Long exposure image of colorful people walking around a shopping mall

Getting people to come to you is a challenge when just about every shopping and retail activity can be done online. But nothing can beat the atmosphere of a thriving, people-centric shopping mall, where visitors can shop, relax, converse, eat and drink, and enjoy leisure activities. Why not check out the synthetic ice rink rent options from KwikRink, and provide your customers with an experience they can’t get from behind a keyboard.

Malls in decline across the United States

If you are concerned that it’s just your local mall or shopping center where through traffic is slow, don’t worry – yours is not unique. Across the US, thousands of retailers closed their doors in 2019, and malls are looking for other ways to enhance through traffic. Discounts and special deals can only go so far, though, and so mall owners are looking at innovative means to bring customers away from their keyboards and inside the brick-and-mortar stores.

Why do people visit malls?

  1. The beauty of shopping malls has always been the ability to bring a range of venues together under one roof. If you wanted to buy equipment for a camping trip, for example, you could visit this store for tents, the one next door to it for camping clothing, and the one just a few shops away for camping snacks. And even though the competition is always a factor, that wouldn’t necessarily stop the salespeople in one store recommending that you check out another in the mall for equipment that you might need and that this store didn’t carry.
  2. Never underestimate the social experience of visiting the mall. Malls offer more than just multiple shopping venues in a small, contained area. Most also offer the likes of food halls, coffee shops, and leisure activities like movie complexes, meaning that you always had something to do once you had finished your shopping.
  3. The atmosphere in a mall is another popular selling feature. Think about the last time you visited the mall during a holiday season. Chances are you heard festive music playing and could smell the aroma of delicious holiday-type snacks – sensory experiences that no keyboard shopping experience could match.

What is keeping customers from physically visiting these stores?

The ease of online shopping, and the sheer availability of just about any product, from anywhere, is both a blessing and a curse to the American consumer. It takes only a few minutes to think about a product need, research where to buy it, how much, who is offering it at the best price, and most crucially, whether it can be delivered. With this type of near-instantaneous ability to satisfy almost any consumer’s need or desire, it’s little wonder that stores are struggling to compete.

Does this mean the end for retailers who don’t have an online store?

It doesn’t have to be. Your customers are still there, but to get them to leave their keyboards and visit you in person, you need to have a hook. And that’s why you have to offer them something that an online store can’t.

What can retailers do about the declining numbers?

A visit to the mall needs to be more than just a shopping experience because, as we know, most goods can be purchased online. So if you want to attract customers to a physical store, the best way to do so is to enhance the services the mall offers. Once customers are physically at the mall, they can shop all they want.

So what kind of services?

We are a nation of people who value leisure activities, but no one said that we could only do these in or around the home. We go to movies, we visit gyms, and we play sports. And we love any sort of sporting or leisure activity that we can do all year round, and at practically any age.

What activities are thriving in the US

When it comes to sports, we are a nation of people who enjoy both watching and participating in sports. While nothing can knock American football or baseball off the top of the popular list, coming in the top five is ice hockey, a game in which we excel. And thanks to the development of synthetic ice-skating rinks, we no longer have to wait until the right time of the year to get in practice.

Blurred abstract defocus background of people indoor ice skating in modern shopping mall, at Christmas holiday.

Is ice skating really that popular?

It doesn’t matter if you want to skate for fun, for fitness, to play for the national league, or to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Ice skating is one of the most popular sporting activities in the United States, with an estimated 10 million people enjoying a regular glide. Skating is a hobby the entire family can enjoy, all year round as long as there is a suitable rink nearby.

So why bring rinks into shopping malls or town centers? We want people to shop, not skate!

Yes, the idea of retail outlets is to sell products. But if your retail outlets are not seeing regular traffic, then your sales will plummet, as has been shown by the failure of so many stores across the States in the past few years, and the general decline in malls. Ice skating is an experience that few people can find in their homes and one which offers benefits ranging from fitness, to watching others showing off their skills, to team building, and for pure entertainment.

Sounds like an expensive option

A synthetic ice-skating rink is easy to install, low on maintenance cost, and can be tailored to your specific needs. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a temporary rink for a special occasion or have it as a permanent feature. Our products are safety-tested, and we are continually looking for ways to improve your customers’ skating experience.

We don’t have space

Sure you do. Rinks don’t have to be enormous to attract customers. Turn a misfortune around by utilizing space where shops have had to close and build your rink there.

Put an end to the decline

Investing in your customers’ health and happiness is an investment in your business future. So get in touch with KwikRink to find out how you can turn that unused space into a valued addition to your shopping mall.

synthetic ice flooring built into a spare room

Are you building a new home or remodeling your existing one and thinking about adding something unique. Do you have a young hockey player who aspires to be the next Sidney Crosby or Natalie Darwitz hockey superstar? Do you want an excellent form of exercise for the whole family? Then a home hockey rink is an ideal choice.

If you are a construction company striving to build “the next best thing” in the neighborhood, consider adding a home hockey rink to the plans. For a remodel, creatively convert an extra space, such as an attic, spare bedroom, garage, or unfinished basement.

In a new construction home, instead of adding a four-season porch, incorporate a unique feature such as a home hockey ice rink. In any case, you may be the envy of the neighborhood.

Take a look at these examples of how you might want your finished rink to look. Then contact us at KwikRink today to get started on your home project.

Add value to your home

Add an indoor synthetic ice practice area similar to the indoor practice courts we are seeing on upscale model homes using artificial ice flooring. Install synthetic ice over existing hardwood or concrete.

The home hockey rink uses a synthetic ice surface that is suitable for those who want to skate for entertainment, for budding superstars, and even for the high-level athlete. In no time, you can have your rink set up and ready for use.

Your future hockey stars, figure skaters, and general skating enthusiasts can begin perfecting his/her skills. Extra practice is key in boosting confidence in skating, executing training exercises during practice, and enhancing performance on the ice during a game.

Believe it or not, a KwikRink synthetic ice surface feels like the real thing. Skate blades glide with little friction. The artificial surface does not negatively impact the skater’s speed and ability to navigate drills and exercises.

We take pride in developing technology that will not cause skaters to slow down as they change from forward to backward skating, both of which skaters need to complete drills and other training aids.

Not only does the ice surface feel natural, but it is long-lasting and “self-lubricating,” so it does not dry-up. It is impossible to skate on a dry surface. Invest in a product that will last for years and add value to your home.

Save time and money

You don’t need to have a big backyard or live in a cold climate to have the convenience of a personal skating rink. This convenience will save you time and money,

You won’t need to pay for a costly gym membership or hire a personal trainer because ice skating is a year-round activity that can provide excellent physical fitness benefits. It is something fun you can do with the entire family too.

You won’t have to worry about sending your child somewhere else to practice or devoting time to arranging rides and driving your child around to other rinks. Save your hard-earned cash by spending less on gas and ice-time rental fees.

Don’t lose any more practice time because a snowstorm kept you from getting to the rink. Or not being able to skate outside because of dangerous wind chills or melting ice.

Spend more time practicing and being with family instead of driving around to whichever rink has open ice-time tonight. Believe it or not, your child may enjoy more quality time at home, practicing with friends, and being close to you instead of running off somewhere else.

Arial shot of a synthetic ice hockey rink in a summer setting

Better than a pool or traditional ice rink

Having a synthetic ice rink in the convenience of your home has many advantages. Unlike an outdoor ice rink, a synthetic rink requires very little time to put together and is low maintenance.

You don’t need to clear off an indoor synthetic rink due to precipitation, or constantly tweaked due to changing weather conditions. You can eliminate the worry of having your ice rink melt, and the time spent clearing your yard for set up, or the constant efforts to maintain the ice surface with a synthetic ice rink.

Outdoor pools are also costly to install and maintain. And, unless you live in a tropical climate, or the north pole, outdoor pools, and traditional ice rinks are limited to short, weather-appropriate seasons.

The KwikRink synthetic ice surface is affordable, easy to install, convertible, and adaptable. The design of the synthetic ice tiles allows them to be put together with ease, much like puzzle pieces.

The entire system can be separated, removed, and reinstalled in a short time frame. These rinks are tailor-made to fit in any area; the main requirement is that it is a flat surface.

These artificial ice rinks can also have the appearance of an authentic hockey rink. Add markings specific to playing hockey, including goal crease lines, face-off spots, and circles patterns.

Hockey is a growing trend and is no longer limited to cold climates, so adding a synthetic rink is desirable in many different weather conditions. You don’t need a full-size rink to perform many of the drills and exercises; you can even hold a small scrimmage on this surface.

Best of all, your skating enthusiasts won’t have to abandon their favorite activity just because the season changed. There will be no more excuses for lapses in working on their skating and hockey skills, and for exercising year around.

Make it a memorable home

A synthetic ice rink is kind to your pocket-book and can save you time and money. You don’t need to rack up a large water bill to create and maintain the rink.

It is durable and is not affected by changing weather conditions, and it has very minimal upkeep costs. It doesn’t require any special refrigeration or other equipment to maintain – you only need to invest in a quality broom or mop.

If you need to sell your home, it should attract buyers who are looking for something different and will increase the value of the house.

Saving you time and money, while still making your home the place to be and memorable — a great addition to your home for today and the future. Contact KwikRink for a consultation on how to add a rink to your new home or remodel design today.

two men dressed in business casual working around a desk with a laptop and papers

With hockey popularity on the rise nation-wide, creating a hockey program could be a natural boon to several types of community spaces. If you manage or associate with a community center, church, or school recreation program, you may have an ideal facility for ice hockey rink dimensions.

Even if your region never gets cold enough for outdoor ice, a synthetic ice rink from KwikRink Synthetic Ice makes your hockey programming dreams an easy click-and-snap into reality.

Setting up a business plan for a hockey training center is a lot easier than you may think. Keep reading for all the essentials to include in your hockey programming foundation.

Once you’ve ironed out your hockey programming particulars on paper, visit our website for a free rink dimension analysis and quote. KwikRink is your partner in hockey programming for all ages and spaces.

First, start in the middle

Though it’s crucial to format your business plan with the executive summary at the beginning, you’ll complete the overview as your last step. Let’s begin with some market research. Try asking yourself and your organization these questions:

  • What is the demand for hockey programming in your community? It may be that you have a population screaming for a new youth and adult hockey league, a hockey instruction program, or a coach’s clinic. If this is true, you’ll have an easier time with marketing and program registration. If your region has not traditionally offered hockey, you may also have some work to do to educate your desired audience. Try offering a survey to your existing audience to gauge excitement around hockey programming. You can also mine your audience for other essential information like how much families and individuals would pay for teams, tournaments, practices, and private coaching.
  • What physical resources do you need? You must cost out your skating rink and any additional equipment like rental equipment, rink barriers, goals, maintenance, additional utility costs, and other incidentals. When you purchase a rink from KwikRink, we can also supply all rink accessories as well as rental skates and other equipment. If you’re bringing a hockey program to your community for the first time, enabling parents to rent skates and equipment as they experience hockey and learn about the sport makes sense. Your audience can step gradually into the sport, absorbing league-associated costs incrementally.
  • How many staff will you require for a successful program? If you’re in a smaller town or will share hockey space with other programming, you may only need a coach and perhaps an assistant to launch a small but successful league. You’ll need to be sure that the staff you hire can handle registrations, practice scheduling, and customer service, as well as the more specialized coaching and hockey instruction. Don’t assume all hockey coaches are gifted at marketing and outreach. Be sure you have talented people lined up for each role that will make your program shine.
  • What systems will help you deliver a superior participant experience? You can have the best coaches in the world and the most ideal practice space ever conceived. But, if your audience can’t find you, cannot pay online, or cannot contact anyone within the program to answer their questions, your program is doomed to fail before it begins. Effective player and team management systems build successful programs. There are many team roster, tournament organizer, and registration-capturing software programs out there. Be sure to research a number of different program management systems to find the one that will meet your needs while also offering you room to grow. Providing an online payment option is also essential to generating revenue with ease for both participants and organizations. Do not skimp here. Be willing to invest in a product that meets you where you are and offers you expansion options as your hockey program evolves.
  • How will your desired audience find out about your hockey program? Effective marketing involves several moving parts. Will you have a website? A few social media accounts? Does your company already have a website to which you can add a landing page or promotional pop-up with a registration and info link? What are some offline tactics you’ll use to spread the word about hockey in your region? A blend of “organic” (unpaid) marketing and paid advertising can help you drive more participants to your training center. If you have the budget for it, enlisting the help of a marketing team in your community can help you create a strategy that will generate more customer traffic, registration, and sales.
  • What else are you forgetting? Other expenses involved with any new program can include insurance (for the facility, contents, and coaching staff), additional utilities, security systems, and more. Walk your facility and make a list of all the ancillary items, both tangible and abstract, that you’ll need to be successful.

Pack of dollars with icon of hockey.

Put the “fun” in funding

Any business plan must have a robust financial section. You’ll need to cost out all the expenses mentioned above.

Provide two columns of expenses in your business plan: one for start-up expenses like rink purchase or any other build-outs to your space, and another for monthly recurring expenses.

The more detail you can provide in these two categories, the more prepared you’ll be for the financial ups and downs of launching your hockey training center.

You’ll also need to list how you plan to pay for your start-up expenses. This section of your plan should include:

  • Existing capital (savings, checking)
  • Investor capital and terms
  • Crowd-funding
  • Business loans
  • Lines of credit

It’s all about the margins

Once you’ve financed your start-up, on paper at least, you must detail how the business will sustain itself in the first few years of operation.

As you reference your monthly expenses and any monthly loan payments, begin to price out your programming according to:

  • Your market: If there are other hockey programs in your region, it’s smart to price your registration fees competitively, unless you’re offering a luxury or specialized experience targeted toward an audience who can pay elevated fees.
  • Your expenses and desired margin: If you’re adding a hockey program to an existing rec facility, think of your margins like this:

Cost of additional staff hours + marketing costs + plus system fees = total programming costs (per month).

Programming costs + desired margin (30% is a good place to start) = desired program revenue per month.

Desired program revenue per month/minimum number of registrants desired for optimal team experience = Individual registration fees.

Your math will be a little more intense than we can cover in this article if you’re opening a brand new dedicated hockey training center.

Pull it all together with KwikRink Synthetic Ice

Finally, once you’ve done all the heavy lifting with your business plan, you’ll finish it up with an Executive Summary that outlines your company mission, your big-picture business goals, and your “why” behind launching a hockey training center.

With KwikRink as your dedicated collaborator, you’ll save money on start-up costs, maintenance, utilities, and more. Our synthetic ice tiles are versatile, durable, low-maintenance, and fit any space available with speedy installation, tear-down, and storage.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you launch a successful hockey training center.