We’ve been doing interviews with some of the vendors that came to our recent tradeshow. This is a way to help get out info to the customers that were not able to attend. Today we are fortunate to have Steven from Sure-Grip Skate answering a few of our questions.
QUESTION: You go to a lot of events, do a lot of traveling, and really try to be out there, visible, supporting the skating rinks. What are you hearing from the rinks as the busy season gets ready to start up? What are the rinks saying?
ANSWER: We are on the west coast so things tend to move a little differently out here. Our local market, Urban skating, is really strong. We just had a new old rink reopen and we have seen a huge increase is skater awareness and sales. This particular market is somewhat unique to our area but the trend is still moving across the country. Aside from the urban market we are seeing great potential with our new Stardust skates. After the partnership we had with a local cosmetic company the word has spread and we are seeing this type of product pop up in other industries as well. We never expected this glitter theme to be as big as it has become.
QUESTION: What are some of the new items Sure-Grip is introducing to the market? What kind of feedback have they received?
ANSWER: As I mentioned above the Stardust skate is our most popular skate as of late. People really love the color and the expression on their faces is amazing. When you tell someone the skate is glitter they get excited, then they actually see it and they are speechless. This is a really great product for our industry because it allows people to express themselves in way they never imagined.
QUESTION: Have you heard of any new ideas from the rinks you talk to that sound exciting and that our readers might want to borrow from? Any new profit ideas out there?
Answer: Adult nights are growing in popularity. Meaning the all night skate parties. Originally this was unique to the urban skating community but now we are seeing all kinds of late night skate parties. I think one rink locally does a college night. I think this is a good way to cater to a different audience, especially millennials.
QUESTION: We’re always interested in new rinks that have opened, and new blood getting into this business. You told us about a brand new rink in L.A. that is absolutely packed every session, with skaters waiting in line to try to get in. Obviously, L.A. is a different creature than most cities, but can you tell us a little about that rink? What are they doing that is making it such a homerun?
ANSWER: This is a tough question because we have never seen anything like this before so its difficult to really be sure. This rink was an older facility that closed for a few years and then reopened. In its day it was a successful rink but it needed a face lift and a new plan for a growing market, they needed to think outside the box and offer something that is different and unique. For the first few weeks they actually had to turn people away at the door. They reached out to us and a few other skaters in the area early on and built a facility for the newer generation. Looking at this facility its incredible, its not like a traditional roller rink and I think that’s exactly what it needed to be. Its more of a night club that offers skating, its amazing!!!! The fact that this is so close to Hollywood doesn’t hurt either, I think Usher had a birthday party here a few weeks ago. Personally I think this is the future of roller rink design, any rink in the country can look at this facility and take something away from the experience.