Guest Column - April 2004
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Maximizing Your Skate Park

Add events to boost spirit, participation and even revenue

By Anne-Marie Spencer

Private rentals

Another possible revenue source is renting out your skate park before or after regular business hours. You'll want to require reservations in advance, set a time limit of perhaps two to three hours and decide how many skaters to allow for your basic fee. Consider allowing additional skaters for an extra fee, according to your capacity and comfort level. You might want to do the same with spectators, a set amount allowed in for the base fee, with a nominal additional charge for extra spectators.

Decide if you will allow food (at least cake and beverages will be expected at birthday parties) and who will provide them. You also may want to consider a non-refundable deposit, to cover clean up and other needs that may be required of your staff.

There are many types of venue opportunities to consider, like concerts, weddings (yes, weddings!) and birthday celebrations. Glotzbecker says Fremont's skate park is going to begin offering the facility for birthday parties this May. Kids love to celebrate in their favorite places, and much like pizza parlors and roller rinks, skate parks are no exception.

Businesses looking to appeal to the youth demographic may be interested in your facility as a place to shoot a commercial or promotional photos. Of course, you'll want to work with interested parties to ensure that this type of activity doesn't interfere with your already scheduled events, but it's a great way to have your venue seen in print. Be sure to insist that "Shot on location at XYZ Skate Park" appears on any print work that is published. You may even be able to assist by providing access to talented skaters, bikers or inliners.

Remember the spectators

You already may have noticed that passersby enjoy watching the action in your skate park. Adding seating for them is a easy way to encourage attendance. If parents have somewhere to be comfortable while their children are using the park, they may be inclined to stay longer, as well as make your park the destination, even if it isn't the closest. Seating is also a must for competitions and events: Remember not everyone who attends will be skating. The viewing area must be detached from the skating area and separated by a fence or large space. Fencing is best, as it will keep flying boards from hitting bystanders.

Get creative

Remember, creativity is the key to discovering new ways to utilize your skate park. For additional ideas, ask your patrons what kind of activities they'd like to see at the facility. Partner with local skate shops and radio stations to create promotions. Look at other sport facilities in the area to get ideas. You'll discover that adding activities will bring additional business, get public exposure for your venue and create excitement among community members.

Anne-Marie Spencer is the marketing communications manager for GameTime. She can be reached at