The Latest Trend in Hockey Training Centers
Posted by KwikRink
Hockey is enjoying a boom in recent years. The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) reports that in the 18 states and the District of Columbia that play under NFHS rules, hockey participation is up from 44,669 players in 2017, to 44,933 players last year.
A surge in girls’ hockey programs since 2013 has resulted in record-setting female participation in the sport. With more players of all ages and demographics seeking ice time, rink design that’s versatile, efficient, and flexible is a necessity for new and existing hockey programs alike.
The business-savvy synthetic ice rink costs from KwikRink Synthetic Ice make your hockey programming and business goals easily attainable. Call us today to begin custom-designing your state-of-the-art synthetic rink.
Synthetic Ice: a flexible alternative
Natural ice may have been the preferred hockey playing surface for generations, but synthetic ice allows for the exponential expansion of playing and practicing opportunities with a superior business model.
If you’re in a region where the weather is warm most of the year, a natural ice rink could be cost-prohibitive and environmentally taxing.
Regardless of the climate outside, indoor natural ice center owners must expend significant funds on creating the rink surface, as well as flooding, and freezing systems. They also must maintain the ice after freezing. That means extra dollars for Zambonis and the staff to run them.
Synthetic ice offers a lower-cost and low-maintenance alternative to spendy indoor natural ice arenas. Custom-cut ice tiles lock together like puzzle pieces and boast easy clean-up and glide maintenance with simple spray cleaners and a wipe-down with a soft cloth.
With KwikRink Synthetic Ice, you can leave your ice rink set up for hockey and other ice sports 100 percent of the time, or you can place and remove your rink with ease for other recreational or community programming in your arena space.
Further, with synthetic ice, hockey entrepreneurs can opt for a non-traditional arena location, like converted warehouse space, community centers, gymnasiums, or other large multi-purpose venues.
Synthetic ice and natural ice quality match
Synthetic ice technology has undergone a revolution in the last decade. With new materials that eliminate the need for extra blade lubrication, skaters can lace up and go, just like on a natural rink.
As long as you maintain a clean skating surface, skater glide for hockey and other ice sports (like broomball, figure skating, and pleasure skating) is nearly identical to natural ice.
Skaters can sprint, stop, turn, shoot, and check on KwikRink Synthetic Ice just as they do on natural ice.
The small differential in glide between synthetic ice and a natural skating surface also creates a training effect in hockey players. Skaters will push off, stop, and turn with a slightly stronger muscular power stroke on synthetic ice, which develops more strength and stamina.
If and when a player has practice or a game on a natural rink after training on synthetic ice, their performance and experience will improve.
It’s a similar phenomenon to Olympic athletes who train at high altitude and compete at low altitude–they’ve got an edge over their competition because of their high-altitude physical adaptations.
More skaters, more ice demand
Skating of all kinds is emerging as a growing recreational activity, according to Grand View Research. Families with increased disposable income are looking toward ice skating as a fun and different way to hang out together, enjoy team dynamics, and compete with others.
Even though seasonal outdoor rinks in colder climes are cost-effective and environmentally friendly, their use is limited to a few months of the year. Indoor arenas are weather-independent and remain open and potentially profitable year-round.
Synthetic rinks make excellent business sense, especially for owners and managers of multi-use facilities.
Lower overhead, higher ROI
When a program director can assemble a rink of any size in minutes with no freezing time, she can run a hockey team practice for an hour a few times per week. When a practice is over, the rink comes apart, stacks, and stores for the next programmatic demand.
KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles come apart and stack easily in an equipment closet or the corner of your programmed space. Throw a cover over the stacked tiles to keep them dust-free and gliding well each week.
Our highest quality ice tiles last up to 10 years when properly cleaned, so once you’ve invested your start-up capital in the tiles, there’s little extra cost to keeping a superior skating service for years of team registrations.
It’s easy to conclude that the ROI on a quality synthetic ice rink outranks that of natural ice. If your hockey program overhead is lower, it may also offer you more flexibility on the program fees you’ll charge in your market.
This flexibility could make your program accessible to a wider cross-section of players who may not otherwise have tried the sport. Growing your hockey audience by making the sport more accessible to different players creates a reliable revenue stream in uncharted hockey territory.
Expand your synthetic ice rink revenue with additional services
When you’ve opened your KwikRink Synthetic Ice rink, you have expanded opportunities for revenue. With hockey and other ice sports forecasted to grow in participation, opening a hockey program or arena makes sound business sense.
Providing skate rental, private and group lessons, other skating activities like open skating, figure skating, and broomball leagues add to your profit while keeping customers engaged and confident in their developing skating skills.
Your creativity and the people on your team have the freedom to innovate new ice programming as the seasons roll by. Chances to cater to your hockey parents while their kids’ skate, parties and events, and other community engagement tools offer still more revenue streams to your growing hockey empire.
KwikRink Synthetic Ice: Your partner in custom rink design
Whether you’re building a regulation ice arena pad from the ground up, or re-purposing a multi-use space, KwikRink is your partner in creating the custom synthetic ice rink that meets your business needs. Call us today to begin planning the rink of your future.