New Roller Rink

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New Roller Rink

Postby patric » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:38 pm

Looking to build first purpose built international sized Roller Rink with 500 seats for spectators in South London, ready to open March next year! With cafe, bars, etc. what do you think? Patric

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Torbaydos » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:54 pm

Where's it to?

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Phil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 pm

What size is 'international sized' I didn't know that roller rinks had specific sizes...

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Mick » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:19 pm

Excellent! It's about time full size rinks made a comeback. I'll definitely be along, it's much easier to get to than Colchester or Derby. Good luck, hope it's a success and the sums work out.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Look no Skywater » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:08 pm

I would have thought you would have done some market research to know whether it was a good idea or not before committing to the idea....unless this is that research, in which case, I like the idea. Whether it is a good one or not really depends on if you can fill it every night you are open to the point of making a profit. To open for shorter periods but still turn a profit will require probably an alcohol retail licence and over 18s "clubbing on wheels" nights as kids don't bring in much money. On those evenings you'll get more money from non-skaters coming to have a go as they spend more time sitting down drinking than skating around. However, you will need to find lots of fresh blood so target the corporates and hen/stag nights birthday and offer group discounts.

Make sure you have one or two instructors that know what they are doing and have them do little lessons in the first hour when things are quiet and can marshal for the rest of the evening and some more marshals to make sure people are safe and to protect the fallen. 1st aid qualified is best.

On clubbing nights, DJs are quite important as they bring atmosphere rather than just a bit of music. They can gee up the crowd and really make it an experience worth repeating. They don't need to be playing all night but from 9 or 10 onward when things get busy they can make the world of difference.

For regulars you could offer memberships with discounted entry that means people need to come more than 10 times a year to make savings, etc. It means you get the money up front and you will have regular customers. I'm not massively keen on the one hall fits all idea as I find it gets boring quite quickly but some people love it and size makes a big difference. Good luck with it.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Helen » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:15 pm

If you're only thinking about the construction and you want to open in March next year I think you need a project manager. Me :)

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Eviltwin » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:47 pm

Location will also be key as if its hard to get to people simply will not go.
Focus on a big opening with selbs will also help.
Helth and safty has to be number one or you could lose lots of cash very fast.

I don't think there will make it big off the Roller rink but it would be a very good fun thing to do..also if there is a School near the site and they will pay to use it...could help..
If the food is very good as well that could help support things..

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby lurch » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:55 pm

Look no Skywater wrote:I would have thought you would have done some market research to know whether it was a good idea or not before committing to the idea....unless this is that research...

If this is market research I think it's asking the wrong audience. People here have a lot of free options for skating in street and park. I think we're unlikely to make up the bulk of income for a business like this, but it's just my opinion.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Look no Skywater » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:20 pm

It's worth asking all target audiences. This might just be a subset. From experience of the old RD at Bagley's the bulk of the punters when it was not promoted that well were regular skaters once it took off the bulk were not regular skaters and seemed like groups getting together to have a go at roller disco. Most of the old regulars became very irregular at that time and as you say explored other skating options than pay to be crowded out in gumbie hell.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Phil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:10 pm

As Rick says, Bagleys was popular with lots of people on here when it was basically just frequented almost exclusively by us and when our mates were DJ'ing. I don't think I would venture south of the river that often for a roller disco, that said if it was open late at night (say till 23.00) during the week for slalom practice etc then I might use it, but you'd make very little money from that!

I like what they have in Russia where one of the rinks has a roller rink on one side, a cafe in the middle and a skate park (ie ramps) on the other side, you'd be likely to get at least some money in each day if you had a good skate park open to boards, bikes and skates, but you'd have to rival with Bay66 which is practically in zone 1.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Bella83 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:43 am

I think south of the river if your next to a go tube people will come look at the Vauxhall one.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Naomi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:02 pm

COOL!!!!

I just love going to all the rinks in the USA and I really lamented that there is none that are easy to get to in London. I really really hope it comes off well for you, I really do.

One of my reasons for spending this winter in Seattle is because it has 3 really good roller rinks and I can go to a rink night & skate for practice, social or just chilling every night of the week if I want to.

In London there have been a couple of roller discos set up, but for me they have no relation to roller rinks - the only similarities is that they both involve skating, and are both indoors.

I'll be in London around April/May next year, so really look forward to visiting on the adult nights. Good luck!!

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Naomi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:08 pm

Ah, I just read the other posts - I guess you can always turn it into another roller disco as being suggested... I mean, it would be really sad but probably better for your pockets. I really think that a rink could be successful in South London though, and do really hope that it doesn't end up being a disco instead.
:(

Edit: *thinking more* there isn't really a market (other than Roller Derby) in existence at all due to lack of rinks, so it would take a while of children's parties & kids promotion etc to get the thing up & going, whereas if you opened one in the US it would be a case of people now coming and trying out your rink to see if they like it. Thank goodness for Derby!

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby bongo » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:18 pm

Excuse my ignorance but what's the difference?

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Naomi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:27 pm

bongo wrote:Excuse my ignorance but what's the difference?

Hmm. Well, 'vibe/atmosphere/intention/purpose/people' etc, but that doesn't really quantify anything. I guess the most basic & describable difference is that one is more like a nightclub for people to go clubbing whilst on skates, and possibly fancy dressed & but definitely dressed for clubbing, and the other is somewhere to go and skate. I have no idea if this was a good or valid answer to that question at all. Maybe someone else could do a better job.

This tour I've been to 2 new ones - Cascade in Atlanta & Jellybeans in NC. I went on a wrong night to the one in Atlanta (kid night, but was still fun since I was with Atlsk8r & another adult freestyle skater) but I've heard its one of the best over here, and as for Jellybeans, it was the first time I'd ever seen inliners shuffling, and they were really good at it too (shuffling is like jam-slalom without the cones, usually done with quads). Neither of these were adult nights, they were both Saturday nights, but usually I only would go to a rink on an adult night.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Mick » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:18 pm

Naomi wrote:Hmm. Well, 'vibe/atmosphere/intention/purpose/people' etc, but that doesn't really quantify anything. I guess the most basic & describable difference is that one is more like a nightclub for people to go clubbing whilst on skates, and possibly fancy dressed & but definitely dressed for clubbing, and the other is somewhere to go and skate. I have no idea if this was a good or valid answer to that question at all. Maybe someone else could do a better job.

No, it's not a very good answer. Not sure I can do any better though. Actually, it's half a good answer but doesn't tell the whole story.

Thing is, roller discos are all different and they each have their own vibe and ethos. For me your description fits Vauxhall well (which is why I don't like it much) and to a certain extent Bagleys (which got part of the way to being good but didn't quite make it). Wembley is different though, it's still a night club atmosphere but the skaters are there to skate in the same way that they are at a rink, it's not about office outings and fancy dress and drinking. For me that's the best of both worlds.

Size isn't everything either but shape is very important. It's nice having a full size rink to blast around but small places can work too. Vauxhall is OK if you just want to dance on the spot but even the larger room doesn't work for skating along as it's too square so you end up literally just skating in circles. It wasn't too bad originally but then they moved the barrier for the bar area out into the room and spoiled it. Bagleys was better but still not ideal.

Wembley isn't very large but the shape is long and narrow which works well, and it's got a lovely inlaid wooden floor as it's an old dance hall. You tend not to skate fast as the end turns are fairly tight but you do get long straights to do all the dancing-while-moving-along stuff which is what I like about rinks and roller discos. There's also room in the middle for dancing on the spot and practicing stuff. And for me the music and the vibe just hits the spot especially on a Tuesday night which is the more mellow and laid back session. Friday nights are busier and more clubby but it's still all about the skating.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Naomi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:04 pm

Yeah, I've only ever been to one rink in the UK, and that was RollerWorld all-nighter in Derby years and years ago. I'm just comparing to the US rinks instead. I guess what it comes down to for me is the difference between chilled/relaxed atmosphere where you can just skate around in circles in your own little world & dance when you feel like it but still in your own little world, Vs the other being a more outgoing and socially stressful thing (for me).

Someone else I'm sure would say that what I like about the US rinks make them boring, and that what I find unenjoyable about London 'rollerdiscos' actually make them chilled & relaxed & fun. I just like an ice rink with a wooden floor.

I just love that every night in Seattle I can head off to one of the rinks to skate, and that I'll see the same familiar faces skating around in the same old circles or pottering around in middle with the music.

I wonder what Lisa would say - she comes to the US rinks & parties (parties is like an annual jam held by a rink that skaters travel to, just like slalom comps), and also does the London discos. She might say something totally different, and is way more experienced than me.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Mick » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:10 pm

Naomi wrote:chilled/relaxed atmosphere where you can just skate around in circles in your own little world & dance when you feel like it but still in your own little world,

That's why I like Wembley. As I said, roller discos are all different, you can't really generalise.

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Naomi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:15 pm

Mick wrote:That's exactly why I like Wembley. As I said, roller discos are all different, you can't really generalise.

I'm wincing, since I've only ever been to one... (Bagleys)

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Re: New Roller Rink

Postby Mick » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:20 pm

Mick wrote:... Wembley roller disco... it's not about office outings and fancy dress and drinking.

... although recent Facebook event reminders have started mentioning dress themes on Friday nights. I think they're going for a popularity drive at the moment which you can't blame them for but I hope it doesn't mean it's going the way of other London roller discos. Tuesdays are still the same, thankfully.


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