View Full Version : Is operating a rink viable? non-profit or?
12-17-2004, 07:44 PM
I read with interest the post below from MDE3 about a lack of players, it certainly is a sobering thought. I hope "if you build it (in the right place and don't make it cost-prohibitive ) they will come.
Anyway, my employer shows signs of downsizing in the next couple of years, perhaps eliminating any positions in my area. I am considering opening a rink; I have my eye on some property that is within blocks of both the high school and jr. high (aka "middle") school. I was hoping to get your thoughts.
Can a rink operator support a family, save for retirement, contribute to my 2 kids college? Not "get rich" per se, just provide reasonable security and opportunity for my children?
Non-profit or for-profit? As I see it, the whole point is serving the community, especially the youth. I would like the freedom to do things that don't necessarily create direct income - ie, offer at least an hour open rink after school for pickup. This approach (coupled with a natural aversion to paying taxes!) makes a non-profit SOUND more appropriate, but I was looking for your insight. My philosophy won't change due to the tax status; I am more concerned with which tax status will afford greater financial security.
Anything else I should consider? thank you.
12-17-2004, 09:17 PM
The above is an excellent post!
I apologize that my answer is not going to be very positive. Let me put it this way. If I really did win the Texas Lottery (today the jackpot is at $32 million), I would still not open my own rink. The liability and operating costs are just too high to make it worthwhile (from my perspective) to even keep it open. To say nothing of the fact that everytime somebody stubbed a toe, my (lottery-winning) "deep pockets" would be open to lawsuit.
What I would do is give the appropriate amount of money to our local city government, with specified agreement that it be used to design and construct the appropriate building, equip it, and perhaps even have some left over to use toward operating costs. This agreement would also spell out what the local Parks department would have to provide in terms of operational effort.
As I would be the parks dept. guy running it anyway, for me this wouldn't be difficult, but the point is that even if money were no problem whatsoever, these things should actually be done within the public sector!
That's my considered, opinionated opinion. If there is some way you can channel your efforts, perhaps even becoming involved as a municipal employee yourself, then that's the way I suggest that you go.
Good luck, it seems that you are the type of person our sport needs.
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
12-17-2004, 09:32 PM
Here is my philosophy right now on 'for profit ownership':
(and perhaps I might get flamed for this post)
My simple answer is NO don't do it. What's the point? I was in rink management myself for 3 years (and other facets of inline facilities for an additional 4 years) and have been following the ownership and management of a number of facilities - both profit and not-for-profit. I have yet to see an owner stay involved for more than 4 years and thrive without the stress of throwing in the towel and getting out, even in well researched areas with little to no competition. Management turns over quickly and most of these managers that I know are single people who do not need to support family/kids through college. I also have investors who believe in me and have been following my own career and are just waiting for me to say the word and they will help me build a facility and relocate to run/manage it. My gut after 10 years is to not make this venture (yet) and they have respected that greatly.
I admire anyone who attempts this ESPECIALLY for the love of the sport. But my answer to your question is a quaint 'No' to a profit facility/business. Sorry.
With that said, and because I see no major benefits, I would say if you are in this for the love of the sport then take the NPO route since you won't be getting rich anyway and build bonds with your community. This is what will keep you afloat and help maintain the income needed to support yourself/family. Eventually, if you can stick it out, you will find success, but not monatary riches.
12-22-2004, 09:16 AM
Very well put!
Say, I'm thinking we need an "inline hockey conference" to explore all aspects of the sport and this would be a good topic. Perhaps we could get USAHIL to sponor/organize it. :-)
You and Richard Graham would definitely be on the agenda.
The very best to you and yours for the holiday season.
Communications & Promotions Coordinator
Hockey Alberta In Line Committee
12-22-2004, 04:09 PM
Well I am going to be honest with all of you. If you run the rink the right way you will make money. I have been in this bus. for almost 6 years and every year our rink has come away with a profit. I will be honest with all of you I am not going to sit here and go throught each little thing I do, but I will say is, "Think Outside The Bubble" and you will do well.
Tab Ramos Sports Center
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