Taking Vintage To The Next Level!


Tyler Anderson
Roller City
Mason City, IA
Roller skating has proven to be a timeless activity for all members of the family. Roller City has provided family-friendly experiences in North Iowa since 1978!
As the only roller skating rink within a seventy-five mile radius, Roller City has virtually no direct competition and remains one of only a small handful of family-friendly activities in the area.

Tyler Anderson, Chief Fun Officer (Owner) at Roller City, grew up in North Iowa but had no idea Roller City existed. In fact, he only roller skated four times before purchasing Roller City. With a strong background in the hospitality industry, youth development, and youth ministry, Tyler felt uniquely gifted to own and operate a roller skating rink.

Very few business models are more simple than operating a roller skating rink: play music, hand out skates, serve concessions, and clean up! Where Tyler may have lacked in roller skating experience, his history of social media, event planning, and customer service has been the foundation of increasing revenue.

Since Tyler Anderson and his wife, MacKenzie, took over the business in 2011, roller skating participants has increased from 13,000 people to 34,000 people in 2015. On top of open skate sessions, there has been a 400% increase in private events, 300% increase in concessions income, and over 1,000 Roller City shirts sold. Revenue primarily comes from admissions, concessions, and parties.

Roller City is open for roller skating sessions on Fridays and Saturdays, along with private events on Sundays. We have recently partnered with a mobile entertainment company, TJ Party Rental, which has added laser tag (Tuesdays) and inflatable bounce houses (Wednesdays) sessions to our weekly schedule.

The roller skating industry as a whole has generally seen a steady increase in both interest and revenue during the past few years, with a strong trend of families seeking to disconnect from technology and engaging with each other in a social atmosphere. Roller skating is a lifelong activity that promotes social and physical health.

Current market size in Mason City is close to 26,000 people and well over 100,000 within a sixty mile radius.
Roller City believes in Mason City and the surrounding communities and strives to consistently provide a family-friendly atmosphere. We have invested into a new sound system, upgraded energy-efficient lighting, renovated bathrooms, added seating, and re-finished the roller skating floor.

Over the past several years, businesses have had to increasingly rely on technology to remain relevant. The new expectation is to provide several layers of positive experiences when a customer purchases a product from a company. Simply opening up the storefront and expecting people to show up and pay the bills is a thing of the past. Roller skating in circles while listening to music is one of America's great past-times, but adding technology relevant to the experience would greatly enhance the overall experience and retain more customers.

We believe that the next investment that needs to be made to increase facility use and flexibility is to purchase additional technology. If chosen to receive funds from the Dream Big, Grow Here competition, we would purchase and install two HD projectors, two projector screens, two flat screen TVs, and all the necessary cables to connect the system together. After doing thorough research, we would add a new music service, FEC Music, which not only provides family-friendly music videos, but also creates custom video slides to promote upcoming events, concessions specials, pro shop deals, and other advertising options. The new video equipment increases the experience of an open roller skating session as well as provide flexibility for private events.

By intentionally utilizing technology at Roller City, we will increase opportunities and grow revenue. New technology allows us to host seamless themed skate sessions, host corporate training events, industry expos, and promote current products and services. Mason City currently has few options for corporate events and fewer options for families to enjoy an evening out. Increased technology would allow us to provide a better experience and better serve the entire family. We accomplish this through a more engaging experience with music videos and streaming live sports, sharing upcoming opportunities with video promotions, and advertising current product specials.

Most businesses interact with their customers either on an as-needed basis or a short burst during a visit to a brick and mortar location. We have an unique opportunity to capture the attention of our customers during a two to three hour skate session. We have many regular costumers and what better way to inform them then when they are at our facility having a wonderful experience?

With increased ability to reach a wider audience and better serve our current customers, we anticipate the need to hire 3-4 additional staff, including a full-time assistant manager to pursue new options and provide excellent customer service to current customers. New technology would also allow us to increase our open skate session rates and private event rates, increasing cash flow and allowing us flexibility to expand our services. Additional plans with an increased cash flow include a mobile roller skating rental service (available to public schools and youth organizations), building expansion (adding a small restaurant space and indoor play area), and beginning to set aside funds to open a second Roller City location in either Ames or Cedar Falls.

If chosen for the top prize, we would use any remaining funds to put toward creating a mobile roller skating business, which allows area youth organizations, schools, and other large groups the opportunity to rent roller skates for a set period of time. This would immediately create another full-time position and allow us to increase awareness of Roller City and roller skating in general. Additional purchases to make our mobile roller skating business happen include an enclosed trailer, a custom crate on wheels to transport roller skates, and additional roller skates to send out into area youth locations.

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