Like many Minnesotans, I love spending time at the rink. And today, the rink is so much more than a place to skate. 

At HTG, we’re passionate about helping our clients realize the benefits of a multipurpose facility, so they can leverage the investment they’ve made. Offering more than ice opens opportunities for generating revenue, co-branding and becoming the true heart and centerpiece of the community. 

We’re seeing more and more of these facilities move beyond the typical rink and step toward “recre-tainment.” We truly believe combining recreation and entertainment can help improve the experience for guests, and it can be as simple as adding a bar, restaurant or party room to the space. 

Consider the seasons

Stepping beyond the ice can also be a great way for your rink to increase revenue, and even generate that revenue year-round. For example, holding off-season training camps or dryland training can help draw familiar faces back during the summer months. Or, think about adding a pro shop, providing a space for birthday parties or offering concessions at your rink. 

During the warmer seasons, think about converting your second sheet of ice to turf during the warmer months. Expanding beyond hockey during the warmer seasons is a simple, yet effective way we help our clients maximize their facilities. 

Share the space

Co-branding should also be a consideration for anyone building a facility. When we talk about co-branding, we’re talking about bringing two or more businesses together under one roof to elevate the customer experience. Think about adding a coffee shop like Starbucks to your ice arena. I’m sure that appeals to a large percentage of people in that arena. By bringing these two together, you’re not only meeting the customer’s needs — you’re also elevating the experience.

It’s important to discuss co-branding early in the process, because it can have a big impact on the design. Any co-branding business wants good visibility and a connection to the front door. I think of it like a food court in the mall. When you walk in, you should be able to see everything that is being offered to you.

When people go to a rink, they’re typically there for a minimum of two hours. And they’re probably bringing the whole family along. You want to serve them well and create a great experience for them, so they’ll keep coming back.

Find the right fit

When you think about the right fit for co-branding and your arena, start by thinking about what services your customers are looking for. Is it food? Equipment? Fitness? How can you make their experience better?

At HTG, we have experience in helping to facilitate partnerships. Once a business is identified, we work with that tenant to design their space to meet their needs. For instance, we are working on a couple coffee shops now, and we know all the equipment and specifics it takes to put a coffee shop together.

Oftentimes, we work with our clients to help balance the needs and goals of multiple brands in a co-branded project. Solving these types of problems gets us excited! We really strive to create a design that exceeds the goals for each tenant. We look for ways to create overlap in the needs and goals, and then elevate them. We’re also always looking for efficiencies. For example, where does overlap exist, and how can we take advantage of that in our design?

At the end of the day, you want to find a good partner to help you build your rink. At HTG, we’re confident that we can see our clients’ visions through, while offering guidance and expertise to help them maximize the space. 


Published on February 21, 2023

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