Being based in Blasdell, N.Y., Mike Pace could have relied on snow plowing to make up for lost revenue in the off-season. But the owner and president of Pace Landscaping & Ice Rinks chose to veer from the usual to build backyard ice rinks instead. As a former hockey player, it was the perfect fit for Pace’s winter business.
Of course, being on the ice versus actually making the ice are two very different things, Pace says. Therefore he spent an entire year just researching the process and what would be involved before launching the service in 2010.
“We’re the only ones in the area doing this so, there was no business model or price points to follow,” Pace says.
He turned to his hockey friends and anyone he knew who had owned or built a backyard rink to figure what they liked about it and, more importantly, what they didn’t like.
“Almost everyone told me it was fun to build,” Pace says. “But what nobody liked was maintaining it or having to take it down in March. Plus, nobody liked storing the materials for next winter. It was an eyesore behind the shed.”
Having pinpointed the need, Pace built his business around the “do-it-all” concept. His company takes care of everything—providing the professional materials, installing the rink, maintaining it, taking it down and even storing it until next season.
The company installed more than 70 rinks this winter and signed contracts to maintain about 40 rinks. Pace charges a package price based on rink size for installation, take down and storage. Rink maintenance is a separate contract, which is priced per visit. Ice rink install add-on options include lighting, nets behind the goals, curved corners and bumper caps.
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