outdoor ice skating rink

Planning Your Community's Winter Wonderland: A Guide to Setting Up a Commercial Outdoor Ice Rink


If you're considering bringing a winter tradition to your town or neighborhood, setting up a commercial outdoor ice rink can be an exciting venture. However, it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful operation. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to create your own winter wonderland.


Electrical Requirements: Ensuring Proper Power Supply

Before anything else, it's crucial to ensure you have the necessary power supply to operate the refrigeration chillers and lights that keep the ice rink frozen and well-lit. Most commercial-sized rinks require a 480 Volt 3-phase power switch. Calculating the AMP requirements based on the size of your rink is essential to avoid any issues down the line. Remember, without the correct power source, the ice may not freeze properly, leading to significant complications.

To know exactly how many AMPS you need you can use the below calculation.


Take the Squarefoot of rink divide by 35 multiply by 2 = Amps needed

An example of this is if your rink is 105’X 85’ (8,925sqft)


255*2= 510 AMPS needed


Now that you know what you need for power it’s time to find the power source. The most time-consuming part is booking the electric company to come out to find and test the closest power source. Depending on the town/ county this step may take up to 4-6 months. When booking the appointment make sure to let them know exactly what level of power you are looking for to help expedite this process.


Booking Rink Equipment and Supplies: Reserving Early

Booking rink equipment and supplies well in advance is key to guarantee availability. Rental companies often have a limited number of ice resurfacers and chillers, so securing your reservation early is critical. When speaking with these rental companies you will have the option to manage and run the rink yourself or have them do it for you. If you have the means to do this yourself this will increase your profit margins. Each rental company will run you through training when they set up the rink and they all have nearby maintenance staff if a piece of equipment were to break. The only downside is they won’t be able to resolve the issue as fast as if they had staff on site. You don’t want your chiller breaking Saturday morning and not having anyone around until Sunday evening to fix it. Each weekend counts as there are only 12-16 weekends in a season.

 Whether you choose to manage the rink yourself or hire a rental company to handle it, ensure that you understand the training provided and the maintenance support available. Having a reliable team and equipment is essential to keep the rink running smoothly throughout the season.


Making a Profit: Pricing and Time Management


Determining pricing for rink entry and skate rentals is a crucial step in making your venture financially viable. Consider pricing similar to that of a local movie theater ticket to attract visitors. Avoid imposing strict time restrictions on skating sessions, as this can deter potential customers or make them stay longer than needed. Turnover is crucial to making a profit so creating an enjoyable experience while having a high turnover is key to a successful winter. Imposing time restrictions will naturally make customers want to stay that entire duration to get their money’s worth, when in reality most people only skate for 30 minutes. For the outliers that do stay on the ice longer you can avoid this by scheduling periodic ice resurfacing sessions. This ensures a pleasant experience for visitors while maximizing revenue opportunities.


Contacting Experts: Streamlining the Process

Navigating the process of setting up a commercial outdoor ice rink can be daunting, but you don't have to do it alone. Companies like SportsPlex Broker specialize in assisting communities and private entities with their winter recreational projects. From expediting processes to negotiating prices and coordinating equipment rentals, our expertise can simplify the entire process for you. Best of all, our services come at no additional cost, making it an invaluable resource for communities looking to create their own winter wonderland.


Bringing Winter Joy to Your Community

Setting up a commercial outdoor ice rink can be a rewarding endeavor that brings joy and excitement to your community during the winter months. By carefully considering factors such as electrical requirements, equipment booking, pricing strategies, and expert assistance, you can create a memorable experience for residents and visitors alike. So, gather your team, plan ahead, and get ready to create your very own winter wonderland for all to enjoy!

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