-2235.

Rebecca’s Trade Show 233 W. Pipeline Rd. Hurst, TX 76053

Funtastic Novelties Trade Show

October 13-14, 2015

Two day conference with seminars and open house. More than 30 vendors. Questions? Contact Alex at 800-348-0888 or 260-482-1566, sales@funnov.com.

Funtastic Novelties 4515 Industrial Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Southeastern Skate Supply Trade Show, VA

October 5-6, 2015

Information will be made available at www.rollerskating.com as it becomes available. Questions? Contact Glenn Ramsey at glenn@seskate.com or 800-444-7528.

Southeastern Skate Supply 2917 Nicholas Ave. Roanoke, VA 24012

Southeastern Skate Supply Trade Show, GA

October 25-26, 2015

Oct 25: Evening reception at Hotel Indigo. Oct 26: Trade show from 9 am - after lunch. Skate party at Sparkles of Hiram (transportation by JBL) from 4 - 8 pm. Attendees MUST call SESS at 800-241-8060 to reserve their room. Contact David Ramsey at david@seskate2.com with questions. To help defray cost of room ($139), everyone who stays at host hotel will receive a $39 gift certificate to spend during the trade show.

Southeastern Skate Supply 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126

RC Sports Trade Show

October 11-12, 2015

Customer Appreciation: 6 pm - 9 pm Sun., Oct 11. Warehouse Sale: Mon, Oct 12, 9 - 2 p.m. Questions? Contact Michael Lehrke at lehrke@rcsports.com or call 414-559-1121.

RC Sports Inc. 9910 Lakeview Ave. Lenexa, KS 66219

RSA Convention and Trade Show

May 1-4, 2016

Contact Tina Robertson at convention@rollerskating.com or call 317-347-2626 Ext. 103 to reserve your space or see www.rollerskating.org for more information as it becomes available.

Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino 3700 W. Flamingo Rd Las Vegas, NV 89103

*All information provided here, along with flyers and forms for download are available at www.rollerskating.com under EVENTS for each section meeting or trade show.

10 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


+ $500 sign-on bonus - including when you renew your contract! + Annual rebate check for $1.90 back per gallon + Promotions throughout the year, including points program, merchandise, drawings, scratch cards and more!

www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 11


NEWS & COMMENTARY

GOLDEN SKATE WINNER

Winner of 2015 Golden Skate Promotions Award The Color Roll

perfect New Years Eve idea.

For the first time, the RSA Promotions Commitee held a contest for the most creative in-rink promotion. Of all submissions that were sent, Skate Zone was the overall winner. Following is the information submitted, along with flyers and submission information.

The night of the Color Roll, they had “color booths” set up in their party zone area. They encouraged all guests to arrive wearing white, and gave free Skate Zone Color Roll t-shirts to the first 100 paid admissions.

Jen Halley is the office manager of Skate Zone located in Crofton, Md. and submitted their promotion for The Color Roll The Color Roll was their New Year’s Eve skate party held on December 31st, 2014. It was actually the second annual Color Roll, since the first time (New Year’s Eve of 2013) was such a success and their guests were asking for them to bring it back. The rink originally got the idea from the popular 5k color runs held throughout the U.S. They knew people who had participated in these runs and had seen pictures of how fun it was, so they decided to turn it into a Color Roll. They wanted to do something they had never done before at a skating rink and thought it was the

Guests would head down to the party zone where employees would be anxiously waiting to spray them with multiple colors of powder. They even let the guests have some powder to throw on their friends themselves. They were free to skate around the rest of the night and keep coming back to the color booths as much as they pleased. Some people preferred just a little color on their white t-shirts while others wanted to be colorful from head to toe. They also had a balloon drop at midnight filled with prizes. The night was a great success and Skate Zone is already thinking about possibly holding their 3rd Annual Color Roll this New Year’s Eve.

Golden Skate Promotions Award Runners Up Skater’s Reunion

Frankenstein’s Birthday Bash

Each year SkateDaze holds a Skater’s Reunion in their 45,000 sq ft building. People travel from different parts of the country to relive their childhood, catch up with old friends or to create new memories. It was held on their Adult Retro Skate Night, Tuesdays 8 pm - 11 pm. In addition, they had a local radio station give away VIP tickets to the event. On Tuesday nights SkateDaze skates to top hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s and they encourage people to dress in funky threads and come out for a night of skating fun. Guests must be 18 and older to attend Adult Retro.

Skatin Station of Sumter, S.C. held an “After Trick-or-Treat Skate” from 9 pm to 1 am (since Halloween was on a Friday night). This event can be used during a regular session, if needed, like the Friday or Saturday night prior to Halloween. Their party room was open with two photo booth stations to take pictures with Frankenstein or on their own – Halloween-related props were offered. Around 9:45 pm they featured a Candy Scramble, specifically for the younger kids who may not have stayed until 1 am. Then, about 30 minutes later, they had a Birthday Presentation for Frankenstein.

Food: SkateDaze offers a variety of items on their menu including everything from hot wings to cotton candy and everything in between. Adult beverages are available to those 21 and older. Activities: They have a Funkiest Threads contest for a prize of a $50 gift certificate to SkateDaze with a local radio station giveaway for VIP Tickets, as well as rhythm and free skating contests and more.

After the birthday presentation, everyone was invited to the party room for free Halloween-themed cake and a small drink. They had an employee dressed up as Frankenstein for the entire session. This way, kids could get photos with him, celebrate his birthday, and skate with him. At approximately 11 pm, they had their Costume Contest. They lined everyone up in the center of the skating floor, introduced their character, and had the audience cheer for their favorites. In total, they had 4 winners – Cutest, Scariest, Most Original, and Overall Favorite Costume with Halloween plush as prizes. Skatin Station made sure to use a lot of fog and special lights during the session for maximum affect. After the Costume Contest, they skated for two songs then played their most requested Friday Night game – Charge! They also incorporated all of their traditional Friday Night games into the session: Races, Crazy Trios, Jailbreak, etc. With a great turnout, owners Chris and Tammy Griffith felt that it was better than giving in and being closed due to the motto, “You can’t beat trick-or-treat!”

12 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


NEWS & COMMENTARY

CALL FOR SPEAKERS share your knowledge! 2016 Roller skating association convention & expo The Roller Skating Association Convention and Expo offers the world's largest educational convention and trade show event for the roller skating industry. Our Call for Speakers is now open and you have a chance to share your expertise with hundreds of industry professionals who attend the show. We especially encourage proposals from experienced rink owners, managers, coaches, roller skating manufacturers, marketing professionals, design and web gurus, technology pros, vending, game and food industry speakers, etc. who are willing to share their real-world experience and knowledge first hand with attendees. We are welcoming proposals for seminars, roundtable sessions, demonstrations, and hands-on learning during the event. Visit www.rollerskating.com >> Convention >> Call for Speakers and complete the form to submit your proposal. Questions? Email convention@rollerskating.com.

dEADLINE AUGUST 5 wHERE: RIO CASINO, LAS VEGAS, NV WHEN: MAY 1 - 4, 2016 Proposal form: www.rollerskating.com/pages/callforspeakers/103 www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 13


NEWS & COMMENTARY

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Roller skating involves all 640+ muscles. A study conducted at the Human Performance Laboratory at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota found that skating develops muscles in the entire upper leg, glutes, hips and lower back. Muscles in the upper arms and shoulders are also developed when arms are swung vigorously while skating.

The American Heart Association lists roller skating as one of the best aerobic exercises. According to the American Heart Association, physically active people save $500 per year in medical costs. That means a family of four could save $2000 each year just by getting enough exercise.

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14 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


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Join the National Museum of Roller Skating When the gentlemen founded the museum in late 1980 they dreamed of a place to house the most precious artifacts associated with the great history of roller skating as well as a place to learn and experience this grand story. It has taken a lot of effort over these three-plus decades to keep the museum alive and well. All of the skating artifact donations are the heart of the institution. The monetary donations whether membership, memorial, raffle, or special project kept the lights on and the doors open. The dozens of board members guided the museum through each new challenge. Each visitor fed into the demand for such a place. Now beginning our 35th year, the National Museum of Roller Skating wants to thank everyone who has supported our facility and the cause of preserving a prestigious history. None of this would be possible without the continued support of all of the museum enthusiasts.

Membership includes: Bi-monthly museum e-newsletter Access to members-only section of website featuring: PDFs of all national championship programs since 1937 and Skate/USARS magazines since 1940, And a 10% discount on store purchases. Membership Level Benefactor Patron Associate Patron Donor Individual/Family

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16 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


GAMES & REDEMPTION

GAMING CORNER

Fully Integrate Games for Higher Profits

T

he American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) would like to thank the Roller Skating Association International for the opportunity to provide its subscribers with editorials on the amusement industry. The AAMA is a notfor-profit trade association that represents the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, locations and FEC owners/operators of the amusement industry. We are excited to join the Roller Skating Association in working to assist and educate your industry on ways to better your business and your bottom line. Each edition, we provide expert advice and tips from one of our amusement industry leaders. In this edition, we have asked AAMA Board member, Holly Meidl of Bay Tek Games to offer her insight on improving game play within your location. Redemption games can be a great addition to your roller skate business. They provide your guests with another form of entertainment that they cannot get at home. Like roller skating, games are social, interactive, competitive, fun and rewarding. They also give your guests a reason to stay at your location longer, making more memories and giving them cause to come back more frequently. Longer stays should lead to more money spent per visit. Whether you own and operate your own games or you have a relationship with a game operator, it is essential to fully integrate games into your business operation. Make the game room or area a seamless experience for your guests. They should feel that your games, along with food, beverages, and other attractions of your business are all key to your success and their experience!

Packages Do you have packages? Do you include your games into packages for your guests? Are your food and beverage items highlights to those packages? What other value items can you provide into packages for your guests? Packaging value-added solutions for your guests will improve their experience, get them to return more frequently, and hopefully spread some beneficial word of mouth marketing for your business. At the end of the day, it isn’t about roller skating, it is about the memories created. Make sure your games and other attractions are a part of that offering. You are, after all, selling the experience of the visit to your location and not just renting skates.

Once your packages are built and include all of your value-added items, it’s time to train! Train your employees on how to sell all of the things your business offers and not just roller skating. This will give your guest that seamless experience from start to finish. The better you train them how to sell the packages and all aspects of what your packages include, the higher you should see your package sales. Incentivize them for upselling your largest package and watch your results. Your employees will enjoy being rewarded for your increased revenues and your guests will have a totally different experience than they intended. Use your games to tease and tickle your guests while they are not at your location. Work with your game operator on a coupon deal. Send vouchers for free games to your customers as a thank you, we miss you, or happy birthday note. They may have to be used with another purchase during their visit, but leading with something other than skating will help fully integrate your games

into your skate business, and give your guests a better experience.

VIP Program Do you have a VIP skate program? Have you considered how to integrate your games into that successful program? Give your most loyal guests the royal treatment by offering them all that your business has to offer.

Marketing Finally, make sure to include your game business into your marketing and social media campaigns. Do you have a monthly newsletter? Include a game section to highlight that area of your business. What about posting guests playing your games on your Facebook page? Everyone is motivated by seeing others enjoying themselves– think beer commercial! Make your Facebook a page to highlight your games, food and beverage, and other value-added areas of your business.

that you have to offer, including the value that games add to the memories created in your four walls. As always, please feel free to contact an AAMA representative at (847) 290-9088 to discuss options available when it comes to your game area, or visit our website at www.coin-op.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR HOLLY MEIDL Holly is the Director of Innovation at Bay Tek Games. She has worked at Bay Tek Games for 14 years in a marketing and innovation capacity. She is very passionate about entertainment game industry and the value that it provides kids young and old around the world. She may be contacted at hmeidl@baytekgames.com.

Overall, your guests deserve the best experience at your location. Make sure you are leveraging all

18 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


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FOOD

CONCESSIONS CORNER

Appetite Upselling Means Bigger Profits

T

he best way to make a sale, says Chanel Bellotto, owner of Skate World in Lakeland, Fla., is to sell food that tastes good. That’s why she ditched the frozen pizza—much like her customers did shortly after purchase—and bought conveyor ovens to make it fresh. “It helps to have quality food,” Michael and Victoria Tharp, owners of Skate & Fun Zone in Manassas, Va., agree. “Serve quality pizza, not frozen. People will wait three minutes for hot, fresh pizza they can see being cooked to order.” When Shauna Grammatico, president and CEO of Epic Rollertainment renovated her Marietta, Calif. rink, she opted for a full kitchen where healthier food is made to order. They even make their own pizza sauce using basil grown out back. The Tharps also phased out pizza slices, which are wasteful, by switching to Perky’s 7-inch personal pizza. Not only does it taste better, Victoria says, it looks good.

In-scent-ivize Cooking food smells good, too. Everyone in the rink smells it, which means the food suggestively sells itself. The aroma of fresh, hot mini donuts lures in hungry skaters, too. When one person orders them, others order the pre-made donuts, which are cooked onsite, says Dan Sher, president of State Fair Mini Donuts, Inc. For Brett Longo, manager at Ft. Walton Skating Center in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., the same effect is achieved with Funnel Fries. “We pour powdered sugar on them; everyone thinks they smell so good,” he explains.

Together, to go, or a la cart? The Tharps have noticed an increase in sales since they introduced personal pizza, which is easy to upsell in a package with a soda. Packaged kids’ meals of pizza or hot dog, fries and a drink served on a logo Frisbee are popular choices at their rink. Platters of wings or nuggets are an easy-sell package for birthday parties. Sher sells mini donuts as the dessert portion of a package with pizza or hot dogs. “We train [employees] to suggest them like a dessert,” he says. “Our bag is designed so customers can take some home and reheat for later.” The now-andlater plan increases sales. “Combos are an easy upsell,” Bellotto says. “Train your staff to upsell.” While packaging items is de rigueur, she uses an equally effective

BY: LORI LOVELY technique that focuses on promoting a single item each night. Similarly, Sher recommends suggestive selling one item for a week or two, with corresponding signage. “Use descriptive language,” he adds.

Up, up and away Upselling doesn’t always involve adding items to a package. Sometimes, it simply means increasing the size of the product ordered for a small increment in price. Longo sells drinks in roller skating cups in two sizes: regular and large. The regular costs $2. The large runs about $5, but customers can bring the cup back for $1.50 refill. “The cup has skates on it,” Longo elaborates, “so people think about this place when they use the cup at home.” That encourages them to return. Like Longo, the Tharps offer specialty cups in holiday colors or as part of a theme, like they did with Alien cups. Similarly, customers receive a lower price on refills with the cup. When they do a promotion like that, the cup isn’t the only special part of the celebration. “We will have a special drink, like a zombie drink for Walking Dead parties,” Victoria explains. “Kids like that; it’s exciting and different—not the norm.” When they aren’t covered in aliens or zombies, the Tharps’ cups feature corporate logos, usually Icee and Pepsi. “We brand a lot,” Michael notes. Instead of using Styrofoam cups, they use clear plastic so people can see the product. “It costs more, but we price accordingly. People will pay for branding.”

Freebies People may pay for branding, but they love freebies. Offering tiny samples of State Fair donuts yields “fantastic results,” Sher indicates. Samples can “close the sale,” especially for new items, which he uses as the weekly featured product, with specials for additional incentive to try them.

or emails a coupon for a free trial. He gets email addresses from his regulars by requiring them to sign up for his email blasts in order to download the free green screen photos taken during events at the rink. It’s a hugely successful program; at some events he has taken as many as 600 pictures.

Attention, please! “Presentation sells,” Victoria Tharp states. Or, as Bellotto says, “make it look pretty.” She acted on a tip from a novelty shop sales rep who suggested a lit display case by cutting holes in the café counter to make her own display. “Novelty sales went through the roof once the customer could see the items,” she reports. Other methods of drawing attention to concession items include colorful countertop signs at point of purchase to encourage impulse buys. The Tharps prefer a digital menu board with photos to stimulate impulse buys, while Longo uses a projector to showcase promotions. Astro Skate’s 12 banner-draped hot pink buses and pink, black and white camouflage army truck attract attention everywhere they go, including local parades. The buses are used to transport kids from school to the rink. Although they have yet to promote their concessions on the vehicles, the banners advertise features of the rink, such as birthday parties, lessons, derby and bus rental. “It’s like ‘Here’s what we offer,’” says Missy Lingo, regional sales manager for the three Florida locations, adding, “People read them.” They advertise combo meals that include tokens and pitchers on the flyers they provide for school skating parties, she says.

Tips Sometimes it’s the things you don’t carry that help concession sales. There are no packaged candy bars or chips at Skate & Fun Zone. “We sell popcorn, nachos and French fries,” Victoria says. “Your concessions counter should be a profit center,” Victoria states. To ensure it is, the Tharps use a secret shopper to check on suggested upselling and reward the employees who do.

To get customers to try new items, Longo sometimes gives them away as prizes for races

20 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


FOOD

CONCESSIONS CORNER

10 Tips to Upsell Your Snack Bar 1. Get better food. Take a trip to other local entertainment venues, do some research on new food and beverage trends, ask your customers what they

want, let them customize their food - above all else, listen to your customers. 2. Call it a café instead of a snack bar—and outfit it accordingly. Brand your cafe as a place to get quality food with variety. Going with a

restaurant theme can help considerably with the “snack bar food” image. 3. Train your employees to suggestively sell—and reward them for doing so. Make sure your staff knows what the food tastes like and teach

them how to use keywords, “Would you like to add a side of brownie bites? They’re DELICIOUS!” “We have a new product you might want to try...” 4. Create combo packages. Offering something for a minimal additional cost works in a majority of all cases. “For 75 cents more you can get...” 5. Offer free samples or coupons for new items. Are you using a receipe your grandmother made? There’s a reason Costco offers samples - it

increases the sale of products by 2000%! 6. Concentrate on promoting one item at a time, especially if it’s new. Don’t overdo it if you’re trying to get customers to purchase a new

item. Make sure you have photos and market it on all of your signage. 7. Advertise the merchandise through signage, branding and packaging. Signage is always a must when pushing new products. Hang signs

with photos of the food, include on your digital menu boards, show people eating it and looking delighted - make them want to try it. 8. Keep it clean. No one wants to order food from a dirty kitchen. Clean up the mess! If people standing behind the counter can see a dirty

floor and dirt and grime built up in the corners, take the time to do a deep clean in your food prep area. 9. Make it look good. Provide a well-lit, comfortable and attractive area with plenty of seating and delicious, affordable options.

Provide comfortable seating and a dining area that is for those eating food. They’ll want to come in and sit down and if they know they have to eat or drink to sit in the area, you’ll increase your sales. 10. Vary the menu for special occasions, themed events and holidays. People always want to try something different. Don’t be

afraid to try something new. Brand your pizza sauce as “heirloom” – passed down from generations – if your grandmother taught you how to make it. Take the time to come up with holiday and themed foods for your events and work to sell your customers on “new for the holidays” or “Limited Time” products. It’s a great way to see what will sell on a regular basis and you don’t have to make a committment to offer it permanently.

Your Colors, Your Design, Your Success

www.SkateCourt.com 800-206-5060

www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 21


MARKETING

MARKETING MINUTE

10 Ways to Monetize Your

L

ong gone are the days of a static, brochure-like website of the first decade in the 21st century. Today’s website has become a living and breathing organism that pulls customers in by adding value, and it allows them to interact in many ways other than just finding directions to your skating center. As of now, websites, the one thing that you actually own and control on the Internet (assuming you’re not renting through Wix, Squarespace or other subscription models), are your main hub when it comes to your web presence. All of your activity online should point back to your site, which is where the prospective customer takes the next step with your center. That next step might include signing up for monthly newsletters, reading a blog post, or checking your schedule to see if you have open sessions this weekend. While these are all valuable interactions with your brand, there are still missed opportunities happening among many roller skating centers. It’s likely that a parent is visiting your website with their credit card out, anticipating some form of monetary transaction in exchange for whatever they are looking for at the time. Your target market is changing right before your eyes. Millennials are now the young parents bringing their children into your skating centers and they have 24/7 Internet access in their pockets or purses. It’s likely that both parents are working, very involved in their child’s life, and are attracted to experiences and memories over materialism. This is great news for family entertainment centers! Assuming you’re able to pull potential customers to your website, all you need to do now is convert them online. They want to give you their money, so don’t make it difficult for them.

Monetizing Your Website for Rinks of All Sizes 1. Party Booking Software The advantages of party booking software are endless in the mind of an online marketer. Once you receive your first a.m. party booking, you will understand, as well! Party booking software saves time, it syncs with your calendar and availability, it allows you to easily upsell, and it provides you with security knowing that a party is already paid for before the parents even show up. When shopping for party booking software, looking for a great user interface that is mobile-friendly, as well. Scheduling, booking, and even adding party extras

should be an easy process. You can’t afford to not have online party booking.

2. Large/Corporate Group Reservations Many centers love to book private events during the week for large groups or corporate parties. This is a great way to bring money in during your typically slow times. Depending on the group size, you might need to actually have a consultation with the group leader. After the consultation, it’s typical that centers will require a contract and a deposit. Make it easy for HR to pay the deposit so that you receive your money as quickly as possible. Talk to your party booking software company about setting up a one-time payment page to accept large group deposits. If you want to make your contracts digital, try using DocuSign. If you’ve booked large parties in your rink, such as weddings, special events, concerts, etc., make certain that you show photos of the potential your facility has for their event.

3. Seasonal Passes Depending on your geographical location, you might experience seasonality in your center. Seasonal passes are a great way to encourage kids and parents to take advantage of discounted rates if they pay ahead of time, and it also increases repeat business throughout the season. This helps the slow seasons hurt a little bit less, and it should also help with business during your heavy season, too! Make it easy for moms and dads to pay for season passes by offering them online. Again, you can use your party booking software to process the payments and organize your customer accounts and records. If you provide your customers with a seasonal pass, make sure that you give them something tangible.Their membership cards will be a reminder of your center everytime they open their wallet.

4. Summer Camps Planning your summer camp needs to be done in the spring when parents are making plans for their child’s summer. It seems hard to believe, but parents do begin to plan their summers soon after the New Year, so if you want to make the most of your summers next year, you need to be ready! The months that parents begin to plan summer vacation for their kids is still during a very busy time of year. Many parents are working, kids are in school, spring break is around the corner, and there’s barely any free time to sit down and make a strategic plan. Since parents are short on time,

you need to be the knight in shining armor that makes life significantly easier. First, make sure that you have a summer camp section ready on your website. Second, make sure that parents can at least pay their deposits online so that they know their child’s spot is secured. This helps everyone, including yourself, so that you don’t have to worry about filling up spots or no shows. Third, try to attend local summer camp fairs and advertise your camp in local parenting magazines. This is an incredible way to reach parents and has proven successful for thousands of camps nationwide. To find a summer camp fair in your area visit www.acacamps.org/camp-fairs. You can submit your summer camp information to numerous websites in your area, as well, and most will list it on their websites for free. The same link above allows you to list your summer camp. Cross promoting on other websites is a great way to drive parents to your website where they should be able to sign up for your summer camp.

5. Gift Cards Parents love giving gift cards! Technology has made online gift card ordering a snap. You should be able to set up gift card purchasing through your online booking software. If you’re still not ready to take that leap, try QuickGifts.com. All you do is send your gift cards to Quick Gifts, they handle payments and shipping. They do take a small percentage of the purchase, but it will be easy money as they take care of all the tedious tasks that take up your time. They even offer online redemption so that customers don’t even need a physical card!

6. Arcade Cards Want to make more money on your arcade games? Switch from tokens to game cards! Once you make the switch, you can begin to offer game card purchases online. The parents who plan ahead of time will purchase a season pass and game credits for their child. All you need to do is mark the transaction in your customer

22 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


MARKETING relationship management tool (CRM) and load the game cards once the family visits your roller skating center. This is also something that you could include in your summer camp or seasonal pass purchasing process as an upsell.

7. Skating Lessons - Private or Group Whether you want to work on your golf swing or lose weight at the gym, many private lessons offered by larger businesses can be paid for online. The technology available to you and your rink allows you to do the same thing as the big guys! Try offering your private or group skating lessons by time and blocks of time so that parents pay ahead of time and you don’t have to chase them down for late payments.

8. Create Membership Accounts There’s no denying that technology is changing quickly. Family entertainment centers and amusement parks are ditching old ticketing systems for more advanced memberships and tracking systems. While your center might not need a Magic Band that Disney World provides, you could look into creating a membership program for your center that allows parents to add credits to their child’s accounts. With a single card, kids could play arcade games, purchase snacks, play laser tag, or rent skates. Of course,

www.rollerskating.org

membership cards don’t grow on trees, and you should assign some sort of value to them. Even a $5 one time fee helps insure that kids and parents will hold onto their cards longer.

9. Selling Merchandise If you have a proshop in your rink, an easy way to make products available to parents during off times is to have them on your online store. How you go about building this out greatly depends on the size of your shop and your center. With online competitors like Amazon and Walmart, most small to medium sized centers should avoid building an eCommerce site. An affordable way to make the most of your party booking software is to use their online storefront feature. Providing online purchasing options will provide you with a boost during your promotions and sales. This will also allow you to sell branded items with your rink’s logo including tshirts, bags, cups, and other items that kids and adults will enjoy. It’s free advertising for you and you earn a bit of a profit, as well.

10. Special Event Tickets

the purchasing process such as a pre-purchased meal, glow sticks, game cards, and more! The Internet is providing roller skating centers with amazing opportunities to engage with customers and build lifelong relationships. Remember, not all of these options are the right fit for all roller skating centers. Just because you can sell 100 different types of roller skates in your online store, doesn’t always mean that’s the right business model for you. Stay true to yourself, provide your customers with an excellent experience, make money, and have fun!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR KEVIN EKMARK Kevin Ekmark is the President and CEO of TrustWorkz with over 10 years of Internet marketing experience for local businesses. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinEkmark, Circle Kevin on Google Plus: +KevinEkmark. Find Kevin on LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/KevinEkmark. Check out Kevin’s personal Blog: KevinEkmark.com

Does your center love to throw all night skates, Halloween parties, or New Year’s Eve lock-ins? Create a sense of urgency and VIP atmosphere around the event by offering pre-purchases online. Knock the price down by a few dollars to encourage parents to buy online early. Similar to party booking, you can also provide upsells during

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 23


MARKETING

WEBSITE STATISTICS

INFOGRAPHIC What image is your website sending to your customers?

EVERY CLICK COUNTS WEBSITE STATISTICS YOU NEED TO KNOW

FAST LOADING 40% of people will ditch a website if it takes them more than three seconds to load. If your site is slow, you’re losing customers. (Source: Econsultancy) 30 5

10

15

40

20

MARKET TO MOMS Using your website to market to moms is imperative - 95% of mothers are internet users who are looking to the web to find offline activities - make use of this by targeting moms in your media outreach.

SHOW, DON’T TELL Videos on landing pages increase conversions (turning site visitors into paying customers) by 86%. (Social Fresh) Record high resolution videos of large parties, special events, etc. and show your customers or potential customers what you have to offer.

MAKE IT MOBILE FRIENDLY 46% of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page, and 44% complain that navigation was difficult. (Source: Keynote) Make sure your website is fast, easy to manuever and isn’t difficult to navigate.

Moms say ads that grab their attention are visually appealing with lots of colors and attractive images

MAKE IT POP!

DID YOU KNOW? Over half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. (Rocket Post)

Nearly half (46%) of people surveyed say the NUMBER ONE determining factor of a business’ credibility is their WEBSITE!

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING 48% of users say that if they arrive on a business’ website that isn't working well on their cell phone or mobile device, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (Source: MarginMedia) Your website should say “we care about our business enough to make our website and technology work for you.”

2015 TREND TO WATCH LIKE TO BUY LINKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA The recent launches of shopping functions on social media sites (i.e. Facebook’s and Twitter’s “buy” buttons and Curalate’s Like2Buy platform for Instagram) indicate that social media is going to become significantly more shoppable in 2015-2016. Share photos from parties and use the Like2Buy feature to reserve parties on your website.

Roller Skating Association International

www.rollerskating.org

24 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


TECHNOLOGY

TECH TALK

Finding the Right Software For Your Rink

A

s you think about more options for your business, software options will likely present themselves. The field is growing, which means that your business can potentially grow alongside the software business. In fact, you should start searching for viable solutions. But where should you turn? Three companies worth looking into are Occasion, Party Center Software and Times Two Technology Inc.

Occasion: A Different Approach to Booking Occasion promotes “effortless online booking.” It can be used as a tool to reach customers across all digital channels. Robert A. Johnson, marketing manager, Occasion, says that at its core, Occasion provides simplicity and growth for rink owners through a seamless booking process. “Our team designed Occasion’s reservation and appointment platform to reduce the friction of running a business by eliminating the pain points present for rink owners and their customers,” says Johnson. “One of the biggest issues we hear from rink owners is that they are unsure how to articulate they’re great in personal service into the digital age. We wanted to spearhead this challenge and build a booking process that’s designed to be a seamless conversation and not a multiple step shopping cart.” More importantly, he adds, they wanted to address the growth of mobile devices. “Research has shown that 84 percent of Facebook users access Facebook from their mobile devices and 66 percent of emails are opened on mobile,” Johnson says. “Rink owners who wish to stay relevant to their customers cannot ignore their mobile experience. While not all businesses have a website that is mobile friendly, you can accept reservations through Occasion’s mobileready platform.”

will create listings using templates for their services like parties, classes, leagues, passes etc. Finally, it’s time to start accepting bookings – the person can publish their listings directly through a social media channel such as Facebook, paste within an email or embed directly into their website.” They recently released Stacks, which is a portal that integrates directly with Facebook and every popular web platform like Wordpress, Joomla, Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace and Godaddy. Stacks allows skating rinks to present all offerings in a single view while updating and sharing availability in real time. “We offer Occasion to every customer free for 30 days so they can work with the product and begin signing up new customers within minutes,” says Johnson. “Following the 30-day trial, merchants pay $39 per month. We also allow merchants to accept pre-payment for their services using online credit card processing for a nominal fee.”

Party Center Software: A New Kind of Party Parties are at the center of most rink businesses. Party Center Software provides online party booking and facility management software to entertainment facilities. They celebrated their

Part Two BY: CORNELIUS FORTUNE

16th anniversary last year and have hundreds of customers in multiple countries all over the world. With a one-time setup fee of $500 and a monthly subscription that starts at $175, Party Center Software offers real flexibility. “Our customers have unlimited transactions, unlimited terminals, and unlimited users,” says Danny Gruening, director of marketing and brand management, Party Center Software. “We don’t charge a transaction fee and we won’t take a percentage of sales. We want our customers keep all the money that they make. Our customers also get free support, and free 24/7 emergency support. The way we see it, why should anyone have to pay more if an issue comes up?” As for ROI, Party Center Software has multiple ways that the software delivers including increased number of parties booked, increased revenue per party, decreased labor costs with time savings, and eliminated costs of employee errors. “Our customers typically see 40 percent of their parties booked online,” says Gruening. “For a facility that books a total of 40 parties per week (at 20 minutes per phone booking), online booking alone would save over 5 hours per week - which is 277 hours per year! Other efficiencies in our software (including a fast point of sale, easy accounting reports, automated invoices, automatic reminders, etc.) save even more time.” Additionally, Party Center Software clients also see that parties booked online have 18-20 percent more in add-on revenue due to the visual booking experience and multiple up-sell opportunities. “Our software was designed knowing that people from a wide range of technical backgrounds would need to operate it,” he says. “Once a new customer signs on, our support and training team provides them with their login

How easy is it to use Occasion’s software? It’s simple enough that rink owners can sign up for Occasion like they would if they were creating a Facebook account, Johnson says. “They will get a tour of how to use the product,” he says. “Next, the person

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TECHNOLOGY credentials and schedules training sessions. We actually do all the training remotely – we can dial in to a customer’s computer to help them set up their software settings, get the hardware connected, and start making money.” They don’t sell proprietary hardware, so all computers, cash drawers, receipt printers, and other peripherals can be purchased from any electronics retailer. “This saves our customers enormous amounts of money, as compared to other POS providers that require facilities to purchase terminals that cost thousands of dollars each year,” says Gruening.

Times Two Technology Inc.: A Different Look for Your Website If you’re looking to improve your website, Times Two Technology Inc., has the tools to get you set up. “Difficulty depends on how technologyoriented you are,” says Kendall Cabe, owner, Times Two Technology Inc. “With our package situation, we can usually have a rink owner up and running within a few weeks to a month. The process involves finding out what they need in a site, nailing down the specifics and then implementing it. The implementation usually takes less than a week to get everything in place for their review.” But rink owners shouldn’t feel intimidated. “Just like anything you use to make your business run smoother, software is just another tool,” Cabe says. “When used right, it can reduce costs and time expenses for the business. When used wrong or not at all, it just becomes another ‘thing’ sitting in the corner that was a good idea or causes the owner/manager to spend more time

than if they were not using it at all.” He notes that technology over the years, in its own nature, was invented to help make things easier for us to do as human beings. “If we understand the technology, learn how it works and find it works for us, we can use technology to make things better in our businesses,” Cabe says. “Unfortunately, there are times when we just don’t have enough time to learn about it in the way that we should before we invest in it and find that it might not work.” He adds that depending on what rinks implement on their site, they can see a pretty good ROI from their site. “Some folks will see an uptick in attendance or more phone calls based on the website being there,” Cabe says. “So many people search for things to do on the Internet and are looking for contact information. If they are not on the Internet, they really can’t be found and miss out.” On the other hand, those rinks that implement online party booking or party requests, do tend to see an uptick in the number of requests or bookings because it is available 24/7, 365 days a year, Cabe adds. “Right now, many rinks have you call in and leave a message to book a party,” he says. “If they are not at the rink, you get voicemail and some people will not bother leaving a voicemail. With online requests or bookings, they don’t have to talk to you to put in the request or book a party. They can type it in anytime they want – morning, noon, or night – and send it off

electronically to you. The owner then follows up and confirms the booking in their system.” Times Two Technology Inc. has designed a package of pre-built information that owners can update, modify and add to when they want. They control the content on their site. “We’ve also included a way for them to get an email request for a birthday party or group party,” Cabe says. “It isn’t totally automated, but it does fit into many rink processes that are already in place. We do have the option of automating the payment portion, as well, through our own product or through another add-on product that we can help them set up on their own site and also on social media outlets and campaigns.” The investment is primarily time and money, he says. Building out a website can run anywhere from a $1,000 to as much as you want to spend. “We offer a package to the roller skating industry that helps smaller rinks and rinks with less resources to get online for between $1,250 and $2,000,” Cabe says. “Costs truly depend on what an owner wants on their site and what it takes to build that out. As with anything you purchase, you get what you pay for. If they want to spend very little money, then they will likely end up with a product they may not be happy with. “With the roller skating industry, this timeframe may be a bit longer just because of the industry, but we always come back to our clients at about the 2-3 year mark and start discussions on upgrades and changes.” This article was part two of our series on FEC software to share with readers the options that are available from our incredible RSM members. Due to space limitations, we spread out these articles over the course of the year. If you were not included in part one or two, please email editor@rollerskating.com to be included in part three.

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RINK LIFE

CUSTOMER RELATIONS

Keeping a Level Head with Angry Customers

L

et’s face it – no one likes to deal with an angry customer.

They can be loud, mean and downright scary. And no matter how friendly and calm you may try to handle the situation, sometimes adrenaline and emotions can come into play and without even realizing it, there’s the potential you could make the situation worse. The harsh reality is that there will always be customers you cannot please and may become agitated over something. Running a successful business means knowing how to talk those unhappy customers down and even ultimately turning them into your biggest fans.

Keep Your Cool First and foremost, it’s extremely important for roller rink owners to be able to keep their cool when dealing with an angry customer, says Julie Cauvel, owner of The Rink Family Fun Center in Titusville, Pa. “Your customers are who’s paying you – that’s where your money is coming from,” she explains. “Our business is a service business, so we have to keep our customers very happy. Even when you know they may be wrong, you still have to keep them happy.” When talking to an unhappy customer, Cauvel advises treating them with respect and try to talk them down as a way to help keep them under control. “If you go over to an angry customer and approach them with anger back, you’re not going to get anywhere,” she adds. “You have to go over and be friendly and kind.” If a customer is unable to be calmed down, try to isolate them, suggests Nate Simpson, owner of The Rink in Chicago, Ill. “What we usually do is just try and cool them down if they’re out of sorts, and then we go into a small room or private room and find out what the real issues are and try and address them,” he explains.

Explain Things Well Joyce Roberts, owner of Foothill Skate Inn in Sacramento, Calif., says she commonly sees customers become quick to anger when they do not understand how something works, such as a coupon or a birthday package. For instance, she says some customers misunderstand they have a minimum of 10 paid guests for birthday parties. She says sometimes parties will come up short – they invited 10 guests, but all 10 do not show up – and then the customer becomes upset because they do not want to pay for everyone. Roberts says they try to combat this issue by reminding the customer the 10 guests do not have to all be children - they could be parents attending the party with their kids. She also suggests offering some free passes for a return

visit. “So even though they have to pay for the 10 guests because you don’t want to compromise your rule, if they get a couple of passes for return visits then they feel like well, I might have paid for it this time, but I’m going to get to come back,” she explains. “And that way everyone’s happy in the end.” Additionally, Roberts says she and her staff try to alleviate any potential misunderstandings by making sure to explain everything properly. “When we book a birthday party, we make sure we explain the package correctly, we fill out a form, we make sure we check that we’ve explained everything,” she says. Likewise, if you’re using an online party booking system, you’ll want to make sure that you explain, in detail, some of the stipulations and guidelines.

Train Your Staff Although rink managers and owners are normally the ones who will handle angry customers, sometimes other staff may become involved and should have a game plan in place. “We always explain to the kids [staff ] that they always have to be friendly and kind, and treat the customers with respect,” Cauvel says. Cauvel also tells her staff that when they enter the door of the rink, they need to let go of their own anger and frustration from the day to help set a pleasant tone for customers. “You’re in a kid environment, a friendly environment, and you have to be happy and kind all the time,” she adds. And Roberts trains her staff to always keep a smile on their face and listen – don’t cut people off. “Sometimes the reason they’re angry is something else happened in their life – they had a bad day at work or the kids aren’t behaving properly,” she explains. “You’re kind of there to let them vent ... and you’re a problem solver – you’re going to find a solution to that. If you can’t find a solution, you bump it up to the next person. Somebody’s going to have a solution that’s going to make them happy.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR CORRIE PELC Corrie Pelc is a freelance writer and journalist from Sacramento, CA. She can be reached at corrie.pelc@ gmail.com.

10 Facts About Customer Service 1. Studies have shown that people who were provided with bad news before good news were more likely to feel better about what they were told. “The bad news is...but, here’s what we can do to fix it.” 2. While studies show that speed is important, friendly demeanor and employee competency ranked at the most important to customer engagement. 3. Unless you’re talking about social media, and then speed becomes one of the most important factors. 33% expect a response within a few days, 25% within the same day, 12% within 30 minutes, 11% within 15 minutes. 4. In a 2007 survey by Customer Contact Council, more than 75,000 customers were surveyed and it was found that the #1 most important factor to customer loyalty was reducing the amount of work they have to do to get their problem solved. 5. The number one reason customers stop doing business with you isn’t about price, shortcomings or competitors but poor customer service. 6. A typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. 7. Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while a new prospect is anywhere from 5-20%. 8. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for ONE unresolved negative experience. 9. News of poor service reaches more than twice as many people than good service. Take the time to address unhappy customers and do what you can to remedy the situation. 10. For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. Do everything you can to make it easy for customers to give feedback.

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MARKETING

CUSTOMER POV

Your Business Through Your Customer’s Eyes

A

s a business owner or manager, you probably see your facility almost every day. You see the parking lot when you arrive, the entrance when you walk in, the interior as you make your way to the office, the bathrooms during your breaks, etc. It’s easy to see your business, but how often do you actually look at your business and take the time to do facility reviews? Your perspective as a business owner can be entirely different from the perspective of a customer. You might walk by a problem in your facility every day (like a cracked tile or stained carpet), and it just becomes normal to you. Eventually, you may not even notice the problem anymore. But a new customer might immediately fixate on these little issues during their first visit. To help combat this problem, it’s important to take a step back and perform regular facility reviews. The purpose of these reviews is to take a fresh look at your business and try to see it through the eyes of a customer. How does your parking lot look? Are there enough spaces? What about your main entrance facade? Is signage clearly labeled and does it express your brand? These are just a few of the many questions you can ask yourself during the review. Facility reviews may be difficult to do properly. You’re proud of your business and it can be hard

to admit that your facility has flaws. It may hurt your pride or your wallet to be honest about the facility and make the appropriate changes when necessary. But lying to yourself won’t help your business, so damaged pride is a small price to pay for crucial improvements. If it helps, you can even get facility reviews and assessments from employees, friends, family members, or even strangers. These people can help provide an unbiased perspective that you may not be able to achieve as the owner. Once the reviews are complete, compile the results. If there are any glaring issues, those should probably be fixed immediately. From there, you can look to see if there are trends or common negative responses on specific areas of your facility. Use these responses to prioritize your needs. Once you begin making some of these changes, you may find that a little bit goes a long way. For example, one of our customers had a facility in a town for 30 years. The building was located right on a highway, so they would get a lot of traffic visibility every day. The owners decided to repaint the front of their building and reseal the parking lot to look new. The impact was immediate.

town, and drove by their business every day, but didn’t take full notice until the building changed in a small way. Some of the customers who had been there before even gave positive comments on the changes inside the building - even though the inside wasn’t touched! If you take the time to see your business from a customer’s perspective, it will be easier to spot issues and flaws that need to be fixed. Even small, incremental changes can make a huge difference in the eyes of customers. It only takes a little bit of work, and these fixes will pay dividends in how your customers perceive your brand, and how often they return to spend money. To help manage your facility reviews, we created a free scoring checklist that you can download from our website at www. partycentersoftware.com/checklist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR DANNY GRUENING Danny Gruening is the Director of Marketing and Brand Management with Party Center Software. He can be reached at danny@agilesoftware. com.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

EMPLOYER TOOLS

HR360 Provides New Apps and Tools for Members

A

s a member of the Roller Skating Association, you have access to one of the most comprehensive human resource systems and databases in the country. HR360 is a member benefit, paid for by the RSA, that is approximately a $395 value for each individual member. If you haven’t yet received your username and password, call or email us today to begin accessing some of these incredible new tools created for your businesses.

Performance Review Builder The Performance Review Builder takes business owners and managers through a step-by-step process that results in a professionaly-developed performance appraisal in minutes. Simply choose an evaluation form based on the employee’s occupation (e.g., clerical, production, sales, management) or create your own by selecting from among 20 performance categories including: • Job Knowledge • Quality of Work • Problem Solving

survey data to the national averages • Select a metro region to compare the local salary survey data to both the state and national salary averages • You can then view the information by ‘Yearly Wage Chart’, ‘Hourly Wage Chart’ and by ‘Wage Tables’ • You then print or email the salary pay structure information – it’s that simple!

Total Compensation Statement Builder The ‘Total Compensation Statement Builder’ takes you through a step-by-step process that results in the creation of a professional compensation communication document in minutes. Each ‘Total Compensation Statement’ can include:

• Judgment

• Welcome letter

• Attendance

• Compensation information - Salary, Commission, Overtime and Bonus

• Communication Skills Based on the ratings you assign, the Performance Review Builder generates specific comments to help you describe performance issues. It also includes the option to create a customizable action plan for improving the employee’s performance.

• Insurance Benefits information Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, STD and LTD • Mandated Benefits information Workers’ Comp, Social Security, Medicare and FUTA tax

Performance reviews are such an important tool for motivating your employees and increasing their contributions to your business, but the process can be stressful. The Performance Review Builder helps you make the most of your performance reviews so your employees can achieve their true potential while at the same time

• Retirement Benefits information 401K and Simple IRA Match

contribute to the success of your business.

• Compensation Value chart & Company Paid Benefits chart

Salary Benchmarking Tool With the HR360 Salary Benchmarking Tool, you can search compensation and pay structure reports either annually or by the hour. The salary benchmarking survey information can be viewed and compared nationally, by state and within a state by region and/or metro area. HR360 also has salary data on over 800 job positions. It’s so simple to use: • Select from a comprehensive library of 800 job descriptions or search over 50,000 job titles to find the position that requires salary and compensation information • View the national high, median or low wage data for a job description

• Work/Life Benefits information - EAP, Tuition and Training • PTO details - Vacation, Holidays, Sick Leave, Jury Service and Other Leave

Multi-State Law Comparison Tool The ‘Multi-State Law Comparison Tool’ is the easy, convenient way to view and download labor laws in different states of your choosing. If your company has multiple locations in different states and you are concerned about state labor laws that may apply, our simple-to-use tool enables you to build your own side-by-side chart that features selected state laws in as many states as you want. With this fast, efficient tool you can now easily view all the important state statutes side-by-side either online or download the information into an Excel file. The ‘Multi-State Law Comparison

Tool’ features: • Simple way to view multiple state laws in as many states as you need • View multi-state laws online or download into an Excel spreadsheet

Employee Cost Calculator With the ‘Employee Cost Calculator’, you can get a complete picture of the true cost of hiring a new employee (labor burden estimator). From compensation and benefits to recruiting, training, office equipment and other costs, this easy-to-use calculator accounts for those typical expenses you may not necessarily think about when hiring a new employee. Simply use the default values provided or enter your own numbers to come up with an effective hourly rate for your prospective employee.

Hundreds of Other Tools The number of tools found within HR360 are endless. They are developed by certified human resource professionals and a highly skilled team of lawyers. We encourage you to make the most of this benefit - it’s free to all RSA members and is a valuable tool in your business operations arsenal. From videos on how to keep your employees motivated, to social media in the workplace - all of the resources found within HR360 allow you to stay abreast of laws and business news as they apply to your roller skating rink.

Contact Stacy Thomas today at membership@ rollerskating.com or call 317-347-2626 Ext. 108 to obtain your FREE HR360 username and password.

• Select a state to compare the salary www.rollerskating.org

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2015 RSA Convention and Trade Sho

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n ow

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Photo Gallery South Point Hotel las vegas May 10 - 13, 2015

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2015 RSA Awards Recipients

(1st Row L-R) Joseph Champa, RSA Life Member Award; Pat Jacques, SRSTA Life Member Award; Cort Wahlig accepting the award for Roberta and Don Molero. (2nd Row L-R) Melvyn Wallace, RSA Life Member Award; Bob Housholder, RSA Life Member Award; Gary Miller, Heart of the Industry Award (3rd Row L-R) Kim and Danny Brown, RSA Life Member Award; Dominic Cangelosi, Vernon Fowlkes Award; Jerry Ottaway, Bob Bollinger Lifetime Achievement Award (4th Row L-R) Doug Foval, Al Kish Attaway Award; Chris Cohen, Gary Englund, Bobby Braun and Rock Allman (not pictured), Al Kish Attaway Award; Rick and Lenora Carson, Bill Carlson Innovative Rink Operator of the Year Award (5th Row) Bill and Tanya Hoefler, Rink Operator of the Year Award

www.rollerskating.org

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2015 Trade Show Booth Awards 1. Best New Vendor Booth Indoor Playgrounds International 2. Best Single Booth Audio Lite

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Financing Options for Your Next Rink Expansion or Upgrade BY SARA HODON

W

hether you’re upgrading your rink’s lighting or sound system, or planning a major expansion and adding a number of new offerings to attract new customers, business enhancements need capital. If you’ve never pursued a business loan before, the process can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Lenders who understand the needs of small businesses offer a number of financing options that can help operators take their rinks to new levels.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK The first step to obtaining funding is to do a little homework. Get clear on where you want to use the capital. Can you reasonably take on a full-scale expansion, or is it more realistic to fund a smaller project? You don’t want to take on more debt than you can handle. Chanel Bellotto, president of Skate World in Lakeland, Fla., recommends writing down a “wish list” of wants and needs to help you prioritize projects. “When you’re making that goals list, find something that’s going to generate revenue for you,” she advises. “For example, when I first took over the rink, I had to replace the roof—it was leaking and there was nothing I could do inside to make it better. I had to save up $40,000 for a new roof. It had to be the first thing I did—no carpet, speakers, or anything else could be done. What’s the priority—the need versus the want? What’s going to generate revenue—is it new cooking equipment for the café or a new party room? Or are your skates from the ‘80s and they stink and are stained?

Buy new skates and charge a higher skate rental. Get the essentials taken care of first.”

TIME TO TALK FINANCES Once your list of priority projects is in order, start talking to some financial institutions—not necessarily your own bank, although you can certainly start there. “You want to find a lender who is interested in that building type,” says Jeff Rauth, Vice President, Business Development, Celtic Bank. “I really don’t think that the size or location of the bank matters. It’s more important that the bank has an interest in lending to the building/ industry type itself, since rinks are so single use in nature. So the bank could be local or across the country.” The initial contact with the lender is usually very informal, says Ben Jones, Domain Specialist—Senior Lender, Live Oak Bank, an institution that has consciously sought out niche businesses like skating rinks over the past 18 months. “The first step is a phone call,” he explains. “Literally, just pick up the phone and call us. We’re a very approachable institution and will guide rink operators through the process. Depending on the outcome of the phone call, the next step is an in-person conversation. If it’s a mutual fit, I ask the operator to send me some information, such as tax returns and a debt schedule. I’ll look at those numbers from a financial perspective and will determine if there’s an opportunity. I look at two things—safety and soundness.” If the borrower’s financials meet Jones’ criteria, the next step is to have a face-to-face conversation. (continued on page 50)

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for the

FINANCING AMUSEMENT

industry

SUCCESS ISN’T JUST

BLACK WHITE

It Takes GREEN.

Ben Jones, FEC Specialist 910.798.1210

ben.jones@liveoakbank.com

liveoakbank.com/fec Copyright 2015 Live Oak Banking Company. All Rights Reserved. Member FDIC


ALTERNATIVE FINANCING OPTIONS • Additional mortgage expense. Rather than apply for an additional business loan, Chanel Bellotto, president of Skate World in Lakeland, Fla., added the expenses for her rink’s brand-new floor to her existing home mortgage payment. “We got the new Fast Floor system, which is concrete with fiber optic cables mixed in with the concrete. There’s no rebar and it’s very durable. We installed it to ensure safety. If you don’t have a good skating floor and you’re a skating rink, what do you have? It cost about $100,000 and I added about $40,000 of that to my mortgage,” she says. “You have to set goals, otherwise you’ll never get that money saved. Take it out of your checking and put it in your savings—don’t even look at it. People are tempted to spend it.” • Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a way to fund a project or venture by raising money from a large group of people, usually by accepting donations online. Individuals can use crowdfunding for projects, but it’s been widely embraced by nonprofit and grassroots organizations who are raising funds for community-based projects, such as public skating rinks, which is a way to get the community involved in the project right from the beginning. • Friends and family. Some rink owners might turn to a friend or relative for the necessary funds for a rink upgrade or expansion. This makes sense, as so many rinks have been family-owned for generations. Some lenders might agree to a gentleman’s loan or have a more formal loan agreement drawn up. • Angel investors. Some affluent businesspeople are always on the lookout for new ventures—often a smaller niche business that offers a different change of pace from their primary business. They typically offer capital in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity, but their involvement can vary. If you don’t personally know any businesspeople looking for new projects, you can find them through networking or word of mouth, local or regional angel investor organizations, or online through sites like AngelList or Gust. Be advised that sometimes angel investors wish to remain anonymous and rely on an advisor or other representative to handle their business deals. As with any other lender, you want to make sure you and your investor share the same mission and vision for your business.

THE POWER OF SMALL BUSINESSES When reviewing loan and lender options, Rauth encourages operators to consider lenders that offer Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, a government program that guarantees 70% of the loan amount, even if the borrower defaults on the loan. “If the operator works with SBA, it’s a good thing just because of that guarantee,” Rauth says. According to U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Deputy Director Michael Kane, the SBA’s purpose is to serve as a resource for small business owners in three key areas—capital, contracts, and counseling, or “the 3 C’s.” “At SBA we help small business succeed,” Kane says. “First, by helping good, creditworthy small businesses get access to capital from banks and credit unions; second by providing the knowledge, training, and matchmaking opportunities to compete for government contracts; third, small business owners who have a long-term counselor are more likely to hire, grow and increase revenues, so SBA’s field staff and counseling partners provide advice and counsel to small businesses across the nation.” SBA’s role is that of a steward for financing; they do not lend money directly to borrowers, but they establish the lending guidelines for their financial partners.” The programs SBA offers small business owners are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific,” Kane says. “SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you

find venture capital. Understanding how SBA works is the first step towards receiving assistance. SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.” They offer a number of loans to small businesses, including 7(a) loans, SBA’s most common loan program and 504 loans for real estate and equipment loans.

FILLING OUT THE PAPERWORK Lenders will need some additional paperwork in order to continue the process, which can vary depending on the institution. Typically, expect to submit two to three years’ worth of business and/or personal tax returns (depending on the lender), a copy of your credit report, and at least one year’s worth of financial statements. You may also need a detailed list of any equipment that will be installed and ask your contractor for a breakdown of construction costs. Jones asks potential borrowers for a summary of what they plan to accomplish with the funding. “At Live Oak we review proposals on a milestone basis—we only review what we need to get to the next step,” he says. “I may ask a few questions at each step, such as ‘Have you ever considered games?’ Depending on the answers, we may pause in order to gather more information, or we’ll go forward.” The lender will also want to see layout

plans from the contractor, Rauth explains. “In order to get the funding, you’ll need to have all of the necessary building permits from your city, county, state, whatever you need,” he says. “We need to see the costs from the contractor because without this, you won’t know what your real costs are—we want a firm amount. A contractor might estimate an amount, but that might change somewhere along the way.” Once the paperwork is filled out and the lender has had time to review the application, the next steps can happen quickly. “We’ll put the loan amount and deal structure in writing and present it to the borrower. If it’s agreeable on both sides, we’ll put it into underwriting,” says Jones. “With underwriting, we need more paperwork, such as personal tax returns.” Next is the commitment letter, which is essentially a promise on both the part of the lender and the borrower that they will each fulfill the terms as stated in the loan, and finally, the closing. Jones says they try to make the process as painless as possible. “There are three things that borrowers like: am I approved, when do we close, and when do I get my money,” Jones says. “That’s the process that we try to manage.”

UNDERSTANDING THE DEAL BREAKERS (AND MAKERS) Even if your credit report is less than perfect, you can still be approved for a loan. “Having good cash flow is the most important thing,” Rauth says. “For the specifics of the loan application,

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we look for borrowers with good cash flow, a debt coverage ratio of about 125, and that their business is profitable.” Your likelihood for approval is pretty high if your credit is okay and the loan-to-value is less than 90 percent, he adds. For a rink owner, it helps to have an advocate who can help them understand the process and avoid any pitfalls to financing. Robin Rose, operator of Jellybeans Super Skate Center in Cary, N.C., recently completed a $350,000 “facelift” of the rink’s interior, including brandnew carpeting, upgraded LED lighting system and new speakers in order to keep the center looking fresh and clean. Rose says that working with a bank that they already knew made the application process much easier and he’s a big believer in working with financial institutions with whom you already have a relationship. “We went with a small local bank, and the service was a little more personalized. We also have relationships with the larger banks, but their policies limit what they can offer. The paperwork didn’t take us long because we already had a relationship with the bank, we already had collateral, so it moved quickly,” said Rose. Jones said that lenders always appreciate operators like Rose, who constantly strive to keep their centers current. “I always look for the relevancy in a loan application. I’ll ask the borrower, ‘are you relevant? Are you current with the times, are you visible in your community, are you top of mind for recreation, employment, birthday parties in your area? Do people talk about your venue at parties?’ Many centers that are no longer relevant have not invested in their business. You have to in order to stay relevant. It’s change or die, buy or die, and invest to live.” Borrowers should also be aware that most financing is strictly limited to the projects you’re actually planning to implement. “You can’t use the funding for anything personal, like paying off credit card debt,” Rauth cautions. “The funds have to be used strictly for the property.” The reason for this is simple, Jones explains. Plans change—funding limitations keeps everyone on track. “A simple request often turns into a mortgage refinance. We don’t give discretionary funding—we would have to restrict the funds to whatever you needed the money for.” The process can seem intimidating at first, but Jones encourages borrowers to see it through. “Poor personal credit is often a deal killer. We often have to make a call to go from ‘no’ to ‘not yet’, and we’ll offer a prescription for how to get to ‘yes’. Maybe you’re not ready now but you’ll be ready a year from now. The key is not to be afraid of the process, and don’t be afraid to take on capital. It’s an effective way to grow your business.”

www.rollerskating.org

10 MYTHS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS LOANS 10. Lenders don’t look at a borrower’s personal credit history. They may not at first, but at some point a lender will want to see the borrower’s credit report. Poor credit might keep you from being approved now, but if a lender sees that you are trying to improve your poor credit rating, that might help if you reapply. 9. SBA gives loans. “It’s important to understand SBA’s role – the agency doesn’t lend the money directly to entrepreneurs to start or grow a business, but sets the guidelines for loans made by its partners (banks and credit unions, certified development companies, and non-profit lending institutions),” explains U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Deputy Director Michael Kane. “SBA provides guarantees on these loans, which eliminates some of the risk to the lending partners.” 8. Banks are the only lending option. Most borrowers still turn to a bank or credit union for financing, but there are nonbank alternative lenders who will also work with you. 7. You don’t need a formal business plan to get a loan. If you’re looking to expand or upgrade an existing venue, you should have a clear idea of how you plan to use the money. If your expansion plans include construction, you should have a detailed list of costs and blueprints from your contractor. 6. Small business loans come with high fees. Most traditional lenders’ loans do not have origination or application fees. 5. The Great Recession affected your business so it will be harder for you to get funding. If you’ve stayed afloat during lean times, this can actually help you, says Jones. “Most rink owners have been through tough business cycles. We want to work with someone who is going to attack the bad times,” he says. 4. There’s no loan for your niche business. If your lending institution does not have a loan specifically for your type of business, ask about SBA loans. 3. Applying for a loan is a long and complicated process. From initial contact to closing, the process may only take a few weeks. The stronger your working relationship with your lender, the less time it takes. 2. It’s hard to find lenders for a specialized business. Nearly every bank or credit union will work with a small business; some may seek out the smaller “niche” markets like skating rinks and family entertainment centers. Do some research to see if these lenders are a mutual fit. 1. Bigger banks are best to work with. Larger banks will certainly welcome your business, but many rink owners prefer smaller community-based banks for business loans. Smaller banks pride themselves on building strong relationships with their customers. They take a more holistic approach when reviewing loan applications. Factors like the business’ presence in the community, its professional reputation, and the operator’s character carry more weight than just the hard data.

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By Lori Lovely

S

ome roller skating rinks haven’t kept pace with the times—or with the resurgence in skating’s popularity. “A lot of rinks are stuck in the ‘70s,” says Chanel Bellotto, owner of Skate World in Lakeland, Fla. “They’re scared to embrace change and technology.”

finding early signs of deterioration,” she explains.

because it loses its insulative value and can promote mold growth.

Age and storm damage are the two predominate reasons for reroofing, but rusted or deteriorated decking is a cause of long-term roof issues. Minor leaks may not

Roofing materials continue to improve. “Generation 3 TPO and Elastomeric products now allow us to restore some old roofs, as well as place new roofing material

As Bellotto has recognized, you have to spend money to make money. A thriving business requires investment. The rink she took over after her father passed away is, as she describes it, “an old-fashioned 12,000 sq.-ft. rink” with no laser tag, arcade, or other amenities beyond its 8,000-sq.-ft. skating floor. It was time for a top-down renovation.

Blowing the roof off The roof was the first thing Bellotto tackled on her Florida rink. “I had to secure the outside of the building before improving the inside. The roof leaked; it made no sense to do anything inside until I fixed it.” Visible water intrusion is an obvious sign that the roof needs repair or replacement, says Jennifer Jennings with Global Roofing Company. Even if you don’t see leaks, she advises a roof inspection every couple of years. “A lot of roofs have been saved by

Global Roofing Company uses new products that allow for restoration without ever opening the roof. “It’s business as usual...invisible to the patrons.”

permit enough moisture to get through to pond on the floor, but the roof and decking may be continually wet and quietly rusting away. Wet insulation is another concern

on the roof without the skating rink looking like a construction zone,” Jennings points out. Using their specifically trained crew and roof systems, they’re able to completely reroof a facility without opening the roof: no

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Brett Longo with Fort Walton Skate in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. believes in creating a wow factor for customers and keeping up with what they’re interested in. These incredible blacklight party room murals definitely take the cake!

exposure, no down time. “It’s business as usual for the owner while we work on the roof, invisible to the patrons.”

Light it up!

products Cody Maxfield, who handles sales, design and installation, recommends include the ADO - ECO UV bar. “It’s one of the most affordable black lights. Just plug and play; there are no controls. They make the carpet glow for a 3-D effect.”

When it comes to lighting preferences, nothing is typical, says Terry Maxfield of Audio Lite. “Some want only the mirror ball.” Others want so much more.

Most rinks have a mirror ball, Cody says, but will upgrade during a renovation. They may add a controller for color, strobing and scrolling. He likes a mirror ball spot by Chauvet with a 75 watt

LED is the current trend driving business. LED ambient lighting is much brighter than fluorescents, Maxfield says, and provides full color. Moving beams, lasers and “intense mirror balls” can create an exciting light show.

LED and a mirror ball cluster with four spots that illuminate the entire floor. Other lights he suggests include the Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 spot, a 140-watt LED moving head. “The entire fixture moves to point light and create a beam,” he explains. A color wheel and gobo wheel that creates shapes and prisms produce an effect that looks like different lights with textures and patterns. Although she kept the track lighting that runs

His tip for rink owners: get rid of lightbulbs. “Bulbs are going away; they’re already getting harder to find. Everyone will be changing. LED spots for mirror balls are a huge improvement.” They improve the light on the skate floor and can also save money by contributing to a lower energy bill. Maxfield explains that the lifespan of a halogen lamp is 100-2000-hours, but an LED can last 100,000 hours, thanks in part to the fact that they have few moving parts and no fan. “With LED, you’ll never replace a bulb because something new will come along by the time you need a new bulb.” LED black lights are easy to add and are brighter than their predecessors. Some of the www.rollerskating.org

Chanel Bellotto of Skateland in Lakeland, Fla. opted for LED lights that create a beautiful and incredible impact when lit, as shown here.

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the width and near-length of the floor, Bellotto updated everything else, opting for LED lights because “they make 100 light patterns.” For similar reasons, when Brett Longo, manager at Fort Walton Skating Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., created a premium 3-D party room that seats 20, he added LED black lights and a disco ball with the rink’s logo. “I like overkill,” he says. “You have to keep up with the times. People expect a ‘wow’ factor. This can provide it.”

Whatever options or sound system are chosen, it’s important to invest in quality. “If the sound system goes completely down on Friday night, you close,” Maxfield summarizes. “It’s mission critical.”

Video Kids expect to see video everywhere they go, Bellotto surmises. During her recent renovation, she added two flat-screen TVs in the café, one of which she uses as menu board and the other of which shows sports to entertain the parents while their kids skate.

Have a seat Tables are expensive, Longo says, so he repurposed some older tables and built homemade benches to cut costs. “A lot of rinks have the folding picnic tables from Sam’s Club. I’m trying to figure out how to add a tabletop with black light paint.” Creating a decorative top would obviate the need for tablecloths, saving expense while adding a touch of whimsy.

Grammatico and her husband cut costs by repurposing items and doing some of the renovation themselves. Comfortable couches came Longo also wanted to appease parents. His cheap from a local casino, surfboards were donated and the food truck was a bargain on its way to the scrapyard. Maxfield wants them to be End tables able to talk about it at the from a nearby rink, too. The right sound club were system will allow them to up-cycled into do that, but will also ensure stools with that they hear the music and homemade the announcements clearly. cushions and “It has to be articulate. You a coffee table use the sound system to was converted communicate with your into a locker guests; they must be able to room bench. hear and understand rules, “We used Shauna Grammatico of Epic Rollertainment in Marietta, Calif. makes use of their rink as an snack bar specials and other whatever entertainment facility with live concerts and impecable sound. messages. If a 15-year-old we could,” will stop talking and listen to she says. “It approach last football season was to create a the announcements, you know it works.” helped save money.” sports corner. The brick half-wall, bar stools and Because every rink is sized and configured three TVs create a pub effect. He says the dads Money may be a challenge for some rink differently, Audio Lite designs booths and sound stay longer now because they want to see the owners, but Chuck Courter, president of Venue systems for each application. Differences aside, game. Industries LLC, thinks most simply don’t think Maxfield says it’s best to position the DJ facing about updating their furniture because they “don’t Bellotto uses video for information as well as the skating floor when he is speaking into the have a ton of it.” He’s happy some now realize it’s microphone, which should be mounted beside the entertainment. She shows promotional items and time to renovate. specials on the TVs. “It’s not expensive,” she says, mixer. explaining that she bought her TVs during Black He’s trying to convince rink owners it’s time Shauna Grammatico, president and CEO Friday sales. to change their models from the basic chairs, bar of Epic Rollertainment in Marietta, Calif., stools and tables. “We’re working on facilities with Grammatico switched from Apple TVs to new explains that because she treats her rink like sofas in lounge areas, Courter says. “The problem menu boards that permit on-the-fly changes and an entertainment facility, staging live concerts, is, it’s not a trend.” roving pictures of skaters. She added a custom it demanded an “overkill” sound system sans 20-ft. x 13-ft. DJ video screen because they host Lounge areas keep parents happy while their feedback. Placing speakers in zones allowed video trivia and karaoke. “There are no limbo children skate. A project he’s currently working Grammatico to control the volume in each area sticks here,” she says. on features a lounge directly outside the arcade so diners in the café can carry on a conversation, so parents can keep an eye on their children. This with the music as background. “It had to be clear Kids like to see themselves, so Bellotto has two lounge provides charging stations. and crisp.” screens on the skating floor for music videos and to record the skaters. Longo plans to add LED Venue Industries builds every piece of furniture Since many rinks use entry-level staff in the picture frames to his display cabinets to show to order, using commercial-grade vinyl because booth, some owners want to retain control of video of the kids wearing the gear they bought. It it’ s easy to clean. “We design it to be bulletproof the sound system in the manager’s area, making will also be used to display a slide show of ads. “I because it will take a lot of abuse,” Courter the DJ booth a satellite feed to the main system. ordered a raspberry pie—a mini computer that reveals. Audio Lite’s remote master control allows them plugs into a TV to show Power Point videos and to do so. For DJs who like to interact with the In addition to using durable materials, Venue mp4s.” skaters, a wireless microphone allows them to go Industries does not use loose cushions. Instead, If you’re competing for customers, Cody says a good light show allows you to stand out. Lighting takes the skating experience “over the top, to a new dimension,” Terry adds. “Any change you make, the kids will talk about in school on Monday.”

Sounding off

out on the floor.

they provide a single cushion. They also build

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configure seating pods for socializing and to generate as much seating as possible.” Upholstered benches are versatile enough to be used in the dining area, but Courter says the most popular café furniture is a simple chair or barstool. Balancing quality with affordability is important. Courter says if you don’t buy the right quality, “it’s your biggest mistake. The key is the quality of the furniture; low prices don’t last. Look at your dining seating to help make the café more welcoming. If the food quality increases, the furniture quality should too. Image and quality must match.”

Floor to ceiling Creating a sports corner for parents, like this one at Fort Walton Skate in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., allows parents to keep up with their favorite teams while the kids are skating. With parents making the spending decisions, keeping them comfortable and happy can be a great selling point in your rink – and they’ll stick around longer to see how the game ends.

the frame in a non-traditional way. By building it more like a booth frame, it’s more durable. To maintain its durability, the custom furniture features higher toe kicks that allow the skates to go underneath.” Although Courter likes to use standard sized free-standing sofas to reduce costs, Venue

Industries can customize the layout. “Sectionals are the most popular seating we sell. We can create a custom layout with standard sizes.” Using CAD files and building plans, they create a layout to channel traffic at no charge. “Design is a huge part of our success. You want to

To complete her renovations, Bellotto installed a low-maintenance tile in her rink’s café and poured a FAST floor system—concrete with fiber optic cable. This durable surface should last a lifetime with no cracks, she says. The epoxy roll-on coating on the old wood floor kept chipping. “It didn’t last. People fell.” New carpet was installed on the walls on one side, bead board on the other side. The walls are colorful, but unadorned because Bellotto prefers a “clean” look. New decorative carpet on the floor glows under black light.

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She tore down the DJ booth “tower” and made a DJ window booth. On the opposite side, she built a VIP party room, complete with a “throne” for the birthday king or queen. To create ambiance, an artist painted planets and stars on a black background as part of the theme. Bellotto upgraded her camera system to HD and bought a haze machine. “It has better output and productivity than a fog machine and the fluid for haze costs less than for fog,” she says.

Budget and financing The floor added $100,000 to Bellotto’s mortgage. All the other changes had to wait until she saved up enough money. For some owners, applying for a Small Business Association loan is a way to fund projects.

know the industry and what it takes to succeed. We don’t focus on collateral to pay back loans; we focus on the elements of success and look to the business for repayment.” Nevertheless, Rauth says it’s important to establish cash flow. “If your gross sales and net income are down, it puts more pressure on underwriting a projection-based loan. If sales and income are down for four years and the loan requirement is $1 million, but you have only $15,000 liquidity, it’s harder to approve.” Rauth advises clients to consider debt consolidation. “Most [rink owners] who do a renovation loan refinance everything.” It can even be financially beneficial; refinancing existing debt can improve cash flow. A bowling alley owner in Farmington, Va., had

Graphics and the wall mural complete the theme and carry it into the redemption area, renamed the Treasure Chest, with Patino reappearing as a pirate. Floors painted to look like terra-cotta tile enhance the Italian theme. Themes can provide a cohesive plan for a remodel. When Grammatico converted a former furniture store into a roller skating rink, she decided to “bring the beach inland.” With a genuine lifeguard tower for a DJ booth, a real food truck, and beach-themed murals, the 30,000 sq.-ft. facility recreates a Venice Beach atmosphere that is enhanced by fake grass and “sandy” paths. The back office is decorated like Hotel California, the skate rental desk is outfitted like a jet ski rental counter and surfboards carry subtle sponsor ads.

The building’s The SBA program 28-feet-high ceilings is designed for and large windows special projects, let in an abundance states Jeff Rauth, vice of light to provide president of business that outdoor feeling, development for but Grammatico also Celtic Bank. SBA added money-saving loans tend to be LEDs with moving flexible in regards to heads. “We wanted equity and collateral something different,” requirements, Grammatico says, making them borrower-friendly. They also have longer terms, without Renovations can balloon payments. be lucrative. Over He explains the past eight backing from the years Bellotto has federal government invested $500,000 “Themes can provide a cohesive plan for a remodel,” says Shauna Grammatico of Epic encourages banks in remodeling and Rollertainment. The entire rink embraces a beach theme, complete with Epic Beach and a genuine to make loans to renovating her food truck located inside the facility. borrowers who rink. The result: might otherwise have since 2007, she has difficulty obtaining a loan on favorable terms. two mortgages for 14 years and three separate quadrupled her gross income. equipment loans, with monthly payments of Because the requirements, eligibility and loan Part of that upturn is due to an increase $22,000. “His income was down and he was structure can be complicated, Sarah Carroll, in prices. Longo also raised prices after his running out of money,” Rauth recalls. He was marketing programs manager at Live Oak Bank, remodeling projects and, like Bellotto, spread the able to refinance all five loans into one 25-year advises rink owners to find a lender who is part news about the improvements to entice people to amortized schedule with a payment of $8,000/ of the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program, such as come skate at the renovated rink. month. Live Oak. This status allows the bank to approve It’s working. Bellotto has been booking more loans without waiting for SBA’s approval. She also party rentals. “They want to come now. Rinks thinks it can be helpful to choose a bank that has have a reputation for being dirty; looking clean in-depth knowledge of the amusement industry. and fresh helps.” Charlene Conway, owner of Carousel Family Live Oak offers up to 100% financing for Fun Centers in Massachusetts, figures renovation expansion of an existing facility and remodeling. costs into her annual budget. “We add $20,000 According to Carroll, they offer features that per location for improvements, security cameras, traditional lenders don’t, such as no minimum skates—whatever needs upgrading. We never stop collateral coverage requirements and up to fixing things or touching up things. It’s a work in 25 years for real estate loans or 10 years for progress. We want to keep it looking fresh and equipment loans, renovations and new spaces. clean.” “Many borrowers do not understand that you

Payoffs

Is “unending” a theme?

don’t need a down payment or collateral to expand, start construction or renovate,” Carroll elaborates. “If you have cash flow, good credit and a strong business plan, we’ll help you achieve your goals. We do not over collateralize because we

A café conversion was Conway’s most recent project. In addition to enlarging the food prep stations and adding conveyor ovens and a larger refrigerator and freezer to store fresh ingredients, she created a character: Patino the pizza man.

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NEWS & COMMENTARY

Roller Skating news, videos, celebrities & more

buzz

States on Skates Three Ark Valley High Rollers celebrate the end of their cross-country roller skating journey with Salida community members who have been tracking their progress. From Florida to California, they covered 2,800 miles in 78 days to raise more than $26,000 for the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit that supports victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. From left are Gracie Cole, Brenna Eaker and Kim Bouldin.

San Francisco’s “Godfather of Skating” Fosters Skate Club in Kenya David Miles Jr., dubbed the “Godfather of Skating” in San Francisco, is spreading his “rolligion” to Africa. Miles began the Church of 8 Wheels - a roller skating rink inside of an old church. He also founded the California Outdoor Roller Skating Association, which gathered roller skaters every Sunday in Golden Gate Park. Having recently formed a relationship with the Ungem Skate Club in Nairobi, Kenya, Miles sent 25 pairs of inline skates to Africa to encourage the club’s growth in speed skating. Miles is now crowdfunding to fly three of the members to San Francisco to teach them how to replicate his own efforts in their community. Having raised $215, Miles is seeking to raise $7000 to accomplish his goal. To participate, visit www. gofundme.com/w26xf4mw.

Meet Baltimore’s Peacekeeping Roller Skaters When Randy Lewis, Jr. saw the situation unfold on national television he knew that he couldn’t just sit back and idley watch as the media aired

Photo by Ryan Summerlin

Photo D. Thomas Magee

the rioting and looting that occurred in the wake of the shooting of Freddie Gray. “We wanted to give something that people can not just see as entertainment, but can get away from all the negative that’s happening... not necessarily to forget, but, ya know, the world is watching us. Let’s show them a variety,” Lewis said in an interiew with Vice.com.

Courtesy Facebook.com/ItsMySkateNight

12-yearold Skylar Stecker Films Music Video for Rascal at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA Skylar Stecker knew she had a gift at the age of 9 and is becoming wildly popular amongst tweens with her energetic pop tunes. Rascal is Skylar’s latest hit from her 2015 Firecracker album. The single even hit No. 1 on the Radio Disney charts. View the video at http://extratv.com/2015/05/27/exclusive-skylarsteckers-new-rascal-music-video/

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NEWS & COMMENTARY

Couple Open Lutz’s Skatz & Pizza in Indiana, Pa. They say that sound and smell are some of the most powerful senses we have, so when a memorable song played on the radio reminding Bob and April Lutz of their days of roller skating, they knew exactly what they would do with the large building they had just purchased. The new roller skating rink is the only rink in Indiana County in Pennsylvania and boasts a pizza shop, an arcade, and a 4,000-square-foot rink with a lighting system that syncs to the music. The rinked opened in May and has been well received by the community. Congratulations, Lutz family – welcome to the world of roller skating!

(Tom Peel/Gazette photo)

Carousel Skate in Sioux Falls Becomes Skate City, Under New Ownership Carousel Skate was a part of the Campbell family since 1974. The rink was doing well and the family felt now would be the perfect opportunity to sell. Kevin Curtis of Skate City, with rinks in Omaha, Kansas City, New Mexico and throughout Colorado, recently purchased Carousel Skate and plans to move to Colorado.

Photo credit: http://www.astroskatingcenter.com

Astro Skate Plans Quarter Million Dollar Rink Makeover in Newest Orlando Rink Purchase On May 18, 2015, the Maganais family of Astro Skate acquired another facility to their growing family of skating rinks. Orlando’s Universal Skating Center has been a fixture in the community since 1979. Astro Skate plans to carry out a quarter milion dollar makeover adding new skates, carpet, paint inside and out, air conditioners, sound system, light show, fog machines, brand new stuff shop, bathrooms and complete floor overhaul, snackbar update, new tvs, new system and lights in dance room and much more. We’re excited to see what’s in store for the newest Astro Skate rink!

Sonic Hosts Skate-Off Contest Sonic is hosting an employees-only contest from March 1 - July 31, 2015 for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Oklahoma City, Okla. to participate in the 2015 Sonic National Convention, an opportunity to meet professional skaters, win cash, and snag two free pairs of skates from RC Sports. $1500 cash for 1st Place, $1000 cash for 2nd Place and $500 cash for 3rd Place.

Roll Ball Sport Reaches International Level The idea for Roll Ball came to Raju Dabhade when a game of basketball interrupted his skating instruction. The game is a combination of roller skating, handball and basketball and is the only sport in the world that has reached the World Cup stage after being around for just 12 years. In 2006, the Indian Olympic Association recognized the sport and it has spread to international recognition - to the point that a Danish team won the first Roll Ball World Cup. To learn more about this sport, visit www.rollball.org.

www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 61


5 D

By Cornelius Fortune

Ways to Boost Profits with Indoor Play

on’t think of it as window dressing, or simply turning a profit. How you enhance your rink is very important. You should consider your demographic, the costs, the overall advantages.

Whether you’re considering adding laser tag, an indoor playground, or some other attraction, the choices are vast. Amazing Play Design, ARC Laser Tag Arenas, Iplayco Corporation, LaserBlast, and PlaySmart all provide various services to improve your indoor offerings and potentially increase your business revenue.

1. Amazing Play Design

Specializing in playgrounds, Amazing Play Design is expanding on the physical activity elements of their playgrounds. “America has gotten fat and we really need to do something about that,” says Darrell Weaver, owner, Amazing Play Design. “We are all about anything that encourages a kid to be active.”

He brought the first web playgrounds to skating rinks back in the mid ‘90s when he sold Jim and Cindy Anderson their original playground. “Since then we have really proven that web playgrounds are a great attraction,” Weaver says. “The designs and concepts work so well that there hasn’t been much reason to change a lot. The biggest change for us is that we have developed the ability to deliver the best playgrounds at a price point that makes having one or upgrading your current model a slam dunk.” One trend that concerns Weaver is how social media is actually resulting in less real social interaction between people. “I think the world needs more playgrounds,” he adds. To that end, Amazing Play Design is working to be on the forefront of the industry. “Persuading young guests to visit your rink is a key to future success and no attraction helps attract young children better than a playground,” Weaver says. “Our web playgrounds are also clearly the number one attraction for birthday parties and parties are a very important source of revenue. We are often willing to get creative on helping an owner bring in one of our playgrounds. If a payment plan is needed we can work with that.” Clean up for their products is pretty simple. “Wiping and vacuuming will keep your playground looking good for everyday,” he says. “I do suggest that you pressure wash your unit at least once a year. This will keep your web playground looking great. We honestly don’t know exactly how long our playgrounds last because so many of them are still going strong.

2. ARC Laser Tag Arenas Laser tag is a popular choice for many family entertainment venues, and roller skating rinks can benefit from the add-on. If you’re looking for something Amazing Play Design’s web playgrounds are the number one attraction for birthday parties and an important source of revenue for many businesses. They’ll also get creative on helping owners with payment plans and ideas. 62 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


square feet. Maybe they have a board room or a corner that they’re not using anymore. We can put in laser tag with the arena and we can do it for less than $35,000.”

3. Iplayco Corporation The family center experience should be an allinclusive one. Sure, mainly for the enjoyment of kids, but parents should be able to join in, as well. Iplayco develops solutions to help businesses develop into a full range family entertainment center. “The standard trends in the amusement industry overall would be the same that would impact this market segment,” says Dave Romano, chief operating officer, Iplayco Corporation. “There is a push to increase revenues and the market demands specific things with overall customer experience and service at the top of the list.” Every Arc Laser Tag Arena incorporates lighting, video, sound and an entirely immersive system that makes users feel like they’re in the middle of a video game. Low on space? They can build a micro arena making it a perfect fit for virtually any amount of space.

on the cutting edge, you might want to consider ARC Laser Tag Arenas.

call micro arenas. “Which are great for the little facilities that want to add laser tag, but they don’t have a big space,” he says. “They might have 1000

“All of our arenas are designed to be immersive, not just pretty,” says Lathan Gareiss, ARC Laser Tag Arenas. “We do a lot with lighting, video and sound to make our arenas different than the rest. We like them to be reactive not just stagnate. We don’t premanufacture our arenas at all–they’re built on-site. We buy all our stuff locally and we build it locally, so we put some of their money back in their economy.”

There are a number of exciting new slide configurations, technology enhanced play elements and a product they call “My Town” that is in the works, Romano notes.

He adds, “The products we develop are designed to enhance the user’s experience at a facility. More specifically, they are also designedm

He even suggests trying something different with your lighting since lighting is typically less expensive. “You can change the entire way that your rink looks for less than $10,000, even less than $5,000,” says Gareiss. “You can do really inexpensive lighting packages that can make your rink look different. There are a lot of operators who still use white light or fluorescent tubes with colors on the outside of them. Start replacing those with LED lightings (they can save on their electric bill) and make their entire rink look different without having to really pay anything.” For existing locations they’ll do financing. Additionally, ARC Laser Tag Arenas is one of the only companies that offer what they

The products by International Play Company are designed to enhance the users experience at a facility, more specifically they are also designed to increase the amount of time a user spends at the owners facility; this in turn drives additional revenues. The longer the family stays at the facility, the more they will spend on other options available at the center.

Indoor Playgrounds Int’l (866) 617-8657 www.indoorplaygroundsintl.com

info@indoorplaygroundsintl.com www.rollerskating.org

10% off for RSA Members Increase Revenues with Minimum Square Footage Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 63


to increase the amount of time a user spends at the facility; this in turn will drive additional revenues as the longer the user stays at the facility the more they will spend on other events available at the center, as well as increase revenue from food and beverage.”

the gear. Depending on the size of your arena, your total investment might be $120,000-$200,000 on the high end. We can do a 50 percent down payment and the balance spread out over two years, especially for established businesses.” Nothing lasts forever, but it can be preserved.

“We have The costs refurbishing can vary greatly Wireless charging, lightweight, long-lasting play of programs,” says depending on up to four hours per vest - LaserBlast has sold their Ewald. “I would the desired units around the globe and even have a complete suggest putting the result; refurbishing program to get the most use out of the vest through the specifically from system. refurbishing program $15,000 for a in seven or eight years, toddler type of about a third of the cost of a new system. And area to $500,000 and up for a full facility type then you can get another seven or eight years off FEC. Generally, there are a number of companies the vest.” that offer financing within this industry, in addition to the business owner’s own credit 5. PlaySmart facilities. Tech solutions are great and in truth, every business has to contend with the winds of change. “As with any amusement facility, it will allow However, some things never go out of style – like the business owner an ability to refresh and play structures for the younger crowd. market to new and old users and really add a ‘Wow’ factor to enhance the business model,” PlaySmart was founded 20 years ago. Two Romano says. things set its product apart from the competition: their play structures are 100 percent visible to 4. LaserBlast the outside audience, and they have a patented With 17 years of experience, LaserBlast has trampoline effect. sites all over the world, including India and El “It’s extremely soft on the knees,” says Gary Salvador. They even won a Brass Ring Award in Boots, owner, PlaySmart. “Parents enjoy playing 2011 for one of their innovations (wireless charge in there with their kids. It just sets us apart from straps). everyone else. We’ve added three new events, and “It allows the vests to charge without needing to plug batteries in,” says Mike Ewald, co-owner, LaserBlast. “It takes your closing and opening procedure down to two power buttons in a couple of minutes. It helps operators keep the vests at 100 percent capacity without having to rely on their staff to be a technician.” They’ve also reduced the weight on the packs, making it easier for customers to use, and expedites the briefing and vesting process (on the business end). “You can probably get four games per hour instead of three, and that adds up to big money on the weekends,” he says. Laser tag has a very good synergy with rinks and other attractions, he adds, and it typically pays for itself in less than a year. “It has a strong ROI, and it’s safer than anything else,” Ewald says. “It’s not going to raise your insurance rates. It will help boost your birthday party business. Our equipment is somewhere between $30,000-$60,0000 on

currently working on some new events that would include some inflatables that are actually built into our play structure. We have a research and development team we do these with. We try them out before we hand them off to the audience.” PlaySmart structures are not necessarily the crawlthrough type, a bunch of tubes, or requires the user to be stationary in one place. It’s all designed to create activity

and movement. “We have over 30 different events that we can add within the play structure itself,” Boots says. “And that’s absolutely what sets us apart from the other companies out there.” ROI, he suggests, is typically about six to 18 months. “We typically find [ROI] is about six months to 18 months. Everything after that is a lot of money for everybody,” says Boots. “Most of the people who put playgrounds in their facilities, after 10,000 paid admissions, which isn’t unheard of at all, it’s paid for itself,” Boots says. “And everything after that is just cream on top. We’re not doing a whole lot of interactive stuff.” “Our target market is age 2-8. So as those kids move into lasertag, parents are making new kids, and it’s kind of a standalone feature. We’re not trying to compete with the 12-15 year old market. We do see a lot of trends with interactive devices. A 3-year-old isn’t interested in that–they’re interested in jumping and spinning.” SmartPlay employs two designers who ensure that the playgrounds are custom made for your business. “On the smaller end, the cost would be $30,000,” says Boots. “Something around the 275 square feet range all the way up to 1,000 square feet. That’s the typical range we see in skating rinks. You have to look at your demographics. Anywhere from a $30,000 play structure up to $120,000 is what we’re seeing. If you’re going put it in, you might as well put something that’s at least large enough for which to charge. It shouldn’t be a freebie.” This article was part two of our series on indoor play to share with readers the options that are available from our incredible RSM members. Due to space limitations, we spread out these articles over the course of the year. If you were not included in part one or two, please email editor@rollerskating.com to be included in part three.

Aside from being 100% visible from the outside (no hiding spots), the Playsmart units are extremely soft on the knees. Parents can even enjoy playing in the units with the kids. They are currently working in adding built-in inflatables.

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how creating a branding theme

By Genie Davis

At roller skating rinks across the nation, creating a branding theme has been key to enhancing business, retaining and drawing customers, and maintaining a vibrant image for their rink. What are the best ways to establish a theme and brand your business?

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Epic Rollertainment in Murrietta, Calif.

Themes and Branding According to Steve Earley, director of national on-site marketing for Sure-Grip International in South Gate, Calif., themes and branding are two very different things. “There are some distinct themes out there for roller rinks, but they aren’t necessarily vital. Branding is very important, however. Branding means what a rink stands for. Today, it’s more important than ever, because there is so much competition. The brand may refer to a family audience or a teen audience, whatever the rink needs to be, or wants to be known as, that message is key.” For Ed Wankel president of Leisure Services Associates in Long Island, N.Y., establishing a

United Skates of America in Providence, R.I. www.rollerskating.org

family brand is key to a rink’s success. “Branding a rink as family-friendly is more helpful to a rink than anything else. Family nights, family parties, having programs and activities that an entire family can be involved in together - these are important for a rink’s success. And so is making sure that a rink is on top of safety issues. To provide an enjoyable recreation experience that’s safe and consistent in a family environment, and to promote that experience as a brand, that’s what will definitely help a rink to succeed.”

Successful Branding Examples To Sure-Grip’s Earley, Dan Wortman’s United

Skates of America in Providence, R.I. is one example of stellar branding. “Wortman had a distinct vision for a family rink. No teens, just parents and children. The music he plays is all bubble-gum pop, there’s no hard rock or heavy metal. It’s open only until 9:30 p.m. He’s built his brand as family only, it’s a very distinct, conscious branding.” To Earley, themes are not as important as developing a brand. “For branding to be successful, a rink has to start with a well-run operation that adheres to a mission statement. That statement should be carried through to guests in person, in social media, and in advertising.” That said, Earley admires several themed rinks that have incorporated their themed image as a

Star Castle in Savannah, Ga. Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 67


The decor throughout Star Castle in Savannah, Ga. rivals the decor found in many top-ranked theme parks throughout the country.

part of their brand. In Wilbraham, Mass., Interskate 91 uses a roadway theme. “They have signs everywhere - detours, destinations, road signs all geared to driving. It’s a lot of fun, they promote it well, and it does well for them. Star Castle Family Entertainment Center in Savannah, Ga., is another hugely successful themed rink. It’s wild - every inch looks just like a castle. It’s better looking than Disneyland, with a drawbridge, suits of armor, and a big green dragon.” Leisure Services’ Wankel notes that one solid example of family branding that he has observed is at the rink Super Wheels in Miami, Fla. “A lot of rinks have an area in the center of the rink where less experienced skaters can go, but at Super Wheels, they have a walledin area so that a family can take younger children in there and feel

safe. They can take a break there or practice there, and then go back into the main rink. I thought that was a very well-designed, safe family component for younger skaters, and something they promoted with success.”

Customers, Branding, and Marketing Themes Asked just how important it is to create a theme and invest in a branding image in the eyes of customers, rinks weighed in, strongly supporting themes and branding, and using both in their marketing. At Star Castle Family Entertainment Center, manager John Povanda says theming is

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very important. Just as Sure-Grip’s Steve Earley describes, Star Castle is a castle-themed rink that is instantly recognizable in the area. “Our theme has become our brand,” Povanda states. “We are the only castle in Savannah. You come across a drawbridge, come inside, see suits of armor, walls that look as if they are made of stone. We carry the theme across our rink and in our laser tag. People talk about us, and tell others about us. We create an experience, not just an activity.” Povada continues “We have a seven-foot-tall dragon as a mascot. He marches in local parades, everyone knows that it’s Sparky from Star Castle. He’s a very recognizable part of our marketing.” Amanda and Mark Christianson own High Roller Skating Centers in LaCrosse and Eau Claire, Wis. “We don’t have a theme per se,” co-owner Mark Christianson reports. “We market ourselves as a family entertainment center, and we promote that family brand with a large indoor playground as well as the rink. We found adding the playground keeps families at the rink longer. Small children get tired, and they need a break. The play area provides that, and keeps families and kids together.” High Roller Skating does have themed party rooms however, which are a large marketing draw at the Eau Claire skating center. “We have a lighthouse, an old time jail, a CandyLand room with an eight foot version of the board game on the wall. We also have a Planet rock room with cds on the walls, graffiti, and black lights, and an Under the Sea room.” The skate center’s website and other marketing materials actively promote

www.rollerskating.org

High Rollers in LaCrosse and Eau Claire, Wis. offer a variety of colorful themed rooms and play areas to keep the family together and at the rink for a longer period of time.

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their birthday parties, and the family theme. “We market a ‘Kids skate free’ system, emailing two free children’s admissions every Sunday evening between nine and ten p.m. We do it every week, and it’s very effective for drawing in families.” Shauna Grammatico, co-owner of EPiC Rollertainment Skate Center in Murrieta, Calif. feels it’s extremely important to “give your business and your logo an identity of its very own. I didn’t realize exactly how important it was until I listened to a speaker at the RSA a few years back, before I had a finalized business plan or a rink of my own,” Gramatico relates. “He asked me what name we were thinking of and at the time it was going to be called ‘Rock n’ Rollin.’ He said ok, what is your theme? What are people going to say about your facility when they leave? I was stumped. I had no idea, so since my husband’s family was Italian, I said that it would be Italianthemed. He then said ‘the guests who enter your facility are not going to know Italian from Greek so you need to dig deeper.’ That was probably some of the most important advice we could have received.” Grammatico and her husband, co-owner Joe Grammatico, brainstormed a Southern California classic beach theme. “From that point on we began to search for beach terminology. We came across the word ‘epic,’ meaning a near perfect skating condition on the beach.” Grammatico also knew she didn’t want to be “just a roller rink,” and came up with “rollertainment - it’s more than just your every day roller rink, it’s an entertainment experience.” The husband and wife duo have themed every aspect of their facility with a perfectly thoughtout beach vibe. “ We have a lifeguard tower for a DJ booth, a real food truck as our cafe, a park with artificial grass and a jungle gym, a pier where we hold our smaller parties, and even the Hotel California,” Grammatico relates.

Logos and Theme Colors Savannah, Ga.’s Star Castle has a logo that features a castle surrounded by a flag with the rink’s logo and banner. The rink uses purple and yellow as its color themes. “Those are the color of royalty,” manager John Povanda notes. “We use those colors on our business card, too.” High Roller Skating Centers in LaCrosse and Eau Claire, Wis. have a three-dimensional look for their logo. Co-owner Mark Christianson says “Our theme colors are electric blue and lime green. The logo reflects the blue. Our signs and the exterior of our buildings tie in with the logo design in those colors at our La Crosse location, and soon will in Eau Claire, as well.” In Murrieta, Calif., Shauna Grammatico of EPiC Rollertainment Skate Center went through hundreds of logo designs before finding the one they liked, but was unable to go with that initial

choice. “It turned out that it had originally been designed for Epic Records. Back to the drawing board. We wanted something fun and bright. The logo that our design team came up with was absolutely perfect, and it incorporates the same feeling as the sign on our building - it screams ‘beach.’” Grammatico says she Paradise Skate in Antioch, Calif. uses the beach and ocean theme throughout the facility to convey what their business name does uses her logo and - roller skating in paradise. her theme every way she can. “ We make the business beyond its branding, and superior our own shirts, hats, value. skate cases, towels, and cups.” But her best form of advertising and promotion? “Our skaters,” she Using social media such as Twitter and attests, who spread good word of mouth about Facebook, keeping websites updated, and offering the popular attraction. blog posts, newsletter articles, or email blasts – or

Family Entertainment Centers Succeed with Branding and Themes It’s not just roller skating rinks that have increased their market share through branding and themes. America’s Incredible Pizza, headquartered in Springfield, Mo. has grown exponentially by following its owner’s goal for an attraction where families and friends can enjoy a good time and tasty food without alcohol in the mix. Along with an all-you-can-eat buffet that includes salads, pizza, tacos, and lasagna, the company features attractions from video games to bumper cars and go-karts, all built around the family fun brand. One of the earliest themed family entertainment centers, Chuck E. Cheese, continues to thrive by marketing its family appeal and main attractions, such as ball bins and video games as quality family activities, while offering an enjoyable spot for adult activities and groups. With many attractions, such as climbing structures or bowling essentially the same in most family entertainment centers, establishing fun decor, themes or branding to a specific demographic can help to differentiate one attraction from another. Blackbeard’s Cove minigolf in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., focuses on promoting birthday party events and corporate events; other mini-golf attractions focus on a specific theme, or reach out to families, teens, young adults on dates, or small children.

Beyond Theme and Branding Over all, roller rinks and family entertainment centers of all kinds need to offer what customers want in any business: great customer service, a personalized approach that presents the story of

any combination of these – helps businesses to stay fresh in the eyes and minds of its potential customer base, and give name to the people behind a business. Utilizing a distinctive logo in marketing materials and on signage also helps to establish name recognition and consistent branding. Making certain that a business website is easy to find and navigate is also key.

Why Branding Works A well-branded or themed business means marketplace recognition and loyalty. Finding a theme or brand that feels right for a business location – as Shauna Grammatico did with her choice of a beach theme for her Southern California location – will help to establish a marketing definition and a recognizable, relatable archetype. Where to start? Creating a branding message and disseminating it should start with employees, existing customers, and their friends. Reach out to customers, reminding them of how you fit into their entertainment needs, and support the community by assisting with local and charitable events. Giving back increases business awareness and customer loyalty. In short, shaping a brand or theme enhances business. Once established, spreading the word about your brand will draw new customers, retain business, and remind your community to make a visit to your rink.


NEWS & COMMENTARY

IN MEMORIAM In every weekly issue of Roller Skating Today newsletter, we publish up-to-date information from members of those we have lost in the roller skating community. If you have information you would like to share here or in the newsletter, please email to editor@rollerskating.com for inclusion. The following are those posted between March and June.

Eleanor M. Bing November 8, 1925 - March 4, 2015 Bing, Eleanor M. (nee: Bryson), of St. Peters, MO, died on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the age of 89. Loving wife of the late Wilbur J. Bing; beloved daughter of the late John “Mitt” and Loni “Mammy” Bryson; devoted mother of John (Karol) Bing, Jean Ann (Rocky) Mantia; and Jim (Christine) Bing; cherished grandmother of Kelly ( John) DeLeonyPena, Tim (Shana) Bing, Kim (Kevin) Coffman, Christopher (Natalie) Mantia, Tony Mantia,Marissa Mantia, Ryan, Joe, and Timmy; treasured great-grandmother of Bryson, Beatrice, Megan, Carrie, and Noelle; dear sister of Doris Cooper. Eleanor and Wilbur were the founders of Aloha Roller Rinks, Inc., and later the founders of The Great Skate, Inc. She enjoyed bowling, bingo, mall walking and gardening, and she was a great cook. Eleanor was also a volunteer at Barnes St. Peter’s Hospital. Eleanor’s greatest joy was spending time with her kids and grandkids. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association.

Cecile Champa May 11, 1921 - May 18, 2015 Champa, Cecile “Grammy”, 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep Monday, May 18, 2015 at Sayre Christian Village. Born May 11, 1921 in Fitchburg, MA, she was the daughter of Clophas and Leonine Thibault. Ms. Champa had been an employee of Tiny Tots Day Care Center for over 20 years before she retired in Lexington, KY. She volunteered at St. Joseph’s Hospital for over 20 years and worked in the family business, Champs Rollerdrome where she was affectionately called “Grammy” by the skaters. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Survivors include sons, Joseph Champa, Lexington and Gary (Kathy) Champa, Rockhill, SC; six grandchildren, Maria (Mark) Hartlage, Joseph P. (Kathy) Champa, Nick (Tina) Champa, Elizabeth (Michael) Graf, Jeff (Tanya) Champa, Stephanie (Steve) Case; and fifteen great-grandchildren; brothers, Donald ( Jean) Thibault, Bobby Thibault, Jeanne ( Jake) Jenanowski. Funeral services were held at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Rd., by Rev. Norman Fischer.

www.rollerskating.org

Robert Prichard Clement Robert Prichard Clement, known to those whose lives he touched as “Prichard,” left the cares and worries of the world for the rest of us to manage without him on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. He will always be loved and missed by his wife Debbi and his families. His surviving family includes daughter Katherine Clement, grand-daughter Nicole Clement, grandson Christopher Stahl and greatgrandchildren Aiden, Chaley and Kali of Boulder, CO. He also leaves son and daughters, Prichard Allen Clement, Laura Clement, Lynn Controneo and their mother, Kay Clement - their grandsons - Devin, Caramon, Raistlyn and Haven- and granddaughter Emma Piper of Amherst, ME. Prichard was full of grace, loved us all: and his love for everyone was forever unconditional and never ending . . . forever, irreplaceable. His professional life was full of achievements that are not necessary to list; and that in the end, all of those achievements pale in the shadow of the gift of love, laughter and success he gave to so many that filled the chapters of his life. Prichard was always a great man - in his greatest moments, his weakest moments, darkest hours and brightest days. We are all so lucky to have traveled the path of his life with him, even if the distance was only a little way. We are all blessed to have the candlelight of those wonderful memories of love, laughter, friendship as well as the cross purposes of life. The good, the bad, and the ugly memories are all made of gold - he wanted you to know he was just Prichard. Not perfect - just Prichard . . . working his way through life, just like you and “me. It was a magnificent life, well-lived. Prichard, “You are the best there ever was - the best there ever will be.”

Earl “Bub” Hampton Easter August 14, 1932 - April 22, 2015 Earl “Bub” Hampton Easter, 82, of Summerfield, NC, passed away at 2:35am, April 22, 2015. Earl was born to the late Ethel and Hampton Otis Easter, August 14, 1932 in Winston Salem, NC. Bub graduated from Mineral Springs High School in 1950. He was married to Barbara Landingham and had three children, Ricky, Steve and Melanie. He married Nancy Hawkins in

1972 and had two step-children, Robert (Andy) and Angela. They lived together in Summerfield, NC. Bub worked at Western Electric Company in Winston Salem, NC. for over 20 years. He and Nancy later purchased and operated four roller skating rinks in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Clemmons. Bub coached the speed team at the rink and helped develop championship teams that competed in national events. Bub was also active with the Boys Scouts of America joining his brother’s troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster and High Adventure Leader. He was a contingent leader on four expeditions to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM and led many hikes with the Scouts on the AT Trail. Bub was an accomplished athlete. He excelled in all sports in high school and played fast pitch softball for several years with one of the best teams in the Southeast. He was nominated for membership in the National Fast Pitch Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Ok. in 1988. Bub is survived by three children: Ricky Easter, Winston Salem, NC. Steve Easter, Kernersville, NC., Melanie Lowery, Lexington, NC. , and two step children: Robert (Andy) Hawkins, Summerfield, NC. and Angela Hawkins Kidd, Kernersville, NC. He also is survived by two brothers, Roger Easter, Stephenville, TX., Rayford Easter, Kingsport, TN. and twelve (12) grandchildren. Funeral services were held at 2:00 pm Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Forbis & DickGuilford Chapel. Burial followed at Westminster Gardens. For more information visit http:// forbisanddick.com/obituaries/earl-bub-hamptoneaster/101065/

William J. “Bill” Mcdonald February 13, 1932 - May 15, 2015 William J. “Bill” McDonald, 83, of Independence, passed away Friday, May 15, 2015 due to a massive heart attack. Visitation beginning with rosary at 5:30pm & continuing until 8pm on Tuesday, May 19th at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 3736 Lee’s Summit Rd., Indep., MO. Mass of Christian Burial 10am Wednesday, May 20th, at the church with burial following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Bill was born February 13, 1932 in Kansas City, MO to Gordon & Sadie McDonald. He was a graduate of De La Salle High School. Bill was a member of the Boy Scouts of America & a Warrior in the Tribe of Mic O Say. He was a member of the 110th Engineers National Guard for 13 years. Bill began his career as a Roller Skating

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NEWS & COMMENTARY

IN MEMORIAM Instructor in 1952. He managed the B&G Roller Rink and in 1957, Bill & Dorothy became owners of the rink. In 1965 a new rink was built in Independence, named B&D. This was one of several rinks that he built in the Kansas City area. Bill was named a Life Member & Hall of Fame Member of the National Roller Skating Association of America and a 50 Year Member of the National Roller Skating Association of America. Bill was a Member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church since its beginning in the early 1960s. St. Mark’s used the Roller Skating Rink for Church for 2 1/2 years, while the church was being built. Bill was an Independence City Councilman for 12 years. He previously served 11 years of the Independence Planning Commission and served on Mid-America Regional Council for 12 years. Bill received the Mid-America Regional Council 2002 Regional Leadership Award. Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dorothy; daughters, Mary Ellen Hughes (Edward) & Elizabeth Marie O’Neal (Robert); grandchildren, Brittany Marie & Bailey Elizabeth O’Neal and Sean Joseph & Meredith Cecilia Hughes. In Lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1038, Independence, MO 64050 or to St. Mark’s Church. Online condolences to www. mcgilleysheil.com. Arr: McGilley & Sheil Chapel, 11924 E. 47th St., KCMO 64133, 816-3536555. Visit http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignitymemorial/obituary.aspx?n=William-McDonald &lc=4604&pid=174880425&mid=6448074 for more information.

George Pyche November 23, 1930 - April 27, 2015 George Pyche, 84, passed away on April 27, 2015, with his loving family by his side. Born in Lynn, November 23, 1930, he was the son of the late Ronald L. and Mary A. (Rooney) Pyche and was a graduate of Chelsea High School, continuing his education with two years of college studies at MIT. He was a veteran of the Korean War, having served with the United States Army from March 21, 1952 until his honorable discharge on March 20, 1954 with the rank of Private First Class specializing and teaching guided missile systems. George skated competitively in dance, figures, singles and pairs and holds the Gold Medal in Team Dance (1955), and coached many skating champions. He managed and taught at the Hi-Hat in Lowell, MA for a year before purchasing the famous Bal-A-Roué Roller Skating Rink in Medford, MA in October of 1965, as well as owned five others, including

Skateland in Bradford.

Keith Runnels

He was an industry leader, being one of the first to coat his floor with plastic (blue), one of the first to have popular music and a light show, primitive by today’s standards, but exciting for its time. He and his wife promoted the business aggressively and provided many new inroads to competitive skating by establishing the Thanksgiving Meet and by inventing new events that continue to this day-first solo dance event, first esquire event for example.

Keith Runnels passed away this past February 2015 from Leukemia that he suffered with for 15 years. He married the love of his life was Linda Betz who skated with Joey Bark at the National Championship level.

He had the second rink in the U.S. to have gayfriendly skating (after Arvin Grabel in Florida). He chaired the New England Chapter of Rink Operators for many years, officiated at the first Awards Dinner, chaired the Northeast Regional Chapter during the merger and the first Open Region, is a Hall of Fame member of the NE Region and became a National Vice President in the 70s. He leased or owned and operated rinks in Medford, Quincy, Woburn, Amesbury, Bradford, MA and Merrimack NH. He also taught and invited and trained many coaches to teach at his rinks and produced many champions over his 51 year career. In addition to his wife and best friend, Mary, who still teaches, he is survived by his son, Marc Pyche, who operates Skateland in Bradford (Haverhill) Mass., his daughter, Carol Freeman, grandchildren and great-grandchildren along with many dear friends. He was predeceased by his son, Ronald G. Pyche.

Florence Harriet Rollo March 27, 1932 - Monday, May 4, 2015 Florence Harriet (Olson) Rollo, 83, of Quincy, passed away on May 4, 2015. She was the beloved wife of more than 50 years to the late Walter A. Rollo Sr. Born and raised in Quincy, she was one of four children born to the late Harry E. Olson Sr. and Florence Olson (Murray). Florence worked as a manager for over 40 years for Ratheon and lived most of her life in Rockland. She was a former member of the Houghs Neck Congregational Church in Quincy. An accomplished roller skater, Florence was once crowned roller-skating champion and her happiest times were spent teaching roller skating to those who also shared her love for the activity. She was the dear sister to Harry E. Olson, Jr. and his wife Bette of Quincy, the late David Olson and Jacquline Moddy. She is also survived by many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and close friends. See more at: http://www.legacy. com/obituaries/southofboston-ledger/obituary. aspx?pid=174802751#sthash.P0ii5weQ.dpuf

Keith is originally from Akron, Ohio and skated out of Akron Rollercade with partner Linda Mace who’s parents owned Akron Rollercade. His sister Ava Runnels also skated competitively. She passed away two years before Keith. His credits are as follows: 1961 Novice Men’s Figures (1st Place) 1962 Intermediate Men’s Figures (1st Place) 1963 Intermediate Fours (2nd Place) 1963 Novice Dance (1st Place) with Partner Linda Mace 1963 Novice Pairs (5th Place) 1964 Senior Men’s Figures (6th Place) 1965 Intermediate Dance (1st Place) 1965 Intermediate Pairs (5th Place) 1965 Sr Men’s Figures (2nd Place) 1966 Gold Metal Figures 1966 Senior Dance (4th Place) with Partner Linda Mace 1966 Senior Men’s Figures (1st Place) 1967 Senior Men’s Figures (2nd Place)

Marjorie H. Wall October 22, 1922 - April 21, 2015 Marjorie H. Wall, 92, died peacefully Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at her home surrounded by her family. Born Oct. 22, 1922, in Merriam, Ind. Marg was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-greatgrandmother and employer. Marg and Jim built and opened the Roller Dome North on Nov. 10, 1950, in which she raised 12 children. The Roller Dome remains today a Fort Wayne landmark in which Marg enjoyed spending her days and evenings. She was loved and admired by many generations of Fort Wayne’s children. In 1998, Marg was inducted in the Roller Skating “Hall of Fame” for her contributions over many years to the Roller Skating Industry. Subsequently, she was also awarded “Life Membership” in the International Roller Skating Association. In 2002, Marg received the “Sagamore of the Wabash”, the most distinguished award given by the Governor of Indiana for her many contributions to the State and the City of Fort Wayne. She is survived by eleven of her children, Kenneth (Pronlada) Wall, Kent (Marilyn) Wall, Kurt (Virginia) Wall, Karen (Daniel) Surface, Karl Wall, Kevin (Susan) Wall, Kathy Wall, Kim (Susan) Wall, Kris ( Jan) Friesner, Kay (Patrick)

72 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


NEWS & COMMENTARY

IN MEMORIAM Jones, and Kolleen (Frits), Wiedenhoeft; 29 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 56 years, James E. Wall, in 1993 whom she met while skating at the Lincolndale Roller Rink; son, Keith E. Wall, in 2006; and brothers, James McCoy and Donald McCoy. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, with calling one hour prior. Msgr. John Suelzer officiating. Calling also on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at D.O. McComb & Sons Maplewood Park Funeral Home, 4017 Maplecrest Road. Calling again on Friday, April 24, 2015, with a rosary and vigil service at 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Entombment at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Fort Wayne. Memorials may be given to the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen. “It is with the deepest sadness, that the Wall family communicates to our friends, acquaintances and customers, that our beloved mother Marjorie Helene Wall has passed away today. She has now joined the love of her life, Jim.

Please keep our family in your prayers.”

Bonnie Whitson November 2, 1928 - May 24, 2015 Funeral services for Bonnie Lee Whitson age 86 of Branson, Missouri were held Thursday, May 28, 2015 at the Branson United Methodist Church with Rev. Stacie Williams officiating. Burial followed in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Springfield under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home in Branson. She passed away on May 24, 2015 at Cox Medical Center South in Springfield. She was born on November 2, 1928 in Des Moines, Iowa the daughter of David and Inez Downs. She was united in marriage to John Henry Whitson on January 16, 1949 and to this union was born two children. She along with her husband were the owners and operators of Skateworld in Branson for the past 39 years. She was a member of the Branson United Methodist Church.

Survivors are husband; John Henry Whitson of the home in Branson, children; Debbie Baker of Springfield, Mo., Janeen Schroll and Brian Whitson both of Branson. Three grandchildren, Ryan Schroll, Seth Whitson and Leo Whitson. She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter Chanel Schroll. More information available at www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsleader/obituary.aspx?n=bonniewhitson&pid=174941658&fhid=2198

http://

DO YOU HAVE AN IN MEMORIAM TO LIST? EMAIL TO: LYNETTE ANACKER AT EDITOR@ROLLERSKATING.COM.

Scholarship Programs

The Roller Skating Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors that are a child of an owner or employee of a RSA skating facility, or a child or employee of a RSA affiliated member.

Grant Program

The Roller Skating Foundation has launched a program that consists of making grants available to your local schools who are looking for funding support for health and fitness programs. In order for a school to be considered, a grant application has to be returned to a RSA skating facility who in return submits the application to the Roller Skating Foundation for consideration. All funding for grants are raised by the Roller Skating Foundation. This is a great opportunity for RSA skating facilities to work with their existing schools or develop relationships with new schools.

Health and Fitness Video

The Roller Skating Foundation has produced two videos that will promote skating as a healthy and fun activity. The videos are available to all RSA member facilities to use as they see fit. This is a great opportunity for you to be creative and use them to help generate revenue for your facility and help our children stay healthy and fit.

AmazonSmile

Every time you shop on Amazon you can help support the efforts of the Roller Skating Foundation at no additional charge to you. Just visit the website http://smile.amazon.com/ch/352008503 and log into your Amazon account as usual. Set your donation organization as the Roller Skating Foundation and that’s it. For every purchase you make, Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase to the Roller Skating Foundation and that’s it!

www.rollerskating.org | 317-347-2626

www.rollerskating.org

Roller Skating Foundation Board of Directors

Joe Champa - President (champa@twc.com) Ed Caldwell - Vice President (caldwell@gci.net) Bobby Braun - Treasurer (sk8west@aol.com) Chris Cohen, Gary Englund, Keith Brainard, Jeff Couey, Bob Housholder, Bobby Bentley, Jim McMahon

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 73


CONNECTIONS

2015 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 RSB 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 317347-2626 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 2015 RSM renewals. Changes and category updates must be made with Stacy Thomas at membership@rollerskating.com. COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY Occasion

Contact: Eric Di Silvestro Address: 321 N. Clark Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 312-620-7275 Email: eric@occsn.com Website: www.getoccasion.com

Party Center Software

Contact: Scott Drummond Address: 1010 Camerado Drive, #206 Cameron Park, CA 95682 Phone: 888-804-1166 Email: sales@partycentersoftware.com Website: www.partycentersoftware.com

Partywirks.com

Contact: Larry McLean Address: 9450 SW Gemini Dr Suite 30375 Beaverton, OR, 97008 Phone: 877-345-4012 Email: larry@partywirks.com Website: www.partywirks.com

Pathfinder Software/ Centeredge Software

Contact: Johnny Loftin Address: 5050 Durham Rd Roxboro, NC 27574 Phone: 336-598-5934 Fax: 336-598-7562 Email: mmayer@centeredgesoftware. com Website: www.centeredgesoftware.com

Times Two Technology

Contact: Kendall Cabe Address: 230 W. Superior, 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 708-497-9896 Email: kendall.cabe@ timestwotechnology.com Website: www.timestwotechnology.com

TrustWorkz, Inc.

Contact: Kevin Ekmark Address: PO Box 379, 1025 Rose Creek Dr. Ste. 620 Woodstock, GA 30189 Phone: 404-692-4133 Fax: 888-624-8767 Email: kevin@trustworkz.com Website: www.TrustWorkz.com

CONSULTING AND RINK PLANNING Leisure Services Associates Inc. Contact: Edward Wankel Address: PO Box 1275 Cutchogue, NY 11935 Phone: 631-445-8798 Fax: 912-439-3280 Email: lsagolf@optonline.net

RC Sports Inc.

Contact: Ronald Creten Address: 9910 Lakeview Ave Lenexa, KS 66219 Phone: 913-894-5177 Fax: 913-894-5179 Email: lehrke@rcsports.com Website: www.rcsports.com

COSTUMES Mask US Inc

Contact: David Bragg Address: 3121 Main St., Suite F Chula Vista, CA 91911 Phone: 619-476-9041 Fax: 619-476-7346 Email: info@maskus.com Website: www.maskus.com

Mercury Payment Systems Contact: Carrie Doyle Address: 4610 S. Ulster St., Suite 600 Denver, CO 80237 Phone: (970) 335-4831 Fax: (970) 335-4778 Email: cdoyle@mercurypay.com Website: www.mercurypay.com

FLOOR, MATERIALS AND INSTALLATIONS Astro Carpet Mills

Contact: Edward Hurney Address: PO Box 1483 Chatsworth, GA 30705 Phone: 800-542-4189 Fax: 706-259-9684 Email: ed@astrocarpetmills.com Website: www.astrocarpetmills.com

Flagship Carpets

Contact: Jane Farrell Address: 734 S. Riner St. Calhoun, GA 30701 Phone: 800-848-4055 Fax: 706-276-0823 Email: jfarrell@flagshipcarpets.com Website: www.neoncarpets.com

Floor Systems Inc FINANCING/FINANCIAL PLANNING CFG Wealth Management Services Contact: Michael Puckett Address: 9840 Westpoint Drive, Suite 150 Indianapolis, IN 46256 Phone: 239-784-6861 Fax: 317-579-2440 Email: mpuckett@cfgwms.com Website: www.cfgwms.com

Live Oak Bank

Contact: Ben Jones Address: 1741 Tiburon Dr. Wilmington, NC 28403 Phone: 303-325-4131 Email: sarah.carroll@liveoakbank.com Website: www.liveoakbank.com

Contact: Kim Wall Address: 4517 Industrial Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46825 Phone: 260-484-7746 Fax: 260-484-7799 Email: kim@floorsystemsinc.com Website: www.floorsystemsinc.com

Omega Pattern Works

Contact: Marsha Long Address: 716 S. River Street Calhoun, GA 30703 Phone: 800-241-4908 Fax: 866-375-8633 Email: marsha@marquisind.com Website: www.omegapatternworks.com

Rink-Cote/ Port City Paints Contact: Roy Spencer Address: 1250 9th Ave Muskegon, MI 49440 Phone: 231-726-5911 Fax: 231-722-4081 Email: muskegon@repcolite.com Website: www.repcolite.com

Roll-On Floor Products

Contact: Joseph Nazzaro Jr. Address: 233 W. Pipeline Rd. Hurst, TX 76053 Phone: 800-243-3900 Fax: 8173546393 Email: joenazzaro@aol.com Website: www.roll-on.com

Skate/ Ice Court

Contact: Nicholas Johannes Address: 1264 Waterfront Dr Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Phone: 843-884-0603 Email: jmatejec1@yahoo.com

Southeastern Skate Supply #2 Contact: David Ramsey Address: 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126 Phone: 800-241-8060 Fax: 770-944-8589 Email: david@seskate2.com Website: www.seskate.com

Tite Coat International Contact: Vicki Gray Address: 5421 Dorsey Evergreen Rd. Fulton, MS 38843 Phone: 800-442-8483 Fax: 662-862-6100 Email: owner@titecoat.com Website: www.titecoat.com

INSURANCE American Insurance Administrators

Contact: Darrell Diodato, Noreen McKenrick, Andrew Diodato Address: 4550 Lena Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Phone: 717-591-8280 Fax: 717-591-8193 Email: ddiodato@aiaworld.com Website: www.aiaworld.com

74 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


CONNECTIONS Britton Gallagher

Contact: Rick D’Aprile Address: 1375 East 9th St, 30th Floor Cleveland, OH 44114 Phone: 216-658-7100 Email: rick.daprile@brittongallagher. com Website: www.brittongallagher.com

Hanasab Insurance Services Inc.

MUSIC BMI

Contact: Josh Lagersen Address: 10 Music Square East Nashville, TN 37203 Phone: 615-401-2000 Fax: 615-401-2812 Email: jlagersen@bmi.com Website: www.bmi.com

Contact: Robert Ferrer Address: 625 South Fairfax Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036 Phone: 909-581-6271 Fax: 909-581-6276 Email: robert@hanasabinsurance.com Website: www.hispcs.com

FEC Music

Heartland Agency Inc

SESAC Inc

Contact: Becky Thurman Address: 6808 N. Barr Oklahoma City, OK 73132 Phone: 405-789-2733 Email: bltheartland@coxinet.net Website: www.heartlandagencyinc.com

Contact: Jim Juniper Address: 787 Adelaide St North, Suite 2 London, ON N5Y 2L8 Phone: 866-684-8324 Email: sales@fecmusic.com Website: www.fecmusic.com

Contact: Bill Lee Address: 421 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019 Phone: 615-320-0055 Fax: 615-321-6292 Email: blee@sesac.com Website: www.sesac.com

JBL Trinity Group Ltd

Contact: Anthony Profaci Address: 50 First Avenue Atlantic Highlands, NJ 7716 Phone: 800-925-7465 Email: anthonyprofaci@jbltrinity.com Website: www.skatinginsurance.com

K.L. Owens & Associates LLC

Contact: Karen Owens Address: 309 Bouldercrest Way Woodstock, GA 30188 Phone: 770-855-4723 Fax: 866-845-5081 Email: karen@klowensassociates.com Website: www.klowensassociates.com

Meadowbrook Insurance Group

Contact: Nancy Clay Address: 11880 College Blvd, Ste 500 Overland Park, KS 66210 Phone: 913-266-5325 Fax: 877-892-4574 Email: nclay@meadowbrook.com Website: www.wcpolicy.com/rsa

LEGAL SERVICES Anselmi & Mierzejewski PC

Contact: Kurt Anselmi Address: 1750 South Telegraph Rd, Suite 306 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302 Phone: (248) 338-2290 Fax: 248-338-4451 Email: kanselmi@a-mlaw.com Website: www.a-mlaw.com

www.rollerskating.org

Funtastic Novelties

Contact: Kris Wall Friesner Address: 4515 Industrial Rd Fort Wayne, IN 46825 Phone: 800-348-0888 Fax: 260-482-1568 Email: kris@funtasticnovelties.com Website: www.funnov.com

Gloworks

Contact: Joe Iacona Address: 126 N. Groesbeck Hwy Mt. Clemens, MI 48043 Phone: 800-809-4569 Fax: 586-840-4996 Email: joe@gloworks.com Website: www.gloworks.com

Rhode Island Novelty

Contact: Dan Highcove Address: 350 Commerce Dr. Fall River, MA 2720 Phone: 774-365-6120 Fax: 508-675-9406 Email: dhighcove@rinovelty.com Website: www.rinovelty.com

The Stuff Shop NOVELTY ITEMS/REDEMPTION PRODUCTS A & A Global Industries

Contact: Erin Roach Address: 17 Stenerson Lane Cockeysville, MD 21030 Phone: 800-638-6000 Fax: 800-800-1110 Email: eroach@aaglobal.com Website: www.aaglobal.com

Coast To Coast Entertainment Contact: Gary Balaban Address: 1000 Towbin Ave Lakewood, NJ 8701 Phone: 732-238-0096 Fax: 732-238-4404 Email: gary@coastentertainment.com Website: www.cranemachines.com

Fun Express

Contact: Lae Phonephakdy Address: 4206 S 108th St Omaha, NE 68137 Phone: (800) 875-8494 Fax: 800-228-1002 Email: laep@funexpress.com Website: www.funexpress.com

Contact: Mike Hill Address: 111 Triple Diamond Blvd North Venice, FL 34275 Phone: 800-860-8474 Fax: 941-480-1899 Email: mike@stuffshop.com Website: www.stuffshop.com

Theisen Vending Co

Contact: Anita Bennett Address: 2335 Nevada Ave North Golden Valley, MN 55427 Phone: 612-827-5588 Fax: 612-827-7543 Email: judi@theisenvending.com Website: www.theisenvending.com

Virginia Toy and Novelty Company Contact: Shizuka Benton Address: 2503 Squadron Ct. Virginia Beach, VA 23453 Phone: 757-313-7000 Fax: 757-313-7007 Email: tom@virginiatoy.com Website: www.virginiatoy.com

Sureshot Redemption

Contact: Sondra Doyle Address: 568 Meadow Sweet Circle, Attention: Sondra Doyle Osprey, FL 34229 Phone: 941-445-5073 Fax: 909-923-7909 Email: SondraD@folandgroup.com Website: www.sureshot-redemption. com

PARTY SUPPLIES Northwest Enterprises

Contact: Gordon Vong Address: 900 Lunt Ave. Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 Phone: 847-806-0034 Fax: 847-806-0577 Email: gordonv@nwparty.com Website: www.nwparty.com

Rebecca’s

Contact: Joseph Nazzaro Jr. Address: 233 W. Pipeline Rd. Hurst, TX 76053 Phone: 800-777-2235 Fax: 817-354-6393 Email: joseph@rebeccas.com Website: www.rebeccas.com

Sureshot Redemption

Contact: Sondra Doyle Address: 568 Meadow Sweet Circle, Attention: Sondra Doyle Osprey, FL 34229 Phone: 941-445-5073 Fax: 909-923-7909 Email: SondraD@folandgroup.com Website: www.sureshot-redemption. com

Southeastern Skate Supply #2 Contact: David Ramsey Address: 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126 Phone: 800-241-8060 Fax: 770-944-8589 Email: david@seskate2.com Website: www.seskate.com

PLAY EQUIPMENT AND LASER TAG Amazing Play Design

Contact: Darrell Weaver Address: 8775 SW Timberlake Dr. Lathrop, MO 64465 Phone: 816-935-3635 Email: amazingplayllc@yahoo.com Website: www.amazingplaydesign.com

Amusement Products, LLC

Contact: Dutch Magrath Address: 5954 Brainerd Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37421 Phone: 423-892-7264 Fax: 423-855-0432 Website: www.amusementproducts. com

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 75


CONNECTIONS ARC Laser Tag Arenas Contact: Lathan Gareiss Address: 5450 Lee Street Lehigh Acres, FL 33971 Phone: 888-514-0283 Email: lathan@arclta.com Website: www.arclta.com

Zone Laser Tag, Inc.

Contact: Erik Guthrie Address: 419 Webbs Lane Dover, DE 19904 Phone: 866-966-3797 Fax: 317-783-3711 Email: erik@lasertag.com Website: www.lasertag.com

Creative Works Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Schilling Address: 350 Bridge St. Mooresville, IN 46158 Phone: 317-834-4770 Email: kimberly@thewoweffect.com Website: www.thewoweffect.com

Indoor Playgrounds International

Contact: Julie Caricato Address: 885 Sunny Ridge Dr. Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406 Phone: 866-856-9778 Fax: 866-856-9778 Email: juliec@indoorplaygroundsintl. com Website: www.indoorplaygroundsintl. com

International Play Company Inc. Contact: Kathleen Kuryliw Address: 215-27353-58th Crescent Langley, BC V4W 3W7 Phone: 604-607-1111 Fax: 604-607-1107 Email: sales@iplayco.com Website: www.iplayco.com

Laser Blast

Contact: Carla Ewald Address: 6118 Gotfredson Rd. Plymouth, MI 48170 Phone: 734-259-5300 Fax: 734-418-2017 Email: mike@laser-blast.com Website: www.laser-blast.com

PlaySmart

Contact: Gary Boots Address: 107 North Missouri Sedalia, MO 65301 Phone: 217-221-4031 Fax: 660-829-0526 Email: gboots@playsmart.com Website: www.playsmart.com

Ride Development Company Contact: Tamara Dean Address: PO Box 40 Independence, OR 97351 Phone: 503-606-4438 Fax: 503-606-4436 Email: RDCcars@aol.com Website: www.bumpercar.com

ROLLER SKATE MANUFACTURERS Bont Skates

Contact: Debbie Rice Address: 4178 70th St Cir E Palmetto, FL 34221 Phone: 225-603-6588 Email: debbie@bont.com Website: www.bont.com

Chicago Skates/National Sporting Goods

Contact: Joel Aranson Address: 376 Hollywood Ave. Fairfield, NJ 7004 Phone: 800-242-7476 Fax: 973-276-8419 Email: skater@chicagoskates.com Website: www.chicagoskates.com

Crazy Skate Company

Contact: Trent Carter Address: 7345 Mission Gorge Rd., Suite K San Diego, CA 92120 Phone: 619-241-2141 Fax: 619-241-2151 Email: trent@crazyskateco.com Website: www.crazyskateco.com

Golden Horse Rentals/LW Skates

Contact: Walt Hedrick Address: 4004 Cedar Creek Ct Arlington, TX 76016 Phone: 817-781-1898 Email: waltskate@yahoo.com Website: www.usedrentalskates.com

KL New Generation Sport Products Inc. Contact: Mandy Liang Address: 2173 W 7th St. Brooklyn, NY 11223 Phone: 917-703-8817 Fax: 347-708-9618 Email: info@klskates.com Website: www.klskates.com

Nistevo Sport- Luigino & Atom Wheels Contact: Doug Glass Address: 3306 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 Phone: 602-275-3271 Fax: 602-275-5895 Email: Info@nistevousa.com Website: www.nistevousa.com

Reverse Sports Inc

Contact: Joey Barbera Address: 18531 Wessex St. San Diego, CA 92128 Phone: 310-350-9701 Email: joey@reversesports.com Website: www.reversesports.com

Riedell Skates Inc

Contact: Bob Riegelman Address: 122 Cannon River Ave N Red Wing, MN 55066 Phone: 651-388-8251 Fax: 651-385-5500 Email: margie@riedellskates.com Website: www.riedellskates.com

Roller Derby Skate Corp

Contact: Will Marion Address: 311 West Edwards Street Litchfield, IL 62056 Phone: 217-324-3961 Fax: 217-324-2213 Email: wmarion@rollerderbyskates.com Website: www.rollerderby.com

Skates US, Inc.

Contact: David Ripp Address: 415 West Eaton Pike Richmond, IN 47374 Phone: 765-935-7477 Fax: 765-935-7033 Email: david.ripp@skatesUS.com Website: www.SkatesUS.com

Sure Grip International Contact: Jim Ball Address: 5519 Rawlings Southgate, CA 90280 Phone: 800-344-3331 Fax: 562-923-6965 Email: skates@suregrip.com Website: www.suregrip.com

Southeastern Skate Supply #2 Contact: David Ramsey Address: 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126 Phone: 800-241-8060 Fax: 770-944-8589 Email: david@seskate2.com Website: www.seskate.com

ROLLER SKATES & DISTRIBUTORS Betson Enterprises

Contact: Brian Murphy Address: 303 Paterson Plank Rd Carlstadt, NJ 7072 Phone: 201-438-1300 Fax: 201-438-7246 Email: ajijon@betson.com Website: www.betson.com

RC Sports Inc.

Contact: Ronald Creten Address: 9910 Lakeview Ave Lenexa, KS 66219 Phone: 913-894-5177 Fax: 913-894-5179 Email: lehrke@rcsports.com Website: www.rcsports.com

Southeastern Skate Supply Inc Contact: Glenn Ramsey Jr Address: 2917 Nicholas Ave Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone: 800-444-7528 Fax: 540-342-7873 Email: info@seskate.com Website: www.seskate.com/sites

Southeastern Skate Supply #2 Contact: David Ramsey Address: 462 Bankhead Highway Mableton, GA 30126 Phone: 800-241-8060 Fax: 770-944-8589 Email: david@seskate2.com Website: www.seskate.com

ROLLER SPORTS Derby Lite, LLC

Contact: Barbara Dolan Address: 37 South Blvd. Oak Park, IL 60302 Phone: 888-989-DLHQ Fax: 708-851-0445 Email: queenb@derbylite.org Website: www.derbylite.org

USA Roller Sports

Contact: Richard Hawkins Address: 4730 South Street Lincoln, NE 68506 Phone: 402-483-7551 Fax: 402-483-1465 Email: rhawkins@usarollersports.org Website: www.usarollersports.org

76 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


CONNECTIONS SKATING APPAREL & SUPPLIES Duracart USA LLC

Contact: Michael DiPietro Address: 150 W. Berks Street Philadelphia, PA 19122 Phone: (717) 633-0011 Fax: (717) 633-0012 Email: michael@pennscale.com Website: www.duracart.com

Expert Hosiery, LLC

Contact: Abid Sheikh Address: 45 Industrial Park Rd Siler City, NC 27344 Phone: 919-799-7707 Fax: 919-799-7717 Email: info@experthosiery.com Website: www.funtimefootwear.com

SNACK BAR EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES Gold Medal Products Company

Contact: John Evans Address: 10700 Medallion Drive Cincinnati, OH 45241-4807 Phone: 800-543-0862 Fax: 800-542-1496 Email: info@gmpopcorn.com Website: www.gmpopcorn.com

Pepsi-Cola Company

Contact: Patrick Hunt Address: Attn: Paula Garcia, 7701 Legacy Drive Plano, TX 75024 Phone: 972-312-0059 Fax: 502-479-1630 Email: patrick.hunt@pepsico.com Website: www.pepsiworld.com

Quik n’ Crispy

Contact: Paul Artt Address: 12021 Plano Rd., Suite 160 Dallas, TX 75243 Phone: 972-669-8993 Fax: 972-669-8990 Email: paul@q-n-c.com Website: www.q-n-c.com

State Fair Mini Donuts

Contact: Dan Sher Address: 1515 Archwood Rd Minnetonka, MN 55305 Phone: 763-438-2867 Fax: 952-544-6261 Email: dsher@statefairminidonuts.com Website: www.statefairminidonuts.com

SOUND SYSTEMS & LIGHTING Action Lighting

Contact: Al Kottwitz Address: 310 Ice Pond Rd. Bozeman, MT, 59715 Phone: 800-248-0076 Fax: 406-585-3078 Email: allan@actionlighting.com Website: www.actionlighting.com

Audio Lite

Contact: Terry Maxfield Address: 701 Graham St. Emporia, KS 66801 Phone: 800-255-1015 Fax: 620-342-3338 Email: terry@audiolite.com Website: www.audiolite.com

Froggy’s Fog

Contact: Christopher Markgraf Address: 302 Rutherford Ln Columbia, TN 38401 Phone: 615-469-4906 Email: sales@froggysfog.com Website: www.froggysfog.com

SPECIAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES Airbrushfire.com

Contact: Joseph Barrilleaux Address: 312 Fairway Blvd Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Phone: 228-282-4890 Fax: 228-282-4890 Email: jody@airbrushfire.com Website: www.airbrushfire.com

Rinksider

Bay Tek Games, Inc.

Contact: Linda Katz Address: 2257 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43209 Phone: 614-252-3552 Fax: 614-235-3584 Email: rinksider@gmail.com Website: www.rinksider.com

Contact: Jenna Woepse Address: 1077 E. Glenbrook Drive Pulaski, WI 54162 Phone: 920-822-3951 Email: jwoepse@baytekgames.com Website: www.baytekgames.com

Benchmark Games

Contact: Richard Long Address: 51 Hypoluxo Rd Hypoluxo, FL 33462 Phone: 561-588-5200 Fax: 561-493-2999 Email: rlong@benchmarkgames.com Website: www.benchmarkgames.com

VENDING MACHINES AND COIN-OPERATED GAMES Allstar Vending

Contact: Myrna Dorfman Address: 150 Voyageur Ave. Pointe Claire, QC H9R 6A8 Phone: 514-708-2508 Email: myrna@allstarvending.com Website: www.allstarvending.com

American Changer

Gold Standard Games

Contact: Wayne Snihur Address: 4710 Northwest 15th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: 954-917-3009 Fax: 954-917-3079 Email: wayne@americanchanger.com Website: www.americanchanger.com/

Contact: Mark Robbins Address: 333 Morton St Bay City, MI 48706 Phone: 989-893-1739 Fax: 989-893-1809 Email: info@gold-standard-games.com Website: www.gold-standard-games. com

Special Pricing for RSA Members!

WRISTBANDS Made of DuPont™ Tyvek®

· strong & durable · water & tear-resistant · economical

Global Roofing Company

Contact: JoB LeRay Address: 2117 Goliad Circle Frisco, TX 75033 Phone: 800-257-3758 Fax: 888-614-9559 Email: info@globalroofingcompany.com Website: www.globalroofingcompany. com

Helix Leisure

Contact: Ted Parsons Address: 2015 McKenzie Dr, Suite 106 Carrollton, TX 75006 Phone: 469-521-8000 Fax: 214-260-0976 Email: tedp@embedcard.com Website: www.helixleisure.com

A special security feature is included in several of National Ticket’s wristbands made of Tyvek® at no extra charge! The security feature becomes visible with a black light. Perfect for any skating rink!

Ask about · Plastic Cards · Gift Cards · Gift Certificates

www.nationalticket.com ticket@nationalticket.com P.O. Box 547 Shamokin, PA 17872 USA P: 800.829.0829 or 570.672.2900 F: 800.829.0888 or 570.672.2999

www.rollerskating.org

Volume 24 - Issue 3 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / 77


CONNECTIONS Shaffer Distributing Co.

Contact: Paul Jones Address: 1100 W. 3rd Ave Columbus, OH 43212 Phone: 614-294-1040 Email: pjones@shafferdistributing.com Website: www.shafferdistributing.com

Theisen Vending Co

Contact: Anita Bennett Address: 2335 Nevada Ave North Golden Valley, MN 55427 Phone: 612-827-5588 Fax: 612-827-7543 Email: judi@theisenvending.com Website: www.theisenvending.com

WHEEL AND BEARING MANUFACTURERS Skate One Corp DBA Roll One Distribution Contact: Isaac Oltmans Address: 30 South La Patera Lane Santa Barbara, CA 93117 Phone: 805-683-4779 Fax: 805-964-0511 Email: isaac@rollonedist.com Website: www.rollonedist.com

WRIST BANDS, TICKETS AND TOKENS Hoffman Mint

Contact: Wayne Snihur Address: 1400 NW 65th Place Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: 954-917-3009 Email: wayne@hoffmanmint.com Website: www.hoffmanmint.com

National Ticket Company

Contact: Patrick Carter Address: PO Box 547 Shamokin, PA 17872 Phone: 800-829-0829 Fax: 800-829-0888 Email: pcarter@nationalticket.com Website: www.nationalticket.com

MedTech Wristbands USA

Contact: Jennifer Purdy Address: 7380 Sand Lake Rd., Suite 500 Orlando, FL 32819 Phone: 800-361-1259 Fax: 519-686-9369 Email: rachelme@medtechgroup.com Website: www.medtechgroup.com

Classified Advertisements To place your advertisement here, simply call 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 or email editor@rollerskating.com. Ads are $1/word with a $25/minimum and are due on the 15th of the month two months prior to the issue date.

Looking for Wheel Washer II’s

United Skates of America would like to purchase used, preferably working, Wheel Washer II’s. Please contact: Bruce Aster, VP of Operations at bruceaster1@gmail.com.

Management Opportunities with United Skates of America

United Skates of America, Inc., (www.unitedskates. com), with 20 roller skating facilities in 9 states, is looking for experienced managers, partners and assistant managers to become part of our team. We have facilities located in both urban and suburban areas with opportunities available. We are currently expanding and have a need for experienced management. Our compensation and benefits are outstanding for the right individual. If you would like to discuss this exciting opportunity - please send your resume listing your qualifications to James Dvorak, President at dvorakjusa@gmail.com.

Roller Skating Rink for Sale in East Tennessee.

28,000 sq ft facility with a large 180 by 80 Tite Coat wood floor system. Completely furnished. 3000 sq ft is partitioned off with a separate store front and its own power, great for rental space. Rink has a complete office and efficiency apartment space. On 1.95 acres of land. Gas Heat and Central air. Rink has operated since 1975. Owner Retiring. Rink needs a few upgrades, however Rink would be Ideal for young dedicated owner. Rink is currently operating. $485,000.00 Call 423-773-3597

Place your classified ad here or in our weekly newsletters $1/word for RSB Magazine per issue .50/word per month for weekly enewsletters Skyscraper, banner and other ads available in enewsletter, as well!

Rink Business for Sale - Option to Lease or Buy in Dallas / Ft. Worth / Metroplex Texas Area 8,000 sq. ft. Roller Skating Rink Business For Sale in Kaufman. Option to lease or purchase the building. Established for over 30 years. Everything included: 16 arcade games, air hockey, pool tables, snack bar & kitchen equipment, all lighting, tvs, skates (500 skates and 100 + speed skates), security system, website, online booking, etc. Contact Sherry at 214-533-4587 and leave a message or email kaufmanarcadeandskate@gmail.com.

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If you’re subscribed to our newsletters but not receiving them, you must add these addresses to your address book: rsa@ rollerskating.ccsend.com and editor@rollerskating.com

78 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 24 - Issue 3 www.rollerskating.org


Taking a simple product and making it better should seem easy, turns out it is. just add color.

Rebel


Profile for Roller Skating Association International

Roller Skating Business Magazine - Vol 24 / Issue 3  

In this issue of RSB Magazine, we're showing you 5 ways to boost profits in your rink with indoor play, financing options for rink updates,...

Roller Skating Business Magazine - Vol 24 / Issue 3  

In this issue of RSB Magazine, we're showing you 5 ways to boost profits in your rink with indoor play, financing options for rink updates,...