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A publication of the Roller Skating Association International

The Official Roller Skating Business Magazine

10 Tips to Boost Employee Productivity Thank You For Complaining: How to Deal with Difficult Customers What is Bazooka Ball & Modular Mini Golf? Granted: Finding Money for STEM Field Trips Understanding the Importance of Rink Security What to Expect When Selling Your Business

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NEWS & COMMENTARY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lynette Rowland, Lori Lovely, Jeff Couey, Keith Loria, Brandon Willey, Susan Geary, Marcie Hill, joe Rayes, David Brewer, Dan Whortman, Harrison Christensen, Russell Trahan, Jeremy Eskanazi, Kate Zabriskie, Pete Gustafson COVER PROVIDED BY


iStock Photos. Businesses are welcome to submit photos for

Jim McMahon

consideration for editorial use to

PUBLISHER / EDITOR Lynette Rowland

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

RSA PRESIDENT Jeff Couey, Atlanta, GA

RSA VICE PRESIDENT Cort Wahlig, Newark, DE

RSA TREASURER Brian Molony, Kalamazoo, MI

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

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

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6

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





DEPARTMENTS News & Commentary 10 Tips to Boost Employee Productivity


President’s Update..............................................................6 Publisher’s Note..................................................................8 In Memoriam......................................................................9 Rink Ratz.......................................................................... 10 Promo Only Top 20 List................................................. 10 Association Outreach...................................................... 12 Backspin............................................................................ 13

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New Add On Ideas for 2019: Bazooka Ball & Modular Mini Golf

Roller Skating Buzz......................................................... 22 Olympic Skater................................................................ 30 Products............................................................................ 50 Roller Skating Foundation Scholarship Form ������������� 59

Marketing How to Use Google Business Chat............................... 40

Thank You for Complaining: How to Deal With Difficult Customers

Quit Fishing for Publicity............................................... 42

Technology Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck....................... 15 Put More Jingle in Your Drawer Next Year ����������������� 20

GRANTED Finding Money for STEM Field Trips

32 52

Rink Life Granted: Finding Money for STEM Field Trips

Bristol Skateway Off to a Fast Start.............................. 16 5 Ways to Attract Better Candidates............................. 46 Staff Meetings.................................................................. 48

Games & Redemption VR Games and Attractions............................................ 58

What to Expect When Selling Your Business

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

Join us online today.


Understanding the Importance of Rink Security

Join more than 500 roller skating rink owners on our Facebook group at Must be an RSA member to join. Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 5


President’s Update


ost of you should be receiving this magazine towards the beginning of 2019, so I’d like to take a moment to do a quick year-end review of all that we’ve been able to accomplish this year for our members. • We acquired and paid off Rinksider Magazine. Doing so helped us to add rinks that have not been members of the association so that we can update as many US rinks as possible on what’s going on in the industry and the Association. • Kids Skate Free is now FREE to all RSA Members • We were able to work out an agreement with ASCAP that ensures that everyone pays a fair amount that is based solely upon gross admissions. • MySkateRepair is now available for purchase by RSA members to ensure that they cover all of their bases when it comes to ensuring that their skates are properly maintained. • RSA and FetchRev formed a new partnership that helps you increase birthday parties, drive return foot traffic, collect more customer data and make you more money. • IHA and USRSS hosted the inaugural American Roller Speed Skating Championships complete with $10,000

in cash prizes sponsored by Comcast. Coverage later aired on the Olympic Channel. Winners included, Kelsey Helman: $2500, Jazzmyn Foster: $1500, Jeilyn Godin: $1000, Jarrett Paul: $2500, Christian Keesler: $1500, Aden Sailor: $1000 • New partnership with Cintas provides members with discounts on everything from mats and mops to soap dispensers, toilet tissue, air freshener and more. • Members should have received or will be receiving their 2019-2020 Membership Directories in the mail. Note that some updates may be sent by mail for you to slip into the book. • Kids Skate Free reached the one million marker with registered children. A special prize pack was sent to the family and they were featured on the cover of a summer issue of Rinksider Magazine. • We began hosting Virtual Town Hall Meetings with several different committees to give members the opportunity to get involved. • Social Media Committee now provides detailed information on how to do various things on different platforms with articles in both RSA Today weekly newsletter and Rinksider Magazine.

• IALDA hosted a Risk Managment webinar for those who were unable to attend seminars at the RSA Convention or Sk8Expo. • Today’s Family Fun Magazine, an online digital resource for parents, was released by the RSA. This publication reaches 500,000 parents every other month and provides RSM members a great new way to reach those families with a vested interest in the roller skating industry. • RSA partners with Airgas to provide members discounts on various products and services for their beverage carbonation needs. As we move into 2019, we hope that you will continue to support the Association’s growth efforts and we welcome you to provide any input that you might have throughout the year by calling the RSA National Office and speaking directly with our Executive Director, Jim McMahon, at 317-347-2626 Ext. 104. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and prosperous 2019. All Skate Forward, Jeff Couey RSA President



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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6


Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 7


Publisher’s Note


s many of you know, Susan Geary came to us with the purchase of Rinksider. As of this last issue, she has decided to step down from her role as editor. We thank her for all of her hard work and time with us during this transition. I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to the new editor, Joseph Rayes. Joe’s background in editing and writing comes from the medical/healthcare industry where he authored and edited FDA regulated documentation. He has also been a regular contributor to Systems Engineering Industry Association publications and served on the organizing committee for the International Counsel on Systems Engineering which hosts international symposia presenting “white papers” covering an extremely wide range of industries from racing technology to space exploration. Joe’s vast experience with editing and writing on a variety of topics, along with his attention to detail and experience as a small business owner make him an excellent addition to the magazine. He is excited to start this new venture with the RSA and is looking forward to hearing from you with editorial ideas and input for 2019. Joe can be reached by phone at 765-318-7699 or by email at rinksider@

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

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

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

That being said, we appreciate your patience with the publications throughout the year. Our office is small and many of us are working on several different projects at a time and depending on the time of year, sometimes the postal service can be a bit slower than usual. For these reasons, we try to make the publication content as non-time sensitive as possible so that the editorial can be used year-round. If you are not subscribed to our weekly newsletters, we encourage you to do so. You’ll receive up-to-date information on the state of the roller skating industry and the Association, which we find to be an incredibly useful tool to reach our members. Please note that you must be a member of the Association to receive these newsletters. To subscribe, visit As always, if you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see in the Rinksider Magazine, please feel free to email us at editor@

Happy New Year!

Lynette Rowland

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

MARCIE HILL Marcie Hill is a writer, blogger, trainer and author with over 16 years of experience. With a background of 12 years in human resources, Marcie decided to focus on her writing career where she has posted more than 4000+ blog entries, eight books and has interviewed Dr. Maya Angelou; published in Forbes and wrote 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block and companion guide. She can be reached at

DAN WORTMAN Dan Wortman has more than 40 years of rink management experience and advises other Rink Operators on how to boost revenues. Contact him at

Rinksider Publisher

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6


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@ for inclusion. NANCY E. DOYLE Nancy E. (Cass) Doyle, 79, of Bellingham, MA passed away peacefully on Monday, November 19, 2018 at Milford Regional Medical Center with loving family and close friends by her side. She is the beloved wife of the late Frederick J. “Fred” Doyle. She is the loving mother of Karen L. Warfield and her husband, Glenn of West Warwick, RI and Lisa E. Surrette and her husband, Richard of Bellingham, MA. Ninny leaves her cherished grandchildren, Alyssa, Lexie and Taylin Surrette. Born in Norwood, MA on July 17, 1939 the daughter of the late Frederick P. and Dorothy M. (Tolan) Cass. She is the sister of Deborah J. Cass of Lady Lake, FL and the late Frederick P. Cass Jr., and Barbara E. Cass. A resident of Bellingham for 24 years formerly, of Foxboro and Norwood where she was raised. She was a graduate of Norwood High School Class of 1957. Nancy worked as a hairdresser at Frank’s of Walpole for many years. She was an Artistic Roller Skating Coach at Skate Palace in Milford for many years. Nancy and Fred were National Roller Skating Champions. Her greatest joy was her family and her cherished grandchildren. Nancy will be greatly missed. Visiting hours were on Saturday, November 24th from 2PM to 5PM at CARTIER’S FUNERAL HOME, 151 So. Main St. (Rte 126), Bellingham, MA. Interment was at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Connery Ave., Bourne, MA. on Thursday, November 29th at 2:15PM. To sign guest book visit www. DUANE A. SIMLER Duane A. Simler, age 61 of Lena, IL, passed away at home after a farm equipment accident on Friday, November 16, 2018. He was born September 12, 1957 to Albert and Betty (Elgin) Simler. He was a graduate of Pearl City High School. Duane married Linda Derrer on September 9, 1979. He had farmed with his family until 1992

when he purchased the Skate Station. Duane was a member of the Roller Skating Association International for more than 26 years. Duane was a member of the Freeport Church of the Brethren. He enjoyed working outdoors, especially driving tractor. He also loved fixing things and spending time with his grandchildren. Duane is survived by his wife, Linda Simler of Lena; his parents, Albert and Betty Simler of Freeport; daughters, Brenda (Randall) Westfall of Rodney, MI, Beth (Michael) Gordon of Springfield, IL, and Brittany Simler of Portland, OR; grandchildren, Heidi & Hewyt Westfall and soon-to-be granddaughter, Hanna Westfall; brothers, David (Kathy) Simler of Freeport and Darius (Sherry) Simler of Pearl City, IL; sister, Diane (Daylon) Niemann of Warren, IL; aunts, Twila Simler, Nancy Simler, and Ruth Elgin; uncle, Harold Simler; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation was November 25 at Skate Station. Celebration of Life is Monday, November 26, 11:00 am, Freeport Church of the Brethren, 777 W. Pleasant St., Freeport, IL. GLADYS R. KELLY Gladys R. Kelly of Castle Rock, Colorado died on November 24, 2018 at the age of 94. Gladys Kelly and her husband of 74 years Bill first became involved in the roller skating business in 1963 when they bought an old rink in Grand Island, Nebraska. In 1966 the Kelly’s opened a new rink in Grand Island named Skate Island and operated that facility until 1970 when they relocated to Colorado and started the Skate City organization. The Kelly’s built seven new facilities. They purchased two more existing rinks and converted them into Skate City’s over the next eleven years. Bill and Gladys developed strong and successful management teams with their three daughters Karolyn Mensik and her husband Dick, Peggy K. Beeghly , Pat Shockley and her husband Glenn. Bill and Arlene Lehman became involved in 1974. Jeff and Terri Ingrum joined the team in 1981. Gladys and Bill led this group to many heights in the skating industry during the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Gladys was known as a pioneer in regards to school fundraising programs for the roller skating industry. She also wrote the Girl Scout skating manual for the roller skating badge

requirements. Gladys was relentless with her pursuit of greatness in skating and was always willing to share her concepts, ideas and passion with anyone who asked for help. In 1974 the Kelly’s were the “Rink Operators of the Year” for the RSROA and Gladys was the first woman to ever receive the Life Member Award in 1986. Gladys Kelly served on numerous committees and volunteered to assist whenever needed. She served as a Board of Director of the RSROA for seven years and was a National Vice President. MARK SETCHEL Mark Setchel, of Roanoke, Virginia passed away on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the age of 57. Setchel grew up in the rink industry, working at Star City Skate Center for his parents, who owned the rink for several decades. He was also a skating competitor and coached art and speed skating. He is survived by his mother, Peggy Setchel, brother, Scott Setchel and nephew, Austin Setchel. He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Setchel, his maternal grandparents, Harvey and Bea Adams and his paternal grandparents, John and Margaret Setchel.

TONY MILLET Tony Millet of Perth, Western Australia died suddenly on October 6th at the age of 54. He was a skating coach at the Rollerzone and Morely Rollerdrome as well as a former Cast Member and Resident Skate Coach at Starlight Express. Tony co-owned Bent Knee Creative, an event entertainment company featuring singers, dancers, skaters, and magicians, among others. He studied at Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts and attended Hampton Senior High School. He leaves behind his partner of 20 years (and husband for 3 months), Bill McQuillen, also a Skate Coach at the Rollerzone and the co-owner of Bent Knee Creative.

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 9


Promo Only Top 20 for December 2018

1. Panic! At The Disco, High Hopes 2. Ariana Grande, Breathin 3. Marshmello f./Bastille, Happier 4. Halsey, Without Me 5. Benny Blanco f./Halsey & Khalid, Eastside 6. Ariana Grande, thank u, next 7. 5 Seconds Of Summer, Youngblood 8. Khalid & Normani, Love Lies 9. Post Malone, Better Now 10. Bazzi f./Camila Cabello, Beautiful

11. Post Malone & Swae Lee, Sunflower 12. Lovelytheband, Broken 13. Travis Scott f./Drake, Juicy J & Swae Lee, Sicko Mode 14. Silk City & Dua Lipa f./Diplo & Mark Ronson, Electricity 15. Ellie Goulding & Diplo f./Swae Lee, Close To Me 16. The Chainsmokers f./Kelsea Ballerini, This Feeling 17. DJ Snake f./Cardi B, Ozuna & Selena Gomez, Taki Taki 18. Khalid, Better 19. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, Shallow 20. Mark Ronson f./Miley Cyrus, Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

Chart compiled from national airplay charts and Promo Only feedback Promo Only

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6

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

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

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

or International competition.

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

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

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

317-347-2626 Ext. 105

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


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


June 12-16, 2019

Colorado Springs, Colorado US Roller Speed Skating Presented By:

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

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 11



USARS News and Information USARS publishes 2019 Competitive Event Schedule USARS has made some changes to its national competition schedule. It has also published information about the 2019 Americas Cup Championship of Clubs.

2019 USA Roller Sports National Championship Dates Spokane Convention Center, Washington •

Jul 17-Aug 7, 2019

Jul 13-16: USARS Move in and Overall Championships Prep Days

Jul 16: Figure Officials & Staff Prep Day

Jul 17-28: Figure National Championships

Jul 27-28: Rink Hockey Officials & Staff Prep Days

January 17th-21st / Training on January 17th

Jul 29: Speed Officials & Staff Prep Day

PARTICIPANTS: This is an open entry competition to all Skaters, Federations and Clubs. There is no restriction of the number of candidates in each age category and discipline. Federations may also enter a National Team in addition to club entries; however, National teams are limited to 3 athletes per age category and discipline, and skaters must choose only one age category.

Jul 29-Aug 3: Rink Hockey National Championships

Jul 30-Aug 6: Speed National Championships

Aug 4: Roller Derby Officials & Staff Prep Day

Aug 5-7: Roller Derby National Championships

Aug 7-10: USARS Move Out Days

America’s Cup Championship of Clubs Skate Reflections / 1111 Dyer Boulevard, Kissimmee, Florida, 34741 (USA)

REGISTRATION: Pre-registration deadline: November 15, 2018 Entry Deadline: December 15, 2018 Submit forms provided by USA Roller Sports to: 4730 South Street Lincoln, NE USA 68506 Or email to: AmericasCupFigure@ ENTRY FEES: $65 USD per event and $40 USD per person for Quartets, Precision & Show. All funds must be paid in U.S. dollars.

Rule update The official regulation Artistic – Dance and Solo Dance Book 2019 has been updated and can be downloaded at

leadership ability with her experience as an athlete, coach, Team USA manager, and sport administrator. Along with that background, Ricci also has a degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Media Studies. Her education, paired with a strong branding and communications background in magazine editing will help USARS communicate more effectively with members. The job announcement for Speed Adviser brought in 15 applicants, one who withdrew after submission. The candidates were asked seven questions, in addition to submitting a brief synopsis of their involvement within the sport. The responses to the seven questions were blindly distributed to the review panel. All personal information was redacted so that the applicants were judged solely off of their responses to the seven questions. The review committee each ranked their top 3-4 candidates and submitted those separately to President Kay Gallatin. From those rankings, the top five candidates were asked to respond to four additional scenario type questions during a 25-30 minute telephone interview. These candidates all offered excellent ideas and a solid foundational platform. Interviewers on the committee included John Fearnow, Trace Hansen, Heidi Permatteo, Eric Steele, Megan Schuller and Kay Gallatin. Ricci can be reached at rporter@

Ricci Porter returns to USARS in new role

Payment Deadline for USARS Clubs: December Ricci Porter-Kmetz has agreed to join USARS 15, 2018. Payment for all other teams outside the USA must be made during the registration day on as the new Speed Advisor as of October. The position of Speed Adviser is new to USARS January 17, 2019. and is designed to bring a continuity between COMPETITION EVENTS: Figures, Freestyle, the board Senior In-Line, Singles, Pairs, Team Dance, Solo and the Dance, Quartet, Show and Precision. volunteer For more information visit speed committee by providing a USARS 2018 National permanent competition schedule committee USARS has a new venue and an updated member to scheduled for the annual summer event, flipping assist with the lineup from previous years’ competitions. policy and Instead of opening with derby and speed – artistic procedures events (figures, dance and freestyle) will kick as well as off the contest, followed by hockey and speed, marketing and then wrapping up with derby. Here is the and to communicate with the members. tentative schedule: Ricci brings an exceptional sport-specific 12 /

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6


Inline Skater Completes Journey In the last issue of the Rinksider I interviewed an inline skater who journeyed across the USA on his skates. This past summer, 26-year-old Michael Lempke, aka Mike on Blades, left San Francisco for New York City to raise money for a national initiative, “No Kid Hungry.” On October 2, 2018, Lempke posted pictures on Facebook showing he had achieved his goal. Mike on Blades skated 3,571 miles, and went through 11 sets of wheels and 14 sets of bearings. He stayed with 47 different hosts, camped out 17 nights, said hello to approximately 772 farm animals and raised $17,000 for his cause. He thanked everyone on social media for helping him make a trip of a lifetime, from his parents, closest friends and family, to “every single stranger that showed me kindness on the road with a bed to stay, a meal, or even a simple stop and chat.”

Free Publicity If you’re not taking advantage of free media publicity for your rink, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. When the RSA launched the Learn to Skate initiative for National Roller Skating Month, I got to work building a campaign around it that I knew would be easy to get the word out using traditional and social media. First, I had to convince my local rink operator to schedule a free lesson for the community using free publicity to get them in the door.

The other two rinks in town, Star City Skate Center and Firehouse Sk8 ‘n Play also jumped on board the campaign. They didn’t have lessons to promote, but they did open up their rinks to free skating from 6-9 p.m. with free rentals at the same time. Mason Drew told the Rinksider he planned to give away a free pair of skates at the Firehouse. I began writing up emails and press releases that I sent to my local media: 2 newspapers, 3 television stations and a locally owned radio station deejay who loves having in-studio guests. “Dear News Media,” I wrote. “October is National Roller Skating Month and we’re joining a nationwide initiative to teach people how to skate.” The response was more than I had hoped for.

Within a week, I received 3 replies, 2 from local TV daytime lifestyle programs, another from a community newspaper that wanted the press Chris Conner, Manager of the Skate Center release emailed. of Roanoke Valley, agreed to book a Thursday I had originally evening for our free skate class from 5:30 – 6 mailed it to p.m. ahead of their usual public session. He the newspaper decided to go all FREE: The lesson, the rental because I skates and admission to the subsequent session. couldn’t find an

email or contact form on their website or listed within the pages of their paper. Their request for a digital copy told me they wanted to print it. The television stations sent back a form for me to fill out and return. They wanted to know who would be speaking on camera, what questions to ask, along with spelling and pronunciations of names. Both TV stations wanted their hosts to come to the rink and learn how to roller skate with cameras rolling. The first crew arrived on October 1, 2018 for a taping that would air on the show “Living Local” on WFXR, Fox 21/27. During the interview, I demonstrated how to stand still, fall down, get up, stop, and a few other basics. I made a point to schedule the taping when the rink was closed due to issues with the music that would normally be playing in the background during a public session. I knew the segment would be edited and you can’t do that cleanly with music in the background. And then there’s the copyright issues regarding music on television. They have their own ASCAP/BMI fees to worry about. I also asked the rink owner to provide some free skating passes to the TV crews so they could return with their families. Meanwhile, the crew from Daytime Blue Ridge, a midday lifestyle show that airs on the local NBC affiliate (WSLS) came out a few days later. I loaned a pair of my old skates to Co-Host Natalie Faunce who admitted she hadn’t skated since junior high, and put the other host, Brittany Flowers in a pair of rental skates with the cleanest set of wheels I could find. (Videographers love close-ups.) The DBR crew was in and out in no time, shooting the interview first, the b-roll (accompanying video) and another shot in front of the corporate logo outside. They didn’t tell me when the segment would air, so I tuned in on the following Monday and Tuesday. At the end of Tuesday’s show, they teased our roller skating segment for the following day. “Place your bets now on how many times I fall down,” announced Flowers as they were closing out the show. Earlier that same morning, I made

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 13

NEWS & COMMENTARY a live appearance on a locally-owned radio station. At that point, we were two days ahead of our scheduled Learn to Skate event. While I was driving in to the station, the morning announcer was on the air promoting our upcoming chat about National Roller Skating Month. Then, while I was in the studio, he gave me 5 minutes of airtime about the benefits of indoor roller skating. He also took a photo of us and posted it on his social media page. Of course, while all this media attention is nice, I knew there were no guarantees we’d get a crowd. In fact, when our Learn to Skate event happened, it had been raining hard all day as the remnants of Hurricane Michael churned its way up the coast. Our scheduled class was for 5:30. By 2 p.m. the Roanoke River reached flood stage and was over its banks in some places. Photos and pictures were posted on social media and our local news, that broke into regular programming with flood warnings. “Stay home. Don’t go anywhere,” warned County officials. The weather issues were mostly on the other side of town, however it deterred people from coming out. We were at the rink, fully staffed waiting on people to come in for free skating that had been promoted throughout

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the community on broadcast, print and social media. While no one made it for class, the phone rang a lot about the promotion, “are you still open tonight for free skating?” was the common question.

make it a priority for 2019 to reach out to your local media and raise awareness that your skating rink is the place to be.

Even though we had a total turnout of about 50 skaters for the session, the amount of free publicity gained was immeasurable, as well as media relationships that were formed. The hosts had a great time and enjoyed themselves on skates. All said they wanted to come back with their kids. They mentioned they had their kid’s birthday parties at the Skate Center, and I reminded them how fun it would be to have a holiday office party at the rink and have the building all to themselves. I also piqued interest in future segments. “When you’re looking at January fitness stories, don’t forget that roller skating burns around 600 calories an hour. Plus it’s an activity that’s easier to stick with because it’s fun.” They agreed. It is fun. All told, we reaped about 10 minutes of television time, 4 minutes of radio, and a mention in the newspaper, as well as a lot of social media sharing. If you’re not taking advantage of National Roller Skating Month,

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6



Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck


any rink owners do a good job of knowing where their biggest expenditures are each month and are aware of ways to lower their costs.

Many of you know exactly how much you pay per serving of drinks or pizza. You know exactly the profitability of the shop and possibly even how much you spend each time a customer fires up an arcade game. But do you know in real dollars and cents how much you are paying for credit card processing? Many business owners just see a line item debited each month from their checking account and think to themselves, “That’s a lot of money!” Unfortunately, the industry has become so complicated over the years, it’s challenging for even the savviest business owner to drill down and determine what they’re actually paying to be able to accept credit cards as payment.

cases $50.00 is the pivot point. If the charge is less than $50.00, just run the card as credit, but if more than $50 run as debit. Example: a $200.00 birthday with no PIN entered—you could pay as much as $12.00 to process that transaction! But if a PIN is entered you would pay only .35. That’s right—.35, saving you about $11.65 on that single transaction!

Keyed Credit Card Verification Make sure that when you take a credit card over the phone or if your customers pay deposits for parties online that all the fields are completed. Your customer should be required to enter their expiration date, the CVV code on the back of the card, as well as the zip code and numeric street address associated with that card.

So often an employee will just press enter to bypass these steps and that costs you money. One of the things that determines the rate on a I have seen many rink owners who have an transaction is the security of the transaction. Of effective rate or bottom line cost of over 6 percent! course, the most secure transaction is PIN-based In many instances, you are at the mercy of your debit and that is why the fee is so low. processor, but there are things that you can do The most unsecure transaction is taken online right now to lower your costs: or over the phone, so the more information that you enter the more secure you are making that PIN-based Debit transaction. PIN-based debit is not for the hundreds who are paying the $10.00 to $20.00 entry fee. The real benefit here is when customers are paying that large birthday or group party bill. In most

Example: $100.00 keyed with no security items entered could cost you as much as $6.00, but with all the information filled in, only about $2.00, saving you $4.00 for that single transaction.

Put minimums on credit card purchases Yes, you can do this! You may be paying anywhere from .10 to .30 per transaction, not including the interchange rate, just the transaction fee. A .30 fee is a lot bigger number on that $1.00 charge at the snack bar than it is on a $100.00 party charge. If you want to know how to effectively do this email me at dbrewer@csamail. net and I will be happy to explain. All these numbers that I have given are real but on the high end for sure. Not all rink owners are seeing effective rates of 6 percent, but most are paying far more than they should. The main thing that I enjoy as the preferred merchant account provider for the RSA is the ability to consult with rink owners and help you get the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re unsure of your bottom line cost or would like more information about any of these cost-saving tips, please email or call me today. We are here to help you! DAVID BREWER David R. Brewer, President, CSA Business Solutions 866-400-0272

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Visit our website for testimonials from RSA members! Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 15



Bristol Skateway is off to a Fast Start


he Bristol Skateway in Tennessee opened with much fanfare on Friday, September 28, after passing its final inspection. Newly renovated and rebranded, the rink, formerly known as the Bristol Skate Inn, is located on the eastern border in the state, which is also home to the famous Bristol Speedway. The Bristol Skateway is owned by WESK8, a partnership of 5 dedicated skaters who have always dreamed of owning a rink: Debbie Williams and her significant other, Gary Easmunt; husband and wife, Grant and Jennifer Showalter; and Gary’s sister, Patti Enstrom. None are from the area, but relocated to pursue their collective dream of rink ownership.

had been empty and needed a lot of love. Each of the partners were able to bring a unique specialty to the operation. Grant and Jennifer are media people. “Gary is the emcee, he’s the man with the microphone

The newly rebranded Bristol Skateway capitalizes on the popularity of the Bristol Speedway theme.

is also the instructor. “I can teach, but choose not to,” she admitted. The Rinksider caught up with Debbie two weeks after their late September opening and she reported how well-received the new rink has been in the community. “The phone rings nonstop with positive comments.” They had already booked two private parties and 6 birthday parties. Their Saturday night session is adults only which drew 135 skaters the first week and 97 the second week. “That’s all we’ve been open, and it’s not cold here yet.” Additionally they started skate classes with 7 people in the first class, who all returned the following week for their second lesson. Plus, they sold 18 pairs of skates in their first week in business. “I can’t keep flyers,” she said, “I print them, and they’re gone.” Williams said she put a lot of staff on the schedule. “It’s killing us financially right now, but I want people to see staff members. There’s two things I train my staff, ‘never say no’ and ‘there’s never a problem, there’s a situation.’’’

The rink was bank-owned when the partners learned it was for sale and had to jump through several hoops to buy it. “We had to go through 8 addendums for financing it because the former owner of the Bristol Skate Inn disappeared and there were no records,” said Williams. Without the paperwork, the property was considered a “startup.” The rink needed renovating from top to bottom, including a brand new wood floor, which cost more than the building. That raised questions from lenders not familiar with rink operations.

The Bristol Skateway has a designated party area, but not a party room. The employee uniforms are neon yellow shirts that glow in the dark. “We want people to see the excitement and fanfare. Our employees do party games in the center of the floor and during the grand finale they go out in the center.” And the snack bar offers food you don’t normally see in a rink. “We offer pulled pork on pizza, hot dogs and French fries,” Williams said. “We’re in the south, and people here want their barbecue.” While they don’t offer hot towels, “we have had kids ask for wet paper napkins,” she noted.

The WESK8 team had plenty of rink experience to pull off a successful venture. They all knew each other from working together in the past. “Gary and I started in New Jersey and Philadelphia and moved to Florida,” said Williams, “That’s where we met Grant and Jennifer. We worked in the same rink.” Over the next decade they had serious discussions about owning a rink together. And they each have a diverse background as well. “Gary and I are artistic skaters making it to regionals and nationals,” Williams explained. “Gary competed in World Skating.” And Grant was a floor guard at the age of 14. “He thought that mere mortals could not own a rink,” said Debbie, explaining that “no one normal could own one of these.”

By: Susan Geary

When asked if she had any final comments on the new venture, Williams reflected and said, “Dreams do come true. It’s just amazing, amazing.” The Bristol Skateway has been completely renovated, including a new wood floor.

and he’s only second to Grant who is just as When they closed on the property last spring, personable,” Williams told the Rinksider, adding there was plenty of work to be done. The building “Jennifer’s an architect and was instrumental in getting the building looking the way it does.” Gary 16 /

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 17

10 Tips to Boost Employee Productivity By: Dan Whortman A dictionary might define “productivity” as the effectiveness of productive effort or more product per employee hour through efficiency. Since a large portion of our product is FUN, we might take a look at what employee productivity means to our industry. Entertainment, customer interaction and personal customer service all come into play. Our employees aren’t making widgets. They add to the fun along with their job duties. Let’s look at a few ideas of what management can do to enhance their productivity.

1. Hire Right

promote teamwork and social acceptance. Note that they will be available for fewer work hours, but they make a much better employee. At our rink, we tend to hire a larger number of employees so we can work around employee school activities and school work (which comes first) and still have coverage. Plus, a great hire generally has terrific brothers and sisters when they are ready for their first job down the road.

a new customer may need extra attention or information. Let them know that whatever position they hold they will always need to be a goodwill ambassador, answering questions and assisting whenever necessary. Training at a position should be thorough and an employee should not be left alone until they understand and can execute every function of the job at hand and understand how to relate to the customer. The next step is cross training. Train employees in as many positions as possible. This is a tremendous help for management in scheduling 2. Train, Train, Train and productivity. It also helps operate the session Our goal is to train each employee to the point in a pinch, and makes it a little more interesting where very little supervision is necessary. The for employees to mix it up a little with a variety more knowledge they have, the more efficient and of jobs. The employees need to know that at productive they will be in their position. They’ll whatever position– we are selling FUN– and also step in to help others when needed as a team how each job fits in to furthering that customer to accomplish a task. During orientation, we show experience. them around the entire building including every closet, storage area and office, and how it relates to their job.

Half the battle of retaining employees long term is finding the right person. And long term employees and low turnover create better team work and well trained key personnel. Take time when interviewing. Look for kids who are very social, who like school and they have structure in their life. We want them in team sports, We explain what a customer thinks and cheerleading, or after school clubs. Those activities feels when they enter the building and that

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3. Coaching

Coaching is key to a successful training program. It means observing your employees and

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giving them little reminders along the way to ensure they don’t get off track and develop any bad habits. My motto is “an employee will always do the right thing–if they know what the right thing is.” So, before the beginning of any skating session, remind each position of one or two key things important to that particular position. This reinforcement on a daily basis by your managers will keep your employees on track with operations as well as any new changes or additions, and especially customer service. It will also enhance the consistency of the training process and ensure your employees are all working toward the same goal. Training is not always fun, but in the end, a consistent detailed training program reinforced with daily management coaching will result in great employee ambassadors, TEAMWORK, and very happy customers.

6. Give Back Schedule a get together several times a year where your employees can bond as well as have a good time. It can be held anywhere, the rink, a park, whatever you decide. But make it fun for them and themed if possible. We have a water balloon fight with one of our summer camps at the end of their program. It is the height of the summer and no employee wants to miss out on it. There are many ways to reward employees: gift

9. Work alongside them We all have days when it’s absolutely packed. The customers keep coming and we are just treading water to keep up. It’s at these times when your employees are the most happy to see your face. Jump in there (especially in the concession area) and work beside them. Let them know you understand that work is hectic, but you’ll get it done together as a team.

4. Be a Facilitator A facilitator is a person who gets you what you need. They grease the skids to make your job easier, more efficient and more productive. Ask your employees what they need to make their jobs easier. Maybe it’s a new vacuum or two to get clean-up done quicker and easier. Maybe an electric can opener instead of that old hand crank. You would be surprised sometimes of the little things that can be done to increase their productivity and efficiency. Whatever you can do will benefit you generally in saved payroll, a better looking building and many times, more quickly served customers. Be the person who makes their lives easier and you will have happier employees –and customers.

5. Listen to their ideas Many people say you would be amazed at some of the ideas employees come up with. But really, not so amazing since they know their jobs well and have discovered ways to make them more efficient or, even better, more customerfriendly or customer-appreciated. Make it known that you are open to ideas. Employees have a different perspective than owners or managers sometimes and can offer many enhancements to the customer experience or the efficiency or productivity of the facility or their position. Of course, some ideas will be a little “out there” but pulling out the gems is where the money is. And they will feel much more a part of the team.

these accolades are given to the appropriate employee as soon as possible. Make a big deal of it with your own praise and atta boy. Let a hostess know if a customer requests them for their child’s birthday party. Employees go above and beyond on a daily basis, and compliments are fuel for productivity and continued great work. When you have a great session, encourage your managers to get to every employee and let them know it was their hard work that pulled it off. Your employees will be doing this day in and day out and it’s our job to help them keep their desire to come back and do it tomorrow.

When we know the day will be overwhelming, we might bring in a giant tray of cookies and go around to each employee and hand them out just to let them know that we know it’s going to be busy. Let them know you are not just cracking the whip, but you are pulling along with them whatever station it is. These 7. Find their hidden talents gestures go a long way to show employees you Years ago we swerved into this idea by accident. know what they are going through and you are in it with them all the way. We were looking for a way to add additional entertainment on a Saturday and one of our kids said “I can make balloon animals.” This was one 10. Give them a place to be proud of our more quiet kids, but we turned him loose of and he amazed us with his talent and rapport with customers. We’ve found kids that are made In today’s competitive recreation market, it can to be in costume and paint faces like Rembrandt. be hard to keep up. Modern facilities are popping We do live characters for our Adventure Birthday up everywhere. Trampoline parks, indoor/ Parties, and when they dress up like a pirate, they outdoor play areas, bowling centers, etc. But it’s really become a pirate. Quiet kids who become to our advantage (and survival) to take a look at amazing DJs when they get into character. Don’t our facilities from a customer’s view point and wait to accidently discover these talents. Talk to ensure we are staying current with technology, your kids and find out what gets them excited, lighting, games etc. Our skating centers are what what would be fun for them or what special talent we are selling, and our employees see what our is hiding that will wow your customers. These customers see. Getting and keeping employees in hidden talents are waiting to be found and your this competitive hiring market can be a challenge. customers will reap the benefits. Upgrade wherever you can. Paint, cover, repair certificates, movie passes, etc. These get togethers make them feel like a team and lets them know you are thinking about them – and thanking them.

8. Give them customer feedback - and yours Everyone loves a compliment, and your employees are no different. Encourage all managers to write down every compliment or praise given by customers, whether on the phone or in person. It could be a birthday parent, a private party, or a skating lesson. And see that

any area that needs attention. Start with eyesores and then continue to any area the customer can see. Believe me, a little improvement goes a long way with your customers and your employees. Your employees want a facility they can promote and be proud of. Give them a facility that grows with them and they will be part of your future for a very long time.

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Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 19



Put more jingle in your drawer with these holiday planning tips for 2019


y now, most of you already have your holiday plans ready at the rink and at home. You’ll pull your best ugly sweater out of the closet, heat up some cocoa and start streaming those Christmas classics. Families full of joy flocking through your doors translates to a booming business and exactly the kind of cheerful chaos that the holidays are known for. So how can you, as a roller skating center and local pillar of family entertainment, prepare for a most successful season? It all starts with a strong marketing strategy in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the holidays. We are giving you a head start, so keep these tips in mind as you put your plans in place for 2019!

You Have to Believe to Receive No matter if you’re a proud partner of a multi-location center or a mom-and-pop shop, the most successful businesses have one thing in common when it comes to the holidays: having a clear, concise, and consistent marketing theme. Perhaps this year your focus is going to be all about families. With this in mind, your offers, events, and messaging should all measure up to this overall concept—such as discounting family packages or hosting a kids and parents after-school skate. Alternatively, you may choose to concentrate on building up a bevy of new customers through the best means possible. In this case, you’ll want to stress gift card offers, bring-a-friend specials, and holiday events that encourage new visitors.

Counting Cards

than the usual wine and cheese event, your roller skating center can stand out as a unique and Numbers don’t lie. Gift cards are both a smart enticing option to host the reception. Taking present for shoppers looking to satisfy everyone inspiration and shape from your current birthday on their gift list, and a money-making machine packages, offer an event booking that includes for businesses who utilize them. According to a private party room (if applicable), full service, global e-gift card sales eclipsed menu and access to skating and attractions. more than $300 million in sales last year factoring Including incentives such as a weekday discount, into an impressive 10 percent annual growth free skate rental (or a reduced price if they meet rate. In the same study, 73 percent of consumers a minimum number of guests) can help make the decided to purchase at least one gift card while booking decision easier. working their way down their gift-giving list during the holiday season. Bottom line: if you’re not offering gift cards, your customers will find them elsewhere. Need proof? Consider that 65 percent of gift card recipients spent nearly 38 percent higher than the face value of their card leading to an even greater purchase. This means even if you run a dollars-off or percent-off special around your holiday gift cards, you’ll likely make back the difference. We recommend discounting by at least 20 percent over the holiday season to entice purchasers to buy gift cards in bulk for all their family and friends.

Stock your store More and more consumers are shopping digitally. If you’re selling gear and merchandise online, this is the time to really boost the marketing around what you carry in stock at your skate shop. Whether it’s the latest gear and accessories from ATOM Skates or a fresh new pair of VNLA Code red roller skates, showcasing some of your most popular products to someone looking for the perfect gift is the right way to keep sales trending up all season. Try a percent-off promo code for online orders, bundle some of your bestsellers into the ultimate holiday gift pack, or provide free shipping for early bird shoppers. Be sure to promote your center as the place for presents through your social channels or an email newsletter with a clear and clickable call-to-action to your online store.

Here for the Holidays While the holiday season is prime time for quality family bonding around the fireplace, a few days into vacation, kids start bouncing off the walls with boredom. Your roller skating center has the opportunity to be the destination for winter break recreation, transforming into a haven for cooped-up children and parents ready to pull their hair out. Glimpse at the local school calendars to gauge kids’ days off, and offer discounted admission—like bring-afriend deals—during the break. Family specials also provide a breather for shopping-stressed parents and those who want to get back to what the holidays are all about: spending the season together. Taking notes from Santa’s masterful execution of timing and delivery, developing a holiday marketing strategy set for success is the best way to keep your business rolling. BRANDON WILLEY Brandon Willey is the CEO of FetchRev and has broad knowledge of the local digital marketing ecosystem with extensive experience in email and search marketing, social media, retargeting, geotargeting, segmentation, automation, machine learning and more. He can be reached at or by calling 855-979-7833.

Party to the People Celebrating hard work with play, the annual office party is always a must-have for any company looking for a place to partake in swapping gifts during Secret Santa and engaging in some reindeer games. With CEOs and administrative assistants searching high and low to reward their staff with something more

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Volume 27 / Issue 6

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Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 21


Roller Skating


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

Downtown Detroit gets a fun holiday season rink addition If you find yourself in Detroit this holiday season you should check out the new downtown collaboration between FriendsWithYou and the Library Street Collective. Admission to the venue is free which includes access to lockers. Skaters can enjoy the 5000 + square foot installation featuring 8 contemporary balloon art pieces standing up to 30 feet tall suspended above the green and white striped rink floor. All are welcome to use their own skates or can borrow traditional skates also free of charge! Hours of operation are from 2-9 p.m. until the rink closes January 27. For more information visit rainbowcitydetroit. com. Photo Credit: Matt Ortiz, Detroit News

Long Island Rink Reopens It’s great to see investment in older rinks especially after surviving superstorm Sandy. A newly refurbished skating rink in Long Island has reopened and has plenty of room for you to enjoy skating on their 7000 square foot floor. The American Legion’s George D. Costello Sr. Memorial Skating Rink is located in Greenport. The rink dates back to 1938 and was just reopened in March. It costs $5 to get in the door and the same to rent skates. Call 631-333-2644 or visit for more information.

Photo Credit: Mindy Ryan

Father/Daughter Duo Have Roller Skating First Dance Chrissy Mitchell decided to do something a little different for her first dance with her dad at her wedding - a roller skating first dance. In an interview for, she says that she and her father planned out the entire dance just a couple days before her wedding. Her dad, Tim Lesak, skated since he was a child and his father was a roller skating instructor. Chrissy followed in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and decided to honor their love of roller skating at her wedding...and the video has since gone viral! See it at

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Jimmie’s Rollerdrome Still Going After 70 Years Marie Mullins, 92, still owns her family skating rink, founded by her husband who came up with the idea during his service in World War II. He wanted to share his passion for roller skating after falling in love with it on the west coast. Jimmie ran the rink until his passing in 1988. The rink still gets about 150 customers on a Friday night and has played host to the band Ivadell for a music video. The rink’s floor has been there for 68 years and is only the second one put down in 70 years. That skating horse you’ve seen photos of...that was at Jimmie’s. Marie told that she skated up until two years ago. If you’re ever in the area, make sure to stop by the rink and see their roller skating memorabilia. Photo Credit: Mullins, Provided

Joyride Rink Opens in Stuart, Nebraska After a family trip to a roller skating rink two hours away, Michele Meusch decided that it was time to bring roller skating closer to home. Together, the family poured their energy, time and money into opening the new skating center in a former car dealership building. The community has been incredibly supportive that there is now a new place for families to come together and roller skate. For more information visit



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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6

New add-on ideas for 2019

d n a l l a B a Bazook f l o G i n i M r Modula

By: Keith Loria


azooka Ball is a new attraction that’s generating quite the buzz around family entertainment centers, and the game is becoming popular among people of all ages.

participants can front load them and it shoots. But even if it shoots someone standing directly in front of you, it doesn’t hurt.

“I wanted to come up with a game that had some impact but not something that hurt,” he says. “A lot of my customers were interested in my paintless paintball, but the audience was 12 and under so it wasn’t really for them. From there, I developed a gun that shot 2-inch foam balls and the ball would shoot 100 feet.”

As of yet, Appleton says no roller rinks have installed the game in their facilities, but with many FECs finding interest and the game growing in popularity, he feels it’s only a matter of time before they become something of a fun add-on, sort of the way laser tag was introduced more than a decade ago.

Once the company received a patent, it created vests that would light up when hit, and it would score to a scoreboard. And a glow-in-the-dark component made it even more special.

For a rink that is considering adding a Bazooka Ball arena to its facility, Appleton suggests at least having 1,500 square feet and black lights, and the company can provide the barriers.

“It’s played like dodgeball where you have a center line and you can see everyone in the arena, which is typically 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, and it promotes safe play so everyone can play at their comfort zone,” Appleton says. “You can play at the back or the front and you can see everyone.”

“We have a peel-and-stick process so all the walls can be designed and themed out, and it’s as easy as putting wall paper on,” he says. “If they have laser tag already and want to transform it, they can tone down the guns to shoot to 30 feet since it’s more of a maze arena since you don’t need it to shoot that far. For our game, you really need a line of sight.”

A hybrid of paintball and laser tag and used in specialty arenas or outdoor fields, Bazooka Ball has been around since 2012, but only recently became something that FECs have started to think about adding to their facilities. Tom Appleton, president of Media Vision Inc., the Whitby, Ontario-based company behind Bazooka Ball, says the genesis of the original Bazooka Ball idea derived after finding success with laser tag and paint ball.

The balls can be plunged into the guns or 26 /

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The initial investment with all the electronics and the game is approximately $26,000 and to

build out the arena is another $20,000 typically, but it can be done more affordably depending on the room a facility has available. “Every area has a different amount that they can charge, but it’s very typical to laser tag, so if you’re charging $7.95 for a game, it’s roughly about the same,” Appleton says. When it comes to maintenance, the good thing is that there’s not much that needs to be done. Batteries don’t need to be charged and vests have lithium batteries inside that last two years. “They are very durable because it’s low impact and you’re using a gun that is robust and meant

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popular segment in 2019. “It’s an exciting way to play and the glow-in-the-dark component has been very popular,” he says. “It’s something different and amusement facilities can simply add it to

“Less time on the job means fewer installation hours,” says Lundmark, “And that translates to more savings for our clients. All-in-all, it’s a tremendous alternative to traditional concrete-poured courses. Plus, an owner can relocate the entire course to any other location!”

Appleton recommends checking with your insurance company before opening, but notes it’s low liability, and most places haven’t had any issues with insuring it. There’s also a two-year warranty that the company offers. Two teams are needed to play and the object of the game is to shoot the other team’s home target in the time allotted, which can be anywhere from one minute to 99 minutes, though typically it’s about 7-9 minutes.

The base course features 4,000 square feet of playing surface and fits into a minimum of 13,000 square feet, according to CEO & Chief Designer Arne Lundmark. Two other upscale options will feature 4,800 and 5,400 square feet of playing surface and can be sized to fit larger footprints.

“Once the game starts, players collect balls and start shooting other players and you get points when you do, and more points when you shoot the home base,” Appleton says.

“A lot of games only cater to a certain age group, but this can cater to youngsters, corporate team building and really any age,” he says. “And once you purchase the Bazooka Ball, you can easily incorporate our new archery game and others, and potentially have four games in one.”

The Rise of Archery The archery component adds a new level of excitement to the game, with balls that can travel as far as 150 feet. The equipment needed includes a bow, either 2-inch foam Bazooka Ball or Nerf brand Rival Ball, electronic impact vests and a scoreboard system. The company’s glow-in-the-dark bow is its most popular archery accessory to date and works great in any existing Bazooka Ball combat arena or entertainment fun center facility. Created only last year, many venues that utilize Bazooka Ball are adding to the experience and Appleton expects the archery bows to become a

According to the company, the Modular Advantage is an economical, prefabricated course using an interlocking, flexible, patented panel system that offers many benefits to the owner. The system provides excellent drainage with no water ponding from rain, eliminating the need to squeegee the greens and fairways before reopening the course – a quick-dry, no mess system. Weather is not a factor during installation, so spring, fall or winter installations can stay on time, and the owner has the option of installing the course using a templated kit, thus reducing more costs. One new benefit to the owner is that the modular course can be moved, minimizing the investment risk on leased land.

to shoot about 50 balls,” he says. “The guns last pretty long, though you may need to oil it and replace some springs after a while. But they are built strong and last a long time.”

The game is perfect for those 7 and up, though Appleton says that people of all ages have enjoyed playing and leagues have formed with tweens, teens, college students and adults.

implies – it provides owners an alternative to a concrete course that looks and feels like a traditional mini golf course and costs less.”

their existing Bazooka Ball offerings.”

New Modular Mini Golf Advantage Mini Golf system is introducing “Modular Advantage™ Mini Golf ” – a new modular 9- or 18-hole miniature golf course that looks and feels like concrete but isn’t, and offers the same playability and fun as a traditional concrete course for less cost. The course can be purchased either as an owner-installed kit or as a turnkey installation – ideal for FECs, parks, campgrounds, hotels, resorts and other businesses interested in adding an entertaining, revenueproducing or amenity attraction to their facility! The Modular Advantage system debuted at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida.

The new system is also an efficient and cost effective way to help owners with miniature golf renovation projects. Adventure Golf Services is currently renovating a course using the panel system and, as a side benefit, saving the owner more than $60,000 in soil remediation costs, due to poor soil conditions where concrete cannot be used. AGS is a global leader in the design, fabrication and installation of fun, interactive, cost-effective entertainment attractions like Miniature Golf, Pickleball, Shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, Croquet & other recreational courts. Besides concrete-poured installations, AGS has long term experience installing interlocking panel system versions on rooftops, cruise ships, indoor waterparks, and other outdoor applications, such as amusement parks, family entertainment centers, hotels and resorts, and other attractions.

“Miniature golf has always been an in-demand, family-friendly attraction with a healthy return on investment, and our goal is to help owners improve their bottom line even more,” says Scott Lundmark, President of Adventure Golf Services. “The Modular Advantage is just what the name Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

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Thank You For A Complaining

Tips on How to Address Difficult Customers Written by: Susan Geary

s if operating a roller skating rink isn’t challenging enough, add a surly customer interaction and that can ruin your day. While it can be temporarily satisfying to have a snarky comeback and put these complainers in their place, that’s probably not the best way to deal with the situation.

Experienced communicators understand it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Certain responses elicit more debate, while others can turn that frown around and have customers eating out of your hand. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote “tact is the ability to tell somewhere where to go in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” For the two experts interviewed for this article that’s not necessary. Bob Sietsema managed Great Skate Glendale, located in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, for two decades. During his tenure, he’s seen his share of irritating customers, including those who ask why he charged so much for a soda, when 7-11 sells the bladder buster size for 99 cents. Everyone has their own cost for a building, and convenience stores are small compared to a roller skating rink. “We have a bigger building,” Sietsema explained. That, and 7-11 sells a lot more items than a roller rink does. “You go into 7-11 to buy other things, like gas and cigarettes,} he said. “Soda is a loss leader to get them in the door.” Sietsema says that’s an easy explanation from one business owner to another, but sometimes customers don’t get it. They’re not a business owner and he realizes they are a time waster - complainer - and they always want to be right. Sietsema also determines if he’s dealing with a reasonable person or not. If it’s open-ended and they just complain, he’ll get them to put their cards on the table first. He’ll ask, “What can I do to make you happy?” From that response he makes a reasonable assessment of what it takes to satisfy them. He may offer up some food from the snack bar and gets the customer to agree. Then he repeats it back, “so you’re saying if I give you another slice of pizza and soda, we’re good? I can help you out this one time, but I can’t do it every time,” is typical of how he addresses complaining customers. Sam Horn authored Tongue Fu! and teaches business professionals how to communicate effectively. She says that certain words like “but” and “should” can trigger an argument. Horn put together a list of words to lose and words to use and recommends posting a copy next to your employee time clock. The first word on that list – “but” causes conflict and induces people to react poorly. “Replace it with the word ‘and’ – it acknowledges and connects,” she suggested. Let’s say you just collected $200 for a group that now wants to overstay its allotted time in the party room. Maybe your parties are only an hour and you’ve got them scheduled back-to-back on a busy Saturday. Instead of telling them they can’t stay and it’s time to clear out, try saying, “We’re glad you enjoyed your party with us today, and I wish we could extend the time for you. We have another party arriving in a few minutes and have to get ready for them.” (Start clearing off tables as you say that.) Then suggest an area where they can move their gifts and personal items to. Sietsema noticed a similar issue with parties that don’t want to vacate their tables, and mentioned what a hassle

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it is for party moms to move their group and presents to another area. He decided to try another approach. Instead of putting a time limit on the party, he sells the space for the entire session. Great Skate’s sessions run for 2.5 hours and then they close and clean. “That way, you’re avoiding the problem when the party mom doesn’t plan well,” he said. “It starts them off on the right foot,” he said, plus you’re not likely to upset them. “We have to remember that sometimes the problem solving starts upfront. What can we do to make it easier for our customers so it won’t be a recurring issue?”

with a party in tow but didn’t reserve space. They think they can bring in a cake, buy admission and rental skates, and take over several tables in your snack bar. Problem is, you weren’t expecting them and you’ll be understaffed if you let them in. Horn recommends that you be proactive rather than reactive. Whatever you do, don’t say “you should have booked a party.” That comes off as a scolding. Instead say, “Here’s what we can do about this now. Both Sietsema and Saturday’s always Horn agree that you’ll go one of our busiest through trial and error days. Maybe what as you perfect your own you want to do script on how to deal is go ahead and with typical complaints, like telling an adult they skate for awhile and you can have your cake and shouldn’t be carrying a child on skates. presents at home.” Then offer to put their cake in “Have a speech ready, not ‘put that baby down,’” the fridge and hold it for them until they leave. said Sietsema. Approach softly and start with Sietsema knows how to deal with customers a compliment. “That is one pretty baby,” is a who are bullies from his years as a football referee. comment that works well. “Then I ask them for a “Some people think they will win any argument favor and usually they are agreeable.” with you by getting louder. Football coaches are He also recommends walking them somewhere the same way. The madder they get, the calmer you need to be. You make better decisions when where it’s safer, like near the lockers. Create a you’re calm. My goal is to make you happy (when barrier of safety while you’re talking. Be their they don’t know what they want). Don’t give the friend, not their enemy. Don’t amplify the laundry list of options early or they will come problem, stay on their side. Compliment them back for more. Horn says if the customer is again, and don’t forget to thank them. getting loud, use a hand signal to get in a word. Another common dilemma among rink Horn uses analogies to remember how to operators are customers who routinely show up

respond and keep your sanity, “When they complain, take the A Train,” she said. •




When a customer complains, remain calm and don’t get defensive. Instead ask “what makes you say that?” They will give a specific response and you can address that. For example, when a customer complains that there’s too many people at the session and it’s hard for a beginner to skate on a crowded floor, the best way to handle it is to agree. “You’re right. It is difficult to learn to skate with this many people. You might enjoy one of sessions that is less crowded, it’s on Wednesday evening and we’d love to have you come back and skate with us.” On her words to lose list, Horn labels “but, can’t, because, and should” as conversation killers. Whenever you say “can’t” you sound like you don’t care. Instead say, “Here’s what we can do.” One final thought from Horn is a reminder to leave these difficult people at work and don’t bring them home with you to ruin your dinner or sleep. Naturally, we wouldn’t willingly invite rude people into our home. However, when they reside in your head and stay there, with the scene replaying over and over, that is essentially what you’re doing. Beyond that skating session, you have no further obligation to a surly individual. You and your family come first. You give people the power to make you angry. Horn’s next book “Someday is Not a Day of the Week” is due out in January.


By Sam Horn, author of Tongue Fu! (reprinted with permission)

Words matter - every one of them. Post this Word to Lose – Words to Use reminder chart where it’s in sight, in mind so you can keep these helpful phrases top of mind. The phrases on the right can help prevent conflict and promote cooperation. They can help you give and receive the respect you want, need and deserve at work, at home and in the community.

Words to Lose Words to Use

But (cancels, argues)

And (acknowledges, connects)

Should (criticizes, shames)

New time, from now on, in the future (coaches and shapes)

You’ll have, you need to (orders, commands)

If you could, would you please (recommends, requests)

Can’t because (adversarial, side against side)

Yes, as soon as..., Sure, right after (agreeable, on same side)

There’s nothing, no way (apathetic, helpless)

There’s something, I wish, I hope (empathetic, helpful)

Problem (something wrong)

Any phrase that doesn’t give impression something’s wrong

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Olympic Skater Has Roots in Inline Speed Skating


rin Jackson is an exceptional athlete and a highly accomplished skater – on wheels and ice. This 26-year-old Ocala, Florida native has participated in and won competitions in artistic skating, inline speed skating, roller derby and long-track ice speed skating. She is currently a member of USA team for all three. Born and raised in Ocala, Florida by parents Tracy and Rita Jackson, Erin was an honor roll student who liked to read, act in plays, compete in beauty pageants, and roller skate. Although she admitted to being a pageant kid for the first 10 years of her life, she was also an athlete. Jackson was on the basketball, volleyball and swim teams in elementary and middle school. She grew up as a session skater on quad and inline skates. By the time she reached 10 years old, Jackson discovered her love of speed and joined Florida’s largest speed skate team. She liked inline skating because “you have the ability to go fast” and “it’s something you’re powering yourself.” In high school she ran track and took her inline speed skating to the next level by training with Renee Hildebrand, whom she described as “awesome.” Jackson is currently a member of Ocala Speed team in Florida and Inline Team USA, earning 11 world medals as an inline speed skater.

Written by: Marcie Hill

turned into reality in 2018. She trained hard with the expectation of getting there, but didn’t know it would happen so quickly, after a mere four months of training on ice.

competitions.” Second, you will gain confidence and mental toughness as an athlete. And finally, “a loss is not a true loss; there’s always something to gain from it.”

Two years ago, she visited friends in Europe and they had a speed training camp. While they were training, she tried, too. This was her introduction to speed skating on ice. At the request of Chris Needham, the talent coordinator for US Speed Skating, she went to train at the Utah Olympic Oval in March 2017 under the coaching of Ryan Shimabukuro. She agreed to go for one month, which was the end of the season for everyone else. During her training, she received a lot of one-on-one training with coaches, getting an introduction to the sport. They worked mostly on technique. She knew how to skate but had to learn how to “translate that power and how to use it on ice.”

Although Jackson has excelled as an athlete, she wishes she had done better at the Olympics. “I felt I was at my peak at Olympic tryouts and kept my progress going for Olympic trials to the Olympics.” Once she made it to the Olympics, the change training location impacted her performance. As for being black in the world of skating, she wants “other people of color to see me in this sport and in the Olympics where they may not see themselves represented as much.” Being black was not a deterrent, in fact, it was a big deal - she gained more attention in the Olympics. Derby is welcoming and inclusive of different cultures. Her tip for anyone who wants to do anything: “Go out and do the first step and go from there. Just get started.”

Jackson went home for the summer for inline speed skating and derby and returned for more training. According to her biography, “she had qualified to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in two distances: the 500m and 1000” by the end of the year. She came in third place to earn her spot as a contender in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. She now has her goal set for 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Jackson started derby in October 2012 when she joined the Ocala Cannibals; later switching to the Jacksonville Roller Derby four months later where she has been for the past six years. “They Jackson is the third black athlete on the U.S. are currently ranked #12 in the world,” she told Olympic skating team and the first black woman the Rinksider. In addition to her Florida team, on the long-track skating team. Jackson is also a member of the 2018 USA Roller Derby World Cup team, which qualified for the When asked about her reaction to achieving championship in 2018. this great goal in a short period of time, she replied, “Awesome. Hard to believe. I was training Being in the Olympics has “always been on my hard. I didn’t think I had improved a lot to make mind as a possibility,” Jackson admitted. However, it to the Olympics.” finishing college was her first priority. She earned a Bachelor of Science Engineering degree When she’s not training or skating, Jackson in Materials Science & Engineering from the likes to relax She admitted she’s “one of the laziest University of Florida in 2015. She took a break people” during her downtime. She likes to watch from skating during her studies, but returned a movies and TV and hang out with friends. Eggs couple months later and tried ice skating. and breakfast food are also things she enjoys. Jackson pursued speed skating because inline skating is not an Olympic sport. That possibility

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As for other athletes, she offers three pieces of advice. First, “never get nervous before

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6

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

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GRANTED Finding Money for STEM Field Trips Written by: Lori Lovely


kills-based, innovative and technology-rich STEM learning – science, technology, engineering and math – is an essential element of student curriculum in order for them to compete in the job market after high school or college – as well as for a successful workforce and prosperous economy.

But field trips cost money, and money in the public education realm is limited. Budgets are tight. Often, funds are already spoken for and existing or traditional resources are depleted. Searching for funding is time-consuming. So, how can a rink owner help a classroom get funding for these educational opportunities? Reach out to local schools and help them find relevant funding. You may be rewarded with a field trip.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2017, employment opportunities in STEM occupations were growing at a rate of 8.9 In the last issue of Rinksider we discussed the percent, compared with 6.4 percent in other fields. benefits of the STEM program, as you can see by In addition, STEM jobs tend to pay nearly 26 the slides shown in this article, the potential for percent more than other types of jobs. income is incredible when you work the program Blogger Travis Rink, former teacher and as it was designed to work. We encourage you to current Mimio Educator Advocacy Leader, contact Lauren Fink at projects a significantly higher growth rate for or call 516-795-5474 to discuss licensing the STEM occupations at 17 percent, compared with program for your rink today. Once you’re signed 9.8 percent for other professions. up, you can work with schools to get money for grants or you can apply for these grants yourself Whatever the specific percentages, it’s clear and use the Roller Skating Foundation, a 501(c)3 that STEM occupations are expanding. But as a pass-through entity. even if students don’t pursue such a career, they learn valuable skills through the educational STEM programs. Research indicates that STEM Not taken for granted education facilitates the development of critical thinking in addition to creativity and problemEducational grants are available for those who solving skills – all of which are assets highly qualify. But read the fine print: only teachers and/ regarded by employers in all industries. or schools can apply for some grants and many of them have specific criteria – and deadlines. As part of an overall program, STEM field trips provide wonderful hands-on learning Grant funding comes from the federal experiences for students. When the destination government, the state government and private is a roller skating rink, a field trip can instill a entities. The federal government issues more than lifelong love of skating in a new audience. $500 billion in grant awards every year through 26 agencies. The common denominator is funding 32 /

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for projects designed to develop innovative solutions. For example, the U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation provides the most STEM education grant funding. Other agencies offer smaller grant programs aligned with their missions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports programs related to food, agriculture and natural science, while the Department of Energy offers grants linked to clean energy development. Although federal agencies typically make the most and the biggest awards, they also have the most competition among applicants across the country. Most state awards are generally smaller than federal grants. State governments can also award additional funding from local taxes or money “passed through” from a federal agency.

Pass it on Private corporate and foundation grants offer $50 billion in funding annually, but are often the most restrictive awards, with very specific requirements. They consist of direct funding to recipients or pass-through funding, meaning the federal government allows state, local and other agencies to act as intermediate entities in order to provide funding to recipients. The pass-through entity receives federal funds, which it “passes on” or “passes through it” to other recipients. It is used if a federal program lacks the ability to provide assistance directly to the final recipients. One advantage of applying for a pass-through

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grant is that there’s less competition than at the direct federal level. However, while the odds of winning a pass-through grant are larger, the amount may not be; these awards tend to be smaller than federal grants. It’s important to remember that the funding “pathway” goes hand-in-hand with the type of award granted. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act specifies that each district’s funding level is predetermined by state and federal agencies in order to ensure that each eligible school receives an award upon completion of paperwork. In addition to this form of formula funding, competitive funding results from scoring on a set of criteria.

The search The list of places to look for grants is seemingly endless, and can be overwhelming. Here are a few places to start:

• DonorsChoose: https://www. This site connects public school teachers in need of classroom materials and other learning needs to corporations, foundations, and everyday people. Public school teachers post classroom project requests, and people can give any amount to any project. • Digital Wish: http://www.digitalwish. com/dw/digitalwish/teachers. Similarly, this site also works like a gift registry where teachers post their wish lists of tech products to let prospective donors what they need. There is also a separate area for grants with a calendar of deadlines. • Afterschool Alliance: http://www. cfm. This is a collection of funding opportunities for STEM education and resources to help you understand the types of funding available.

• STEMfinity: https://www.stemfinity. com/STEM-Education-Grants. This one-stop resource lists more than 1,000 grant opportunities throughout the U.S., searchable by state.

• https://www.grants. gov/web/grants/search-grants. html?keywords=teachers. This site allows educators to search and apply for federal grants.

• GrantWatch: https://www.grantwatch. com. Grants are categorized by type: teacher, science, technology, federal, state, city, local, and foundation.

• TeacherGeek: https://teachergeek. com/pages/stem-grants. On this site, state-by-state STEM/STEAM funding opportunities are searchable.

• Edutopia: grants-and-resources. This site provides a list of educational grants and resources, including grants, contests, awards, freebies and more. • Inside Philanthropy: https://www. Here you can find a list of STEM funders, including information about who is giving and where the money is going. • The Journal: articles/list/listings.aspx. This magazine publishes several eNewsletters that include a grants section, and post updated listings of funding opportunities for STEM education on their site. • The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips to give students an opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Funds can be used to cover trip-related costs such as transportation, tickets and fees, food, resource materials and supplies. Each grant is valued up to $700. • National Endowment for the Arts works with more than 20 federal agencies, state and local governments, state and regional arts agencies, and private nonprofits on projects that provide opportunities for thousands of Americans to experience

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quality arts programming throughout the country. • State Farm Education Program Funding for programs that provide students instruction, resources and support. • Sam’s Club Community Grant Program supports the needs of communities by providing grants to local organizations. • Kinder Morgan Foundation helps science, math, and music students by funding programs that promote their academic and artistic interests. • Francis R. Dewing Foundation. Grants are given to early childhood education programs through sixth grade, with an emphasis new, untried or unusual educational organizations or institutions that introduce new educational methods. • Lockheed Martin Corporation Grants: They support programs that focus on student achievement, teacher development, and gender and ethnic diversity.

Pass Through Grants As a roller skating center, you may apply for these grants to bring local schools to your rink to teach them STEM lessons. Grant monies must be submitted to a non-profit agency, which means 36 /

that as long as the funds are submitted to the Roller Skating Foundation, it still applies. To do this, simply apply for the grant and list the Roller Skating Foundation as the non-profit entity you wish the money to be submitted to. The Foundation will then apply a 5% processing fee and then issue a check to help cover costs of bringing students to your center.

The bottom line is: read and follow the directions carefully, and then double-check your work.

How-to Take some advice from successful grant winners: Find a grant that matches your needs. Look for funders who support projects like yours, rather than trying to force your project to meet requirements of available grants if it really doesn’t apply. Carefully read the requirements to determine if you qualify. Once you’ve found an appropriate STEM grant and are ready to apply, it’s best to explain why the funding is needed and how it will be applied. A budget of how the money will be spent is useful. Listing goals and a method of quantifying success are also helpful. Some grants require the support of school administrators, so that should be included. Determine if the grant amount is sufficient to meet the STEM goals or if matching funds will be needed to cover costs. Don’t forget to check the deadlines.

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

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How to use Google Business Chat with Customers


eing in business in today’s time requires so much more availability and response time than it did in the past. Not long-ago, phone calls and emails were perfectly accepted by customers and returning those calls within 24-48 hours was accepted. This is no longer the case in 2018. Consumers are constantly being shown places they can spend their time with their children, friends, and families for a fun night out or have a birthday party. If your business is not properly set up to communicate within a moments time of a message or request, your customer will often choose your competitor who responds first. If you have your Google My Business listing set up and verified, you also have the option to enable messaging (instructions below). When a customer searches through Google for your business or those like yours, they will see your listing and have the option to text you directly from that listing. (Read previous article on Google My Business in this issue of RSA Today: https://conta. cc/2BsEXlV) If you don’t think you need to have the ability for customers to text you, just look at these consumer statistics below: •

50% of consumers would rather text for support than call (


Step 2: Navigate to the “Messaging” Tab The messaging tab is on the left side of your GMB dashboard 5 spots below your “Home” tab. Click on “Messaging.”

Step 3: Enter your phone number Once you are in the messaging page, like shown below, you will be asked to provide a phone number. Provide either your number or the staff member who will be responsible with this task. At this time, GMB only allows one number per account and ALLO app, so be sure this is someone who will respond in an appropriate time frame and is knowledgeable about your business. Don’t worry, the customer won’t see your number in texts.

Step 4: Enter your password

Once you enter your phone number, you will receive a text • The average response time for a text with a one-time password. Enter message is just 90 seconds ( your password in the field given. • 75% of all millennials would rather Once you enter your password, communicate via text (mobile marketing you will now be set up and ready watch) to receive messages from your customers. I recommend setting • Alone we receive 15-30 messages a week up an auto reply so customer at our location turning questions into know you have received their customers message and that you will respond ASAP. I have HARRISON CHRISTENSEN Setting up your business listing messaging a link to our website in my auto reply to hopefully Harrison Christensen has been an service is super simple. I use Google Allo, https:// navigate that consumer to our business website owner/operator in the FEC industry which is an app for your to see all that we offer and hopefully answer any for over a decade. Currently android, iOS, or web that allows messages to questions on their own if I am not immediately working out of Cookeville, be sent to that account not showing your actual Tennessee at The Sk8 and Cyber available to message them back. Tag (between Nashville and phone number. Allo is packed with great features You are now all set and ready to receive Knoxville), Harrison has overseen and keeps all your messages in one app for easy messages through your Google listing. If you the online marketing of his business and is excited reference. have any problems or questions on setting up to share his knowledge and services through his new business venture, Christensen Marketing your messaging service, Allo, or your Google Step 1: Log Solutions, with you. Outside of the business world My Business listing, in to your you can find Harrison enjoying his love of two feel free to contact Google My wheels, golf, and gaming. Follow Harrison on me at Harrison@ Business Facebook and Twitter @HChristensen89 or contact him today at or Account: and I’ll be happy to 931-284-4935 walk you through the Go to your set up or answer any Google My Business questions you may homepage and sign in have. to access your account 40 /

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Quit Fishing for Publicity, Reel in the Media


here is an old proverb that goes, “Give a Person a Fish, and You Feed Them for a Day. Teach a Person to Fish, and You Feed Them for a Lifetime.” The same can be said about publicity. If you do publicity once, you’ll only get business for a day. However, if you do publicity with frequency and repetition, you’ll build a business that will feed you for a lifetime. There are several other ways fishing is similar to publicity, there are a few:

Knowing What You’re Fishing For/Knowing Who Your Target Market Is First, you have to decide what you’re fishing for, then you go where they are. If you’re fishing for trout you would go to a lake. If you’re fishing for salmon you head to a river. And, if you’re fishing for Mahi-mahi you would gas up the boat for some deep sea fishing. The same is true for your target market. Once you decide who your target market is, you go where they are. If you want name recognition in front of business decision makers you would go to trade, industry, or business association publications. If you want the attention of single parents you would go to women’s magazines or mommy blogs. Every market has magazines and blogs they read regularly. Know who your target market is and where they’re located and you’ll get a bite every time.

water for you.

Using the Right Bait on Your Hook/Using the Right Content in Your Hook Whether you use a worm, eggs, or chum depends on the fish you want to catch. The same is true for the content you use to hook the media’s attention. If you don’t get the media’s attention, your target market will never see your content, so you have to present your content in the right way. So many people make the mistake of presenting themselves as the story. What the media cares about is what you can do for their reader; who you are and why they should listen to you comes second. Press releases should not be advertorial or self-promotional; they should be educational, informational, and content-driven. Lead with your unique stance or controversial opinion. Offer the media additional information on a story they’re already running and they’ll be itching to take the bait.

Telling a Fish Story/Using Your Publicity Every fisher has a whopper of a story about the one that got away, but just as many have trophies mounted on their walls to prove their skills. The same is true with your publicity;

as impressive as being in the local newspaper. Use the publicity you receive in your social media as well. If you’re a B2B business you would want to focus on LinkedIn, or if you’re B2C you could use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or others. If you’re hoping to build business name recognition, increase market awareness, or boost sales, you first need to drop your line into the water. Wading in to the mainstream media doesn’t have to be a scary situation. Knowing who you want to hook, and having the right bait in your tackle box will land you publicity without much of a struggle. Regardless if you’re standing on the banks, using a row boat, or in a trawler, it’s about positioning your content in front of your target market in a format they want to hear, then just sit back and reel them in. You’ll have a net full of media placements to use in your marketing for a lifetime. RUSSELL TRAHAN Russell Trahan is the Owner and President of PR/PR Public Relations and Author of Sell Yourself Without Saying a Word. For 20 years PR/ PR has enjoyed a track record of getting 100% of their clients placed in front of their target market. For more information, please visit

Having the Right Lures/Position Your Expertise In a lake you would want a bobber and lures to attract the fish’s attention. In a river or stream you might want to use a fly-fishing pole. On the ocean, of course you’d want to be fully strapped in with a strong line and reel. The same is true to positioning your expertise in a way the reader wants to see it. You may think that since Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and BusinessWeek are all business publications you can send the same press release to all of them. Consider their core reader: Entrepreneur says who they are in the title; Fast Company attracts the reader who wants new, now, next; and BusinessWeek is the old steady bluechip business person. So, if you tailor your press release to the reader of the publication you want to get into you’ll have them jumping out of the 42 /

you’ve got to tell a good tale about it, otherwise you might as well cut bait and walk away. Start an ‘in the media’ page on your website. Nothing impresses a potential client more than knowing the media considers you the go-to source for information on your expertise. Even if your business is just in the local market, don’t shy away from national press. Showing a local realtor you’ve been in a national real estate magazine will be just

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Five Ways to Leverage Your Talent Brand to Attact Great Candidates


ave you ever struggled to hire the right people? Do most of the people you interview seem like a questionable fit at your company? It might be a symptom of not using your employer brand to your best advantage. An employer brand is what employees and candidates say about your company and the work experience when you’re not in the room. It’s not something you can go out and buy, or have a fancy branding exercise to develop and replace if you don’t like the one you have. Much like branding a product, your employer brand takes on elevated meaning and a predisposition to buy or join. In what is currently a competitive talent market, effective branding creates a sustainable competitive advantage and can make a huge difference in who is interested in working for you.

The people, symbols, and meaning we try to attribute to the company can be a powerful tool in communicating where the organization is headed. The brand management process helps you to unearth the organizations’ brand expression in the marketplace. The five ways to leverage your

If you’re not sure what your employer brand is today, think about employer review websites online that are popular in North America and many parts of Europe. If you’re not familiar with the concept of these sites, they’re user-driven platforms that encourage people to anonymously record their experiences with a company as a candidate or employee. They can write whatever they want, even if it’s negative, and they can encourage people to run in the opposite direction. The flip side is that reviewers can also sing your praises and wax lyrical about you. Unfortunately, much like any user-driven site, anonymous contributors are usually either delighted with something, or were very upset; so you tend to see wild swings of positive or negative comments.

Be honest: what are your strengths and weaknesses? How large is your company? Do you need people who thrive in an intense corporate environment or do you want people who are happy to have a more stable career? What benefits do you offer? Is there opportunity for advancement? Knowing this and being able to clearly articulate it is so important.

An employer brand is not necessarily changed overnight, but every time you interact with a candidate, you create an impression. Now multiply these impressions dozens or even hundreds of times. This is a powerful force. This is your professional brand and your opportunity to create (or start to re-create!) the first experience.

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with profit sharing or better benefits? Are there opportunities for you to be creative about your offering based on what your competitors are packaging for candidates?

4. Brand Positioning You need to know where your organization fits in the overall market. Does your company compete on price, or are you targeting the upscale market? Are you known for promoting from within? Does your company have a reputation for treating women and minorities fairly? The comments left online are a good starting point for this, as are any internal surveys you run.

5. Brand Expression employer brand are:

1. Asset Assessment

2. Employee Involvement What is your organizational culture? Is it vertical, with top-down direction and little frontline input, or are decisions made on a broad collaborative basis? Is there opportunity for creative thinking? Knowing how your employees interact today and empowering them to tell the story of how they contribute is powerful.

3. Competitive Assessment What other organizations can your candidates work for? You need to know who your competitors are and what they offer. If another company offers higher wages, can you compensate

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

This is the combined result of all of the ‘brand signals’ that are present in the marketplace and are picked up by consumers and candidates. Every element of your employer brand needs to be in alignment. For example, if you claim to care about the environment and candidates are offered Styrofoam cups when they come in for an interview, you’d be surprised how much that can alter perceptions of your company and what you stand for. In today’s competitive global economy, these five steps can help you find the candidates you need. Remember that candidates can be both internal and external. If you bring the right talent into your team, they may be interested and have versatile skills that could allow them to try new jobs at your company. They may be ready to take on a new role and be promoted, or they may be excellent at their current job. The point being: there is active work required to engage your current employees as brand ambassadors as well—they too represent and can carry your employer brand far and wide. Remember, you can’t “make” an employer brand. An advertising agency can’t help you create a brand. They can help create a brand message. Whether or not you know what your brand is isn’t the issue. It’s knowing what the themes are

Volume 27 / Issue 6

RINK LIFE that people use to talk about your organization. Then you can manage the expression of the brand—and how people receive it—as part of your brand as an employer. You can do this through your goals, vision, and values, and the taglines that best explain what your company is about.

training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit: www.

free for every RSA member

It’s easy for someone to throw out “we aspire to be the best place to work.” Your employer brand cannot be solely aspirational—it has to be accurate for where your organization is today. When your position is too aspirational, people will likely be unhappy when they encounter you— both candidates and employees. If you were in their position, don’t you think you’d feel let down too?

HR360 ( is the one attorneyreviewed website you need to guide your company through hiring, managing and terminating employees with easy-to-use tools and forms. From supervising employees and staying current with Health Care Reform, to complying with federal and state labor laws, HR360 stays with you every step of the way.

JEREMY ESKANAZI Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but a specialized

To sign up for your free $395 value member login, email and ask for your login credentials. You will then have access to 500+ documents and unlimited information for your business.

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

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The Overlooked Management Tool: Staff Meetings Matter More Than You Might Think


sit right next them. We don’t need to have a staff meeting.

room is one of the ways a cleaning staff achieves that goal.

I used to have staff meetings, but we stopped having them. Nobody had anything to talk about.

By regularly connecting such activities as cleaning toilets, making beds, and folding towels to the guest experience, the manager highlights why each of those activities is important.

make good choices as to where it should focus its efforts.

STEP THREE: Follow a Formula and Rotate Responsibility

Successful staff meetings usually follow a pattern, such as looking at weekly metrics, sharing information from the top, highlighting For a myriad of reasons, many managers don’t success, a team-building activity, and so forth. By hold regular staff meetings. Furthermore, most creating and sticking with a formula, managers who do don’t get the most they could from them, help their employees know what to expect. Once and that’s too bad. Good staff meetings can focus employees know the pattern of the meeting, many a team, energize employees, and engage them in are capable of running it because they’ve learned ways ad-hoc interactions don’t. by watching. Managers then have a natural STEP TWO: Highlight Relevant opportunity to rotate the responsibility of the So how do you turn a halted or ho-hum Metrics meeting to different people. By delegating, the approach to staff meetings into a high-functioning manager is able to free up his or her time and Connecting work to purpose usually works management tool? provide employees with a chance to develop their best when a team focuses on both anecdotal and analytical information. If you don’t currently track skills. STEP ONE: Connect Daily statistics, start. What you track will depend on Work with Your Organization’s your industry. However, whatever you decide STEP FOUR: Celebrate Purpose should have a clear line of sight to the larger Successes goal. For instance, a museum that holds events In addition to distributing information, staff In many organizations, there is a huge meetings present an opportunity to connect your to attract new members might track the number appreciation shortage. Staff meetings provide of events held, contact information collected, team’s daily work to your organization’s purpose. managers and employees with regular intervals to memberships sold, and the percentage of new If you’re thinking, “My people know how their practice gratitude. memberships that come as a result of attending work fits into our overall goal,” you would be the free event. With regular attention placed on wrong. In fact, if you ask your group what your “I’d like to thank Tom for staying late last the right metrics, the team is far more likely to organization’s purpose or your department’s night. Because he did, I was able to attend a purpose are, don’t be surprised when you get as many answers as there are people in the room. (And you thought you had nothing to talk about in a staff meeting! A discussion about purpose is a good one to have.) We have enough meetings. We certainly don’t need another.

No matter what they do, employees usually enjoy their jobs more when their organization’s leaders talk about the importance of their work. They also tend to make better choices if they receive frequent reminders about purpose and what types of activities support it.

Purpose is why you do what you do. You connect the work to it by explaining how what people did aligns with the greater goal. For example, the head of housekeeping at a busy hotel might hold a meeting with the cleaning staff. In that meeting, the managers might recognize a team that received a perfect room score from all guests who took a survey and then talk about purpose. The purpose of the hotel is to provide people a safe and comfortable place to spend the night. Having a clean, welcoming, and functioning

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

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RINK LIFE parent-teacher conference.” “Maryann’s work on the PowerPoint presentation was superb. I want to thank her for preparing me with the best slides shown at the conference. The stunning photos outshined the graphics others used. Maryann’s work really made our company look good.” A steady drip of sincere gratitude can drive engagement. Note the word: sincerity. Most people have an amazing capacity to identify a false compliment. Real praise is specific. Well-delivered praise also ties the action to the outcome. Whether it’s being able to attend a conference, looking good in front of others, or some other result, people appreciate praise more when they understand how their actions delivered results. A praise segment in your staff meetings ensures you routinely take the time to recognize efforts.

STEP FIVE: Focus on Lessons Learned and Continuous Improvement

“I learned something this week I want to share with you. I had a call with a client that could have gone better. I’m going to tell you what happened and then I’ll discuss some ideas about how I would handle something similar in the future.” The more you practice this exercise, the greater the gains you should experience.

STEP SIX: Develop a Schedule and Stick with It

KATE ZABRISKIE Kate Zabriskie is the president of Business Training Works, Inc., a Maryland-based talent development firm. She and her team help businesses establish customer service strategies and train their people to live up to what’s promised. For more information, visit www.businesstrainingworks. com.

Almost anyone can follow the first five steps some of the time, but those who get the most out of staff meetings hold them consistently. They publish a meeting schedule, and they stick with it. They may shorten a meeting from time to time or reschedule, but they don’t treat their chance to gather the team as the least important priority. Good staff meetings aren’t perfunctory activities that add little value. On the contrary, when used to their full capacity, they are a dynamic management tool. Now what are you going to do about yours?

Staff meetings that include an opportunity to share lessons learned help drive continuous improvement. At first, people may be reluctant to share shortcomings. However, if you follow step four, you should begin to develop better communication and a sense of trust with your team. Modeling the process is a good place to start.

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

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

Fitness Facts

Cost: $120.75

Roller Skating Fitness Facts Brochure (#B117)

New Pencil Design!

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

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

Cost: $18 per banner

Es Gratis!

Cost: $17

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

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

Cost: $175

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

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

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine | Volume 27 / Issue 6

t c e p x E o t t a h W When Selling Your Roller r e t n e C g n i t a k S

Written by: Lori Lovely

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Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6


here may come a time, whether business has taken a critical downturn, the owners want to retire or any of a plethora of other personal or business reasons, that it’s time to sell a roller skating rink. “It’s not an easy sell,” says Jim Nicklas, realtor, The Pineapple Group, Franklin City, Pennsylvania. His family-owned boutique real estate group has been trying to sell the Red Bridge Roller Skating Rink (where he skated as a kid) since listing it in the spring because the owner is retiring. But, he says, it’s hard to find the right buyer with money. “It takes time. A lot of time.” Rollhaven, in Flushing, Michigan, was on the market for a year and a half with only 3-4 serious lookers, says former owner Dan Brown. “Commercial property takes quite awhile to move in our county and our state, unless you’re trying to do a ‘fire sale,’ which I wasn’t.” Even for a rink owner who hadn’t intended to sell, but who received a viable offer from a qualified buyer, the process can drag out. It was a six-month process for Ron Parmley, owner of Carousel Skate Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He wasn’t trying to sell his rink. “It wasn’t up for sale, but a neighbor wanted to buy the property,” Parmley said. However, he liked the appeal of consolidating to one location, so the timing of the offer was optimal.

Comps can be calculated on simply the real estate value alone or on the business itself. For Brown, who used a commercial realtor to sell his rink, there was little qualified demand in his area. That dropped prices. “New commercial construction cost $65-105 a foot, which would have valued the rink at $1.2 million,” he explains. But he listed his rink for $500,000, earning 40% of the cost of new construction (45 cents a foot) in the sale. He was able to make the sale because “it’s cheaper to buy an existing building that build new.”

(but the ceiling proved to be too low), a marijuana growing warehouse and as commercial property to subdivide. It eventually sold as a commercial retail center for mobile home parts supplies. “I sold it as a commercial property, not a business,” Brown confirms, noting that the large, open space was conducive for multi-use businesses. In fact, he says, “in hindsight, if I’d been more ambitious, I should have subdivided the building for internal storage rental.”

Calculating a price Alternative uses

“We want the highest value possible for our client,” Nicklas states. Finding the right customer, however, is complicated by a lack of interest in the business. Roller skating rinks can be problematic to sustain.

Once a buyer – and a seller – understand that, it’s a matter of imagining what uses a rink could have. Typically, rinks are located on level ground with expansive parking lots. The challenge, Brown believes, is that most rinks don’t have high enough Brown had already closed Rollhaven because ceilings to be a warehouse and many don’t have it wasn’t doing well. “It was too close to my other road frontage. rinks,” he recognizes. Dwindling demographics as kids grew up and moved away meant there Nicklas has reached out to “re-use people” who was not enough population to support a rink, might be interested in roller derby or hockey, but and competition from other outside activities other types of businesses may also be suitable to added to the obstacle of attracting business. “It’s the building. very difficult to try to transfer the business to Because it’s already zoned retail/planned somebody else.” development extraordinary district, one rink in For Parmley, that competition includes golf, Macon, Georgia, has been listed with suggestions

A qualified buyer with an all-cash offer had already purchased the building across the street. A price was negotiated, but the deal hit a roadblock on the appraisal. “It came in low because they compared it to a dilapidated bowling alley in a very small town,” Parmley remembers. The deal fell through, but months later, the buyer’s realtor called back. Despite the low appraisal, a deal was struck.

Comps In some ways, selling a rink differs little from selling any other commercial property. On the other hand, roller skating rinks are unique. In small towns, there’s often only one, making “comps” difficult to find. In Parmley’s case, one of the comparables was the building across the street, which is less than half the size of his, but was bringing in $10,000 a month in rent. “That was important for the appraisal.”

for use as a car showroom, health food store, general merchandise warehouse, night club, selfstorage or specialty store.

Dave & Buster’s, Chuck E. Cheese and two trampoline parks. With a population of 200,000 in Huntsville, or 450,000 in the area, five rinks in the county creates a lot of rivalry for business.

It’s a strategy Brown’s realtor has used: reaching out to the alternate use market. That provides a bigger pool of potential buyers because the property can be advertised to more groups. Over the months, his 19,000 sq.-ft. rink was shown to people considering using it as a volley ball center

Trouble attracting business translates to trouble attracting investors. But Nicklas firmly believes that marketing a rink as a real estate sale and as a business for sale increases exposure and possibilities.

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In order to determine a price, Nicklas examines the capitalization rate – the ratio of net operating income to property asset value. He settles on a number between whatever real estate comps he can find and the financials of operation. “Basically, it’s somewhere between the real estate and the valuation of what the business is worth.” Other factors may influence the final asking price. Because Parmley owned Carousel Skate Center under a corporation, he would suffer a heavy tax penalty upon selling it, so he increased the asking price to cover that. “Capital gains tax was 39%,” he explains. Fortunately for him, the recent tax reform reduced that to 21%. “That made a big difference and we were able to sell it then.” It was all a matter of timing, he believes. “The only tricky part was price. The taxes on the sale should be factored into the cost. What is it worth?” He says that if someone is willing to pay what you want, “go for it!” But if you’re relying on an appraisal, have a long-term strategy. “If you’re not selling it as a rink, you won’t get the money the business is worth,” Parmley cautions. His buyer just wanted the property, not the business.

screen quality buyers. • Pre-qualify buyers to determine if they have the ability to finance the purchase. Nicklas held a roll-out party at Red Bridge Roller Skating Rink to kick off the sale. The entire community was invited, with the first 400 getting in for free. “There was a waiting line,” he recalls. He shot video to illustrate the vitality of the business and how the community loves the rink. That video was used in marketing its sale.

All inclusive One ad for a rink in Columbia, Missouri not only lists potential uses for the property (such as retail office, medical office, funeral home, indoor storage, vehicle sales, church, school/college, fitness/gym, daycare, banquet hall, grocery store, warehouse, indoor miniature golf ), it also details the equipment inventory, including longtime staff eager to stay on. When Brown sold Rollhaven, he moved some of the equipment to his other two rinks, but he sold a lot of it. He even sold the floor. He reports that there was a lot of interest in the floor. “It’s cheaper than a new floor; even with the cost of removal and transportation, they can save 50%.” The floor went to an entertainment center that will add a small skating center. As he says, not only did that sale bring in some additional money, it also kept the building from opening as a rink and competing with his two nearby rinks.

Ultimately, Parmley believes, you have to be sensible about price. “Create a budget and figure out a number where it just won’t work.” He figured out his number when he bought his current rink 15 years ago from a bank foreclosure. “We made an offer that was rejected.” One year after walking away, he got a call about the A non-compete agreement can be important property. Not only was the bank willing to meet for sellers who retain other rinks in the area. his price, but it also gave him a line of credit to get Parmley, who has another rink “down the street” the rink open. from the one he sold, experienced some growth after closing the old rink and is working to more

of the old market. He included a 5-year noncompete clause, integrated most of his small staff into the other location’s roster of employees, picked out some equipment to move and sold the rest.

Exit, stage left Every deal is different. Parmley likens them to pieces of a puzzle; the buyer and seller have to come together to meet their needs. But, he advises rink owners everywhere to plan an exit strategy. “Have a five-year plan.”

A Message from the RSA It might seem out of the ordinary that we would cover a topic like this, but it’s a question that our members sometimes ask and we felt that it was important to discuss how other business owners have gone about selling their rinks - whether simply for property or to keep the skating center alive. While we hope that roller skating rink owners will sell to buyers who want to keep their skating centers open for years to come, we understand the financial aspects involved in small business ownership, as well. With more than 70+ future operators who currently belong to the Association who plan to open a new skating center, it is our hope that we will continue to grow the industry worldwide.

Marketing strategy Some sellers don’t want a sign on the property. Nicklas takes it in stride. “It can scare off business,” he accepts. Besides, most of the traffic at a rink consists of young skaters, not potential buyers. The mechanics of information gathering, valuation of the business and creating a potential buyers list are all generic strategies. However, Nicklas does have some suggestions specifically for selling a rink: • Take professional photos – including aerial drone shots and videos to see the whole property. • List the property on commercial real estate sites and your website. • Make use of social media to spread the word. He says Facebook is very successful. Rollhaven’s Flushing location announced the rink’s closure and availability for purchase via social media. • Use filters and establish parameters to 54 /

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6

a roller skating association international program

free for rsa members! did you know that being a member of the RSA means that you’ll now be able to utilize the kids skate free program for free for your skating center? visit to join today!

All participating KSF skating centers will receive .50 back per registration with the $4 administrative fee that is applied to all new registering KSF children. Some rinks have received nearly $1000 back per year just by participating. If you have any questions on how to make the program work for you, please email today!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...

Understanding the Importance of Rink Security Written by: Lori Lovely


n 2011, a man opened fire at Forum Roller World skating rink on a Saturday night in Grand Prairie, Texas, during a private family birthday party attended by about 30 people. Before taking his own life, the shooter killed five people and wounded four, having targeted his estranged wife and her family after an argument. During the shooting, rink owner Walt Hedrick reportedly pushed children out of the line of fire in an effort to protect them. Attendees and even nearby residents who witnessed the event were caught completely by surprise. One told the AP that it never occurred to him that someone would have a gun in the rink. It hadn’t occurred to Hedrick, either. No security guards or police were in attendance. This type of domestic violence is seldom seen at a skating rink, so Hedrick decided to reopen the next day in order to show that “skating is still a fun and safe activity for parents and kids.” But violence is not as rare as it once was. Consequently, security is increasingly important.

A cautionary tale or two More often, the violence that erupts at rinks is perpetrated by teenagers. Upskate Roller Rink was the site of numerous violent outbursts, with a lengthy police record that includes felony assault, 56 /

stabbings, felony reckless endangerment with a vehicle and other crimes, dating back to the mid1980s. Gang violence and clashes between a white separatist organization and black youth were frequent occurrences. After teens nearly toppled a cab in the parking lot in 2000, rink owners Deborah and Franco Marchese beefed up security by hiring four security guards and implementing a “no drugs, no weapons” policy with checkpoints where skaters were frisked and swept with metal detectors.

After the Christmas Day killing, Police Chief Thomas Kraemer deemed the shooting a breach of the peace, adding that at least seven separate incidents of assaults, fights and unruly crowds during the year led to his recommendation to close the rink permanently. Skate 22’s owner asked for time to implement additional security, but the town council revoked his license. It’s a cautionary tale to take violent incidents seriously – and to implement security measures before it’s too late.

After continued incidents, they introduced a stricter admission policy, allowing minors only if accompanied by parents or guardians. They thought they had adequate security measures in place – and yet, the violence continued. In 2003, one teen slashed skaters with a knife, on the floor under the disco ball, resulting in what the New Windsor police chief Walter Koury described as “total mayhem.”

Even proximity to a police station isn’t a deterrent to violence at skating rinks. Chez Vous Roller Skating Rink, located in one of Boston’s tougher neighborhoods that has few other resources for kids, enjoyed a reputation as a refuge for youth … until the day a group of teenagers arrived and began shooting at 250 skaters, wounding seven. The shooting resulted from an altercation between groups of teenagers.

In his report, Koury wrote that the owners did not “know how to provide a safe environment to those who attend,” adding the incident was “only a continuation” of numerous other violent acts and he feared it would turn deadly.

Having a good publicity plan in place, knowing when to close the rink, having a good security team in place, outdoor guidelines, cameras and a good plan of action is imperative.

It did at Skate 22 on Christmas Day in 2009. A fight broke out in the parking lot at the rink in Union, New Jersey where 100 teenagers were skating, resulting in the shooting death of one boy.

Security measures

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Despite the parallel of “teen night” on Saturdays, Kate’s Skating Rinks in North Carolina has not experienced the level of violence some other rinks have seen. Paul Estes, manager,

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attributes it to many factors. Security starts with cameras. Kate’s uses about 15 stationary security cameras – 2-3 of which are outside in the parking lot. They are linked directly to the cell phones of management so Estes and others can keep an eye on things from anywhere. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” he reflects. “I don’t want to micromanage, but it’s hard if I see something going on that isn’t immediately addressed.” Although he doesn’t use the cameras specifically for training, Estes discusses situations with staff after the fact. If an incident occurs, he can also make a video for local law enforcement and for the insurance company. Signs alert customers that the rink uses surveillance cameras. There are no outside cameras at Easley Skate Center in Easley, South Carolina, but there are 10 inside the rink and he is able to monitor live and recorded action remotely using a phone app. “I have more to install,” says Travis Smith, owner. They have come in handy. One Saturday night he thought he saw some kids walk in without paying. A quick check of the video confirmed that they hadn’t paid and they were asked to leave. Similarly, he reviewed video footage to find the thief when a patron’s headphones, left on a concessions table, were stolen. But the video has been useful in other ways as well, such as the Halloween night when a drunk driver crashed through the front door. Smith gave the footage to the police and the local TV news station. While cameras can help after the fact, security guards can stop issues immediately. Sometimes just their presence can prevent problems from developing. Because his rink is in a rough area with “a lot of drugs” in the surrounding neighborhoods, Smith hires a police officer on Friday nights – both Easley’s busiest and its weekly teen night – for security and for “peace of mind,” particularly because his staff is not allowed to touch anyone.

rink at auction, it was littered with crack pipes. “There were problems before; it wasn’t familyfriendly.” He’s trying to change that by cleaning it up and instituting family night on Saturdays. To be successful, the rink first has to be safe. Smith reveals that parents have been arrested in the parking lot, mainly “when the cops smelled weed in their cars,” but also for stirring up trouble. Similarly, Estes hires the local police for Saturdays and other late-night groups as security. “I prefer to use the police over private security,” he explains, adding that there are “only about 10 officers” in the small town, and that he has a good rapport with them all. “I have all their cell phone numbers. They give me a hard time if I don’t call them to take me to the bank. They take care of me and I take care of them.” He does so by offering them discounts on parties at the rink and other perks. Estes refers troublemakers to police on the premises. “If people are loitering, I tell the officers and let them deal with it. They can send people home. Parents get involved in squabbles sometimes; I refer them to the officers too.

Policies and rules The key to safety and security is to set policies … and then be proactive about enforcing them, Smith believes. His number one rule is “skates on feet,” meaning everyone inside the rink must wear skates, unless they are a parent. “They can’t just hang out.” This is a common rule in most rinks. Have you ever seen a fight on skates.

and drunk, was arrested at the rink. Loitering is not permitted. Patrons must leave the property after exiting the rink. Weapons are not allowed … although, he confesses, “I’m always carrying.” There are consequences for breaking his rules. “Anything that disrupts business – such as fighting or bringing in contraband – results in a ‘no trespass,’” he explains. “They can’t come back.”

Balance Smith rests assured that talk about problems at skating rinks is “more rumors than anything.” “You’ll always have teen drama,” Estes acknowledges. He has sent home teenagers for fighting, but if they’re over 16, he’ll get the officers involved. The officers cuff the offenders and take them to the station, where they call their parents. “That has happened twice,” he recalls. Drinking is rare – in part, because they don’t serve alcohol – and drugs have been found in the rink only one time. On Saturdays, Estes doubles the number of staff scheduled (from two to four), but says there are “not a lot of issues” at the rink. Most issues arise on teen nights, so he tries to steer younger skaters to earlier times or other days. Repeat offenders are banned in an effort to prevent future issues. It’s a case of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. But, Estes reminds, “We’re talking about the problem kids. There are a lot more good kids who skate.”

He doesn’t allow smoking, vaping or other forms of tobacco. Alcohol is also banned. Once he permitted a private party to bring in alcohol, but he says it’s “not the audience I’m reaching for” and recalls another time when one skater, underage

But they can kick them out if necessary – and Smith says he has kicked out adults, some of who were consequently arrested by the police. The police have also arrested drug dealers in the parking lot. Smith recalls that when he purchased the

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 57



Virtual Reality at the Top of the Market


s I walked last month’s IAAPA show, I was struck by the enormous presence of possibility – even with 4 days there wasn’t enough time to take it all in. Consider that to walk the entire show, you’d cover 10 miles of aisles and even with all that space, there were close to 100 exhibitors on the waiting list to get in. These statistics speak well of the health of the out-of-home entertainment industry. One category of product that appears to have arrived was VR. I counted 82 companies in the show directory that listed VR as a category of product they were exhibiting. This was up from 56 at last year’s show – almost a 50% increase. This, in spite of the challenges inherent to the category including: • Hygiene – developers and operators have found ways around the sanitary concerns – at least in a way satisfactory enough for players to get past the potential “icky” factor. • Interface Devices - Players seem okay with having to don bulky devices and perhaps even more impressive…. • Players seem okay knowing they’re going to look pretty silly playing the game. To me, it’s the last one I’m most surprised by. I remember several really good video games from the past that were loads of fun to play but never made it to the charts. These games all had the player doing something they looked ridiculous doing – their designers had all broken the moped rule i.e. - “Moped’s are fun to ride, but you don’t want your friends seeing you on one.” While watching attendees at the show contort themselves this way and that as they played a VR game, I realized the experience was so good, so compelling and so immersive, players were willing to “give up” looking good to play. There are two distinctions this points to…

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• VR’s arrived - Some of us old timers will remember the first go round with VR 25 or so years ago. Although those efforts were commendable, the technology simply wasn’t up to the task. There were myriad latency issues that made the game play experience more frustrating than fun – not a good formula for success. • Experience Matters – Millennials are a generation seeking experiences over stuff. They’d rather go to an event in person than watch it on TV. The confluence of VR finally getting the tech right just as this generation comes of age could not possibly have occurred at a better time. Overlay all that with the fact FEC’s have matured into multi-attraction destination locations and the chances for VR to succeed within our space goes up exponentially. So how do you get in on this as an early adopter without getting crushed? My suggestion is to get as much education about the category as you can, and there may be no better place to do just that than the Amusement Expo International (AEI) taking place March 26 - 28, 2019. We’ve dedicated an entire track of our education day, (March 26) to VR.

owe it to yourself to be there – you can bet your competitors will be…. Of course, VR is in no way the only category of education, games and attractions you’ll see at AEI 2019. There’ll be 4 other education tracks to take in and aisles of new games and attractions to see on the show floor that will appeal to everyone from street operators to FEC owner/operators. AEI is perhaps the single biggest convention dedicated to the amusement game industry and all that it entails. Oh, and did I mention AEI was taking place in Las Vegas? That kind of puts it over the edge don’t you think? PETE GUSTAFSON Pete Gustafson is the Executive Vice President of the American Amusement Machine Association. He can be reached at or 847290-9088.

The presenters at this event will mostly be operators from the category rather than manufacturers. They’ll be sharing their stories of what worked, (and perhaps more importantly, what didn’t). And unlike other VR Conventions, the VR education program we’re putting together for AEI will be entirely focused on VR Arcade. The following two days, (March 27 and 28) will be your chance to meet the developers and see the latest VR games and attractions from industry leading organizations on the show floor. I know of no other event on the coin-op calendar that’s made this commitment to the burgeoning VR Arcade category. If you have even a cursory interest in the technology, you

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6

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A $4000 first place academic scholarship and a $2000 second place academic scholarship will be awarded to the high school seniors who:

7. Must include complete high school transcripts. 8. Must include a 500- to 700-word personal essay explaining how roller skating has influenced your life, your goals for the future, and how this scholarship would help you achieve those goals.

1. Can be certified to be a child of an owner or an employee of an RSA skating center or a child or employee of an RSA affiliated OTHER INFORMATION member. 1. Application should be submitted for the fall semester. 2. Completes and timely submits the scholarship application 2. Applicants must meet the criteria to be considered for this form in its entirety. scholarship. 3. Must have at least a 3.2 grade point average on an unadjusted 3. Completed applications must be received at the Roller Skating 4.0 scale. Foundation by February 28, 2019. 4. ACT/SAT scores must be submitted with scholarship 4. Application must be submitted the year in which you plan to application and will be taken into consideration when attend college. considering potential scholarship awards. 5. Award will be announced in early April 2019. Winner will be 5. Demonstrates excellence in all areas they choose to engage; posted on academics, work, volunteering, athletics, community, civic, and faith-based organizations, etc. DEADLINE 6. Must have three (3) letters of reference, one from each of the Deadline for submissions is February 28, 2019 following: RSA member/affiliate member; guidance counselor; teacher. RETURN TO

Mail application with essay, transcript, and three letters of reference from RSA member/affiliate member, guidance counselor or teacher to: Roller Skating Foundation, Attn: Scholarship, 6905 Corporate Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46278 or email all necessary documents to Questions? Call 317-347-2626 Ext. 107.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Last Name) (First Name) (Middle Name) Home Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ (Street) (City) (State) (Zip) E-mail Address: _______________________________________________Telephone Number: ____________________________ Check One: __Child of rink owner __ Employee of rink owner __ Child of Affiliate Member __ Employee of Affiliate Member Name of affiliated member facility (if any): _____________________________________________ Membership ID: ___________ EDUCATION BACKGROUND

School now attending: _______________________________________________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Street) (City) (State) (Zip) 1. GPA: __________ Out of: __________ 2. ACT Composite Score: __________ SAT Verbal Score: __________ SAT Math Score: __________ 3. College you plan to attend: __________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Street) (City) (State) (Zip)

Has application been made?


4. Have you declared a major? __YES

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__NO If so, in which major?__________________________________________________

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6


List volunteer positions, employment, honors, memberships, leadership positions, skills, accomplishments and community service. Activity or Organization Position and/or Responsibilities ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ESSAY

Write and attach a 500- to 700-word personal essay explaining how roller skating has influenced your life, your goals for the future, and how this scholarship would help you achieve those goals. REFERENCES

Submit a letter of reference from each of the following: 1. Your Roller Skating Association (RSA) member rink owner/operator or affiliate member 2. Your guidance counselor 3. One teacher TRANSCRIPT

You must include a current high school transcript and proof of your SAT/ACT score to complete your application. Note: Please black out your social security number. AGREEMENT

The information on this application is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge. _____________________________________________ _________________________________________ (Applicant’s Signature) (Date) APPLICATIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 28, 2019

Questions about the form? 6905 Corporate Drive • Indianapolis, IN 46278 Phone: 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 •

Call Lynette Rowland at the Roller Skating Foundation at 317-347-2626 Ext. 107 or e-mail

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 61


2018 RSA Affiliate Member Listings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SKATE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Daniel Wortman 480-748-4191 3098 E. Bellflower Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85928


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

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

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

FINCHUM SPORTS FLOORS Larry Finchum 865-453-3995 2812 Boyd’s Creek Highway, Sevierville, TN 37876


MASK US INC David Bragg 619-476-9041 3121 Main Street, Suite F, Chula Vista, CA 91911

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |


Marsha Long 800-778-5241 734 S. River St., PO Box 1779, Calhoun, GA 30701

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volume 27 / Issue 6


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

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


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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Mike Hill 800-860-8474 111 Triple Diamond Blvd, North Venice, FL 34275

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CREATIVE WORKS INC. Jeff Schilling 317-834-4770 350 Bridge St., Mooresville, IN 46158

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Volume 27 / Issue 6 / 63


INTERNATIONAL PLAY COMPANY INC. Kathleen Kuryliw 604-607-1111 215-27353-58th Crescent, Langley, BC V4W 3W7

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

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



Debbie Rice 941-722-2668 5004 US Highway 41 N Unit B, Palmetto, FL 34221

David Ripp 765-935-7477 415 West Eaton Pike, Richmond, IN 47374



Joel Aranson 973-779-2323 376 Hollywood Ave., Fairfield, NJ 7004

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

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


Helen Ou-Chang 886-927-351409 No. 8 Xiamei Rd. Xinyang Industrial District, Hai Cang, Xiamen, Fujian LASERTRON Ann Kessler GOLDEN HORSE RENTALS/LW 361022 716-836-0670 SKATES 251 Meyer Road, Amherst, NY 14226 Walt Hedrick 817-781-1898 RC SPORTS INC. 4004 Cedar Creek Ct, Arlington, TX Ronald Creten 76016 913-894-5177 PLAYSMART 17501 W. 98th, Pillar 18-51A, Gary Boots Lenexa, KS 66219 217-221-4031 107 North Missouri, Sedalia, MO RIEDELL SKATES INC. 65301 Bob Riegelman

RIDE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY Tamara Dean 503-606-4438 PO Box 40, Independence, OR 97351

ROLLER SKATE MANUFACTURERS ATOM SKATES - 58153 Josh Haagen 253-301-3460 2750 Williamson Place NW Suite 148, DuPont, WA 98327

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

ROLLER DERBY SKATE CORP Will Marion 217-324-3961 311 West Edwards Street, Litchfield, IL 62056

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

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

SOUTHEASTERN SKATE SUPPLY INC. Glenn Ramsey Jr 800-444-7528 2917 Nicholas Ave, Roanoke, VA 24012

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

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

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

EXPERT HOSIERY LLC Abid Sheikh 919-799-7707 5448 Apex Peakway No. 115, Apex, NC 27502

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

GOLD MEDAL PRODUCTS COMPANY Stephanie Goodin 8009-543-0862 10700 Medallion Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241-4807

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

Volume 27 / Issue 6


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VENDING MACHINES AND COIN-OPERATED GAMES AMERICAN CARNIVAL MART Matthew Olson 800-991-6818 1317 Lindbergh Plaza Center St. Louis, MO 63132



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

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



Holly Hampton 920-822-3951 1077 E. Glenbrook Drive, Pulaski, WI 54162

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Classified Advertisements


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


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


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


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

Subscribe to the Weekly RSA Newsletters Your Email RSA Members who have not updated their membership accounts may not be receiving the weekly RSA newsletter. If you are not receiving it or you would like other staff members to receive the newsletter, simply visit the link below and complete the form. Subscribers must be current RSA members. 66 /

Rinksider - The Roller Skating Business Magazine |

Volume 27 / Issue 6

Profile for Roller Skating Association International

Rinksider Volume 27 / Issue 6  

In this issue members will learn about 10 tips to boost employee productivity, how to deal with difficult customers, what is Bazooka Ball an...

Rinksider Volume 27 / Issue 6  

In this issue members will learn about 10 tips to boost employee productivity, how to deal with difficult customers, what is Bazooka Ball an...