Ice skating is one of the best activities to stay active, build strength, balance, and endurance.
Best of all, it’s lots of fun.
But, do you know where we have the most fun?
Ice skating parties!
Ice skating parties bring together skating enthusiasts or kids for birthdays.
If you own a synthetic ice rink or you are thinking of building a rink, party rentals should be a part of your vision.
Types of Ice Rink Parties
The pandemic has changed the way we enjoy experiences.
We want small, personalized, niche events after spending so much time in quarantine.
Today, there are almost three million active skaters.
This is a great market to rent out an ice skating space for skating-themed events like parties.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Birthday parties: Kids will enjoy a themed birthday party on the ice. Think Frozen or Disney On Ice for your decorations. For hockey players, they would love a hockey-themed event. Parents can rent out an ice rink and encourage kids to come with their skates.
- Graduation parties: Teens love to throw separate parties to celebrate their high school graduation. A themed event on ice can be an experience they won’t forget.
- Holiday parties: The Holidays are all about the ice! Celebrate Christmas with your family or office team. It’s the busiest time of the year, so rink owners should encourage organizers to rent the rink in advance.
- Fundraisers: A party or special event on the ice is a great way to fundraise. People are always looking to contribute to causes they believe in. An ice rink party or event helps them to invest while having fun.
- Hockey or Figure Skating Team Parties: There are hundreds of hockey and ice-skating teams across the country. A party on the ice helps everyone celebrate a successful season. Ice rink owners can rent out the space to the team for a get-together with the team along with coaches and family members.
If you’re passionate about ice skating and have been thinking about setting up your own rink for commercial use, you’ll have a couple of options.
The ice rinks most people think about are refrigerated ice rinks.
These are the rinks you’ll see in NHL games and big spaces like The Rink at Rockefeller Center.
However, there are also synthetic ice rinks.
These have surged in popularity and have many advantages, particularly for commercial use.
Let’s touch on what is a synthetic ice rink, the pros and cons, and how you can set one up for party rentals.
Synthetic Ice Party Rentals
What if you could ice skate with your actual metal blades on something that’s not “ice”?
It’s not frozen water, but a material called synthetic ice.
Synthetic ice is made of a unique, ultra-dense polymer.
It’s crafted as large panels while looking and feeling just like ice.
By simply connecting the boards, you can create an artificial space that anyone can skate with their actual metal skates.
Most are made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) or Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE).
These materials determine factors like durability and performance. Synthetic ice rinks have been around for decades.
Technology and advancements in production have allowed rinks to be customized.
You can now get synthetic ice for a small room in your home, a large backyard, or your commercial space like a mall or rooftop.
Refrigerated vs. Synthetic: Pros and Cons
If these rinks sound too good to be true, let’s look at the pros and cons.
The best thing we can compare them to is your standard refrigerated rink.
These rinks use a combination of water, coolant, and significant refrigeration components (like the ones in your home freezer).
- The time to set up a synthetic ice rink is shorter than a refrigerated ice rink. Once you have the panels and rink walls, you connect the panels like puzzle pieces. Refrigerated rinks require professional installation, several moving parts, and even the possibility of failure.
- With synthetic panels, you save on electricity. Commercial refrigerated rinks require significant electricity to power the space continually.
- Synthetic ice rinks for commercial spaces due require an up-front investment. However, the cost is cheaper than a commercial refrigerated rink. The ongoing maintenance cost can rack up compared to a synthetic ice rink that needs minimal maintenance, which can be done by 1-2 persons. Synthetic ice panels are durable, lasting as much as ten years with proper care.
- Synthetic ice is excellent for party rentals because of its portability. Suppose the client has a large space available. The rink can be moved via truck to their location. Refrigerated rinks aren’t portable.
- Of course, synthetic ice rinks aren’t made of natural ice. Some skaters may prefer the feeling and atmosphere of a refrigerated rink.
- Synthetic ice rinks do contain a bit of friction. This can limit the speed and smoothness of skating. As a plus, skaters enjoy using synthetic ice rinks as the friction improves their power over time.
- Rinks can cause ice shavings over time. These ice shavings can limit the quality of skating if not cleaned consistently.
Setting Up Your Rink
Now it’s time to get your synthetic ice rink for party rentals.
Doing synthetic ice party rentals the right way involves setting up a business.
Of course, several steps include registering your business, strategy, marketing, accounting, and so on.
First, we will cover setting up your rink for the best results.
- You’ll need to determine where you’ll have your rink. Is the rink an indoor or outdoor rink? Will you allow the rink to be moved at the client’s request? Once you know the rink’s location, you can start measuring the rink’s dimensions. Remember, with synthetic ice, the panels are a standard size. That means you don’t need to have a 200-foot space standard in competitive hockey. You’ll want a space that’s perfect for a large group to skate comfortably.
- Contact your provider to order your rink panels. For example, at PolyGlide Ice, we help customers navigate commercial orders over the phone. You will need ‘panels’ and not ‘tiles’ for your rink. Panels are thicker, heavier tiles designed for heavy traffic. Tiles are great for at-home use.
- Once your tiles are freight-shipped to your location, you will need help to set things up. Using a rubber mallet and some manpower, you can carefully set up your synthetic ice rink. Each panel can weigh as much as 80 lbs., so don’t set it up alone! Add in your rink walls to give the rink a professional look.
- Your next steps will all involve the management of your party rentals. These steps include deciding if to move the rink to different locations at the customer’s request.
- Remember after every rental to clean your rink. Synthetic ice rinks are easy to maintain. Remove the shavings with a soft brush or mop and clean any dirt with warm, soapy water. Occasionally, you’ll need to reapply a surface conditioner to keep the rink in top shape. Surface conditioner is a special liquid that improves the skating experience of the panel.
How Much Should I Charge For My Ice Rink Party Rental?
With an ice rink party rental, you have the power of flexibility.
You can charge per hour or a set price for the entire day.
There are additional transport and setup costs if you need to move the rink to another space.
As you begin to understand your process, you can add other services to increase the value of your synthetic ice rink.
For instance, you can have a complete package to plan the event, including food, games, and activities.
Look at similar businesses or rental services, compare costs, and apply your prices accordingly.
Should You Include Ice Skates?
You can’t use a rink without ice skates! Unfortunately, we all don’t own a pair of ice skates.
If your client wants to use your rink for a party rental, the question about skates will pop up.
Including ice, skates can make your rental more attractive to clients.
However, there are added responsibilities and costs that come with rental skates.
Get a costing from a wholesale supplier or supplier of skates for commercial rinks.
From there, you can compare the costs of acquiring and managing the skates (e.g., sharpening the skates) to the benefits of having the rink.
Of course, you will earn more from skate rentals, so weigh the pros and cons.
Another option is collaborating with a company or wholesaler to provide the skates for your events or rentals.
That way, you can be hands-off with the skates and focus on your synthetic ice rink.
Have a rink that clients will love
Synthetic ice rinks are becoming more popular, particularly for home use.
Yet, there are some ways you can maximize your investment.
These fantastic panels have various commercial uses, and party rentals are a great income stream.
Ice skating parties are a fun way to connect and celebrate.
You can position yourself as the primary provider of these services in your town, city, or even state.
Start with one rink, build packages, have rental options, and expand your business as you see fit.
The possibilities are endless.
Thousands across the country have used our commercial-grade synthetic ice panels.
We understand what rink owners need, having built several rinks ourselves.
If you have the vision and need guidance, fill out our quote questionnaire or email us for a consultation.
We will walk you through ordering your tiles, shipping them, and providing friendly advice on the only way PolyGlide Ice can do it.
We’ve seen major success with our synthetic ice business, and we can’t wait to see what you will do with yours.