Brad Roemer Wonders What Happened to Roller-Skating
Not that long ago, in Las Vegas, when Brad Roemer was on vacation, he saw a Trade Show and Convention dedicated to roller-skating. This got him wondering whatever happened to all those roller rinks in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and part of the 90s. You may think that roller-skating just fell out of
style, but it goes far beyond that. Cue the disco ball, cue the 70s music and join us on a trip around the rink as we expose the real reason very few roller rinks exist any more.
Round and Round we Go
So, what happened to the good ol’ roller rink of days gone by? Come to find out, while considered retro to the youth of today, this has little to do with the reason we have seen them disappearing en mass in the past 15 or so years. The main reason that roller rinks are not seen everywhere anymore is for the simple reason of real estate. Real estate rates have skyrocketed in the past 15 or so years. Add that to the increase in utilities and it is pushing many owners on to bigger and better things. This is not to say that the industry is declining, they simply do not exist in the places they have in the past. They used to be right in the center of town where people could wear the skates and go to the rink. Now, you have to load up the family and head 30 minutes or more out of town where the cheaper real estate exists. Most
of the rinks have now turned into warehouses or strip malls because of their massive size.
Owners of the property saw more profitable businesses offering more money than the rink to be in the prime real estate area. This is a no-brainer to a landowner wanting to maximize their return on investment. Roller
rinks are huge, consuming 20 – 30 thousand square feet and only bringing in a fraction of what 10 or 15 retail outlets can bring in. So, in essence, the landowners were seeing dollar signs and not renewing
leases on roller rinks.
The truth of the matter is, roller rinks rarely made money off of the average person that just came to listen to music whilst skating in circles. Where they have, and still do, make their money is off of Birthday parties. They can charge large amounts of money for a minimal product, but it gives the larger birthday parties access to a place they could never be able to rent otherwise. If your kid has 50 friends they want to come to their party, this is generally not feasible in your standard home. Brad Roemer knows that having 50 screaming kids running around a roller rink is much better as their screams of excitement can be muffled by the loud music. That, and there is much more room to fit everyone that simply would not fit into a house. So, reach back in the closet, dust off them old four wheelers and find
your local rink today.