Why Do We Need 100% “Real” Adult Rollerskating?

FACT 1: As documented in 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau, and corresponding assessments by the CIA, the average age of the U.S. population is 37.8 years of age (Source: CIA Fact Book). A quarter of the United States current population is over the age of 55. By 2050, a third of the U.S. population will be over 55 and 20% will be over 65. The population over 80 will be the fastest growing segment of the population for the next 40 years. This situation is not unique to the United States – nearly 40% of the population of the developed world will be over 55 by 2050.  Those are just the demographic statistics. Consider also that the 78 million Americans over 55 are the most consistently vocal group politically. They control approximately 70% of the country’s disposable income and 75% of the financial assets. Their age cohort represents $1 trillion in spending power. The vast majority of this population wants to stay in their current communities, in their current homes, as they get older. Source: http://www.institutefortheages.org/facts-on-aging/


COMMENTARY: However, even though the U.S. population is getting older, and the older population controls most of the wealth, rollerskating rinks continue to focus on children as their primary audience.  The current rollerskating “business model” exists as an anachronism to contemporary business acumen.


FACT 2: The total fertility rate in the U.S., estimated for 2013 at only 1.87 children per woman, is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1 (Source: Wikipedia).  Conversely, the number of people over 65 in the workforce is projected to increase more than 80 percent in the next 10 years, and not just because of the aging of baby boomers – more older adults are choosing to keep working or return to work. Source: http://www.institutefortheages.org/facts-on-aging/


COMMENTARY: However, even though the U.S. population is getting older, and will remain the most active demographic, the primary audience for rollerskating rinks continues to be children, teenagers and young adults (18 to 21 years of age) who are prone to be rambunctious, destroy rink property, and require security or law enforcement. Rinks continue to go out of business with this antiquated business model.


San Jose Roller Skating Rink Slated To Close, Marking End Of An Era



Milpitas Roller Skating Rink Closing After 34 Years



Hillsboro Skate World to close in June after 33 years of business


Empire Roller Rink Closing Its Doors After 60 Years



Nebraska Rollerskating Rink Closings

Alliance Skateland Closed
Chadron Skateland Entertainment Closed
Fremont Skate City Closed
Omaha Skateland Closed
Omaha Skateland #3 Closed


COMMENTARY: Based on current population trends and related demographics, it’s inevitable even more rollerskating rinks will cease operations, because the roller skating industry is not creating a demand for its product that's consistent with the change in population demographics.


FACT 3: For a roller rink to be successful, it requires a major resource - people. Usually a facility will need at least 30,000 people living within a ten-(10) mile radius for it to be successful. Communities with less than 100,000 people usually need no more than one skating center.  Source: http://www.roller-rink.com/nr_shouldBuild.htm As reported by the U.S. Census, Omaha’s 2013 population was 434,353.  With only one public rollerskating rink in Omaha, the city is clearly underserved.

COMMENTARY: Omaha’s only public rollerskating rink, SkateDaze, temporarily served as the home for the Omaha Roller Girls (ORG - http://www.omaharollergirls.org), an adult women’s roller derby skating league; but SkateDaze failed to market, capture, and build on this audience, which resulted in the ORG contracting their events to a non-roller skating rink facility (Mid-America Center in Council Bluff, IA) that was both larger and held more expertise in events management for adults.  In its heyday (prior to 1983), SkateDaze was one of seven metro Omaha roller skating rinks owned and operated by the Cernik family. Unfortunately, SkateDaze is the only surviving Cernik rink in metro Omaha.  SkateDaze was eventually remodeled to include laser tag, bumper cars, roller coaster, rock wall climb, and ‘70’s arcade games and re-branded to function less as a rollerskating rink and more as a so-called “family entertainment center.” Unfortunately, the traditional “family unit” no longer exists due to chronically high levels of divorce and the birth of fewer children, which reconciles with a fertility rate: "Marriage rates have fallen for all groups since the 1960s, but more sharply for blacks than for whites. In 1960, 74% of white adults were married, as were 61% of black adults. By 2011, the black marriage rate had fallen to 56% that of the white rate: 55% of whites were married, compared with 31% of blacks." Source: Pew Research at http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/08/22/race-demographics/


Conversely, suburban Bellevue, Nebraska, which also caters to citizens of metro Omaha, has a population of 53,663 and one rollerskating rink. American Motors, Montgomery Ward, Oldsmobile, Braniff Airlines and many other companies went out of business because they failed to take heed to Albert Einstein, who said it so clearly, “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”



FACT 4: The majority of adult U.S. citizens are either overweight or obese.  As of 2012, the rates of overweight or obesity are higher for Hispanic men (81.7 percent) compared to Black men (69.9 percent) and White men (74.0 percent), although obesity rates are fairly similar across racial-ethnic groups. Likewise, 60% of all adult White women, 76% of all adult Latina women, and 82% of all adult Black women are either overweight or obese (SOURCE: Food Research and Action Center, CDC).  Both public and private sector employers are concerned about the ongoing rise in the cost of health care, which primarily occurs as a direct result of the failure of employees, dependents, and retirees to improve their overall health and fitness.  Looking at the bigger picture, only Liberia (at 19.50%) and Sierra Leone (at 18.80%) spend more of their GDP (Gross Domestic Products) on health care than the United States (at 17.90%); however, the prevalence of obesity in female adults in Liberia is only 13%, and only 16% in Sierra Leone, but 48% in the United States, which was ranked 12th highest in the world for obesity in 2010 by World Health Organization http://kff.org/global-indicator/female-prevalence-of-obesity/

FACT 5: Rollerskating is good, clean and healthy fun.  Rollerskating is unique because it provides a robust aerobic benefit but without the impact on joints of the human body from running, and it can be performed year-round indoors and outdoors when weather permits.  Plus, as reported by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness (https://www.presidentschallenge.org/tools-resources/docs/adultgetfit.pdf), unlike other physical activities, rollerskating is highly aerobic and builds muscle, it improves and maintains balance and other physical skills, and it provides positive social interaction without the alcohol and smoke-filled environment of bars and clubs.  Rollerskating is artistic, creative, and can involve all kinds of music and dancing, both individually and with two or more partners.  Equally important, unlike competitive roller hockey, roller derby, football, or soccer  rollerskating is relatively injury free.

COMMENTARY: However, even though the U.S. population is getting older, and the older population is and will remain the most active demographic, rollerskating rink owners ridiculously continue to focus on children and teenagers, people 18-years of age and younger - an audience with extremely limited revenue streams and without as much leisure time as adults 25 to 55 years of age or older, and retired adults.  The current rollerskating “business model” exists as an anachronism to contemporary business acumen.




"Admission" is typically one-dimensional and not coupled with promotionals spots, skate club membership, business specials, broadcast media linkage/sponsorship, social media campaigns, celebrity endorsements, etc.

Skate Rental
"Rent to buy" options are not used to create new revenue streams or to spur existing revenue streams from the purchase of skate equipment and apparell, rink rental, vendor sponsorships, business networking, etc.

Concessions / Snack Bar
Concessions sales are "one-dimensional," restricted to internal (movie-theater-type) sales; no partnerships with skating clubs, external vendors, businesses, media, special events, restaurants, or retail establishments to create original revenue streams.

Pro Shop
Pro Shops are "one-dimensional," without multi-level or cross-promotional campaigns linked to other athletic activities (golf, cycling, X-games, cross-fit, American Ninja Warrior, track and field, basketball, football, soccer, etc.

Games / Redemption

With few exceptions, rink owners employ the same old usual and customary games and redemption practices.



CONCLUSION: Is there a viable market and audience for adult rollerskating?  Absolutely. Unfortunately, in addition to rink owners engaging in age-based discrimination against individuals over 18-years of age, these same rink owners actively discriminate against the consistently largest truly adult rollerskating audience in the U.S. – Black adults.  It’s long been a common occurrence for Black adults in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s to rollerskate in cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Dallas, New York, Cleveland, Dayton, etc., and a formal/informal word-of-mouth national network for communicating these “roll call” events (such as http://www.skategroove.com/skatejamz.htm) has existed for over 40 years!  However, the clear majority of rollerskating rinks are owned by White people, who in larger urban markets routinely schedule sessions particular to Black audiences, and this practice has been in existence for over 40 years.


Back in the 1970s White-controlled media applied the term “roller disco” to dance-oriented skating styles common among Black rollerskaters for decades throughout the U.S.  By the time White media caught up to this phenomenon, this “branding” was racist in nature, but consistent with the “branding” of cover-songs sung by Pat Boone and other mainstream White performers as “pop,” although the music was originally recorded by Little Richard and other Black artists as “R&B” music. Additionally, White rink owners consistently charge more in rink rental and general admission, up to $15.00 per person, for Black adult rollerskating sessions than for any non-minority rollerskating sessions or events held at their facilities. Frankly, the “issue” should not be age and/or race discrimination, because the real challenge is to get rinks owners to abandon their antiquated business model, and instead, to strategically target adults customers 25 to 55 years of age or older who, without regard to their race:

1. wield more personal and vocational income and revenue streams;

2. wield more personal leisure time;

3. wield authority to execute contracts with rink owners to license their facilities and programming to improve the health of employees, dependents and retires, and to reduce the cost of related health care; and

4. wield the authority to network and create new strategic business relationships and revenue streams.


Again, is their a viable market and audience for adult rollerskating?  Absolutely.

For more information, please click here!