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Indoor Golf Center/Bar - Page 2

post #19 of 44
@MickeyBlue I hope you can post in other threads here-Lots of good talks about golf in general.
post #20 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

What it takes for a simulator to pay for itself (and hopefully some profit) is an interesting question. Some friends and I were speculating about that just last week without any real numbers to back up any of our thoughts.

None of us even knew anything about initial cost, expected or unexpected upkeep costs, or eventual replacement costs. With those numbers we might have had a better chance of carrying on a more intelligent conversation and could figure how many people would have to play and what the price would have to be.

Keep us updated on what you find out.

I will keep you posted. I can tell you new machines will run 40-60k for a good machine. A used machine a few years old in good condition would be about half that 20-30k. I do not have concrete upkeep numbers but would assume 1k per machine for the first year and increase that by 20% each year compounding. Again, no hard numbers here just assumptions. I would guess a good new system would have a shelf life of at least 8-10 years if not more. I would get all this information before I go ahead with this. I am in phase one of 20 if you know what I mean. Still a lot to work out. Lease rates are key and keeping your overhead down without sacrificing customer service. Install is around 2-3k I believe for a simulator and 1k or so for shipping. Cost are each prices.

Remember if you ever opened up your own business there is a lot if hidden costs.
Lawyer
Account
3% of all credit card purchases or so
Paychex or another company like them would also take a cut 1-2% for providing credit card machine( they would also do your taxes and payroll).
Employer social security
Worker comp
You pay extra for taxes for yourself, like 7-8% because you are the employer plus your normal tax rate.
Insurance
Liquor insurance if you serve beer,wine, (booze maybe)
Utilities
Lease rate
Loan payments
Cable/internet
Cleaning company
Inventory
Misc repairs
And I am sure more things I can't think of at the moment.
post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I've never loved playing on simulators, so I may not be in your target market.

Actually, that may be another idea. If someone just wants to hit balls, maybe offer a discounted rate (or different rate - by the bucket rather than by the half hour) for golfers who just want to hit balls.

I imagine that it's a tough market. The place I go to is a big soccer dome (four open soccer fields, one boarded one, two basketball courts, a workout gym) that puts down a few mats during the slow periods (weekdays midday). The driving range for them costs very little - they're just using a field that would otherwise be open, so they don't charge much. There's a strictly indoor range a bit farther away that charges almost twice as much - I assume - because golf is their only revenue stream.

Yes, half hour installments of range time for like 13 bucks for sure. I have done this a few time and I really enjoy it. Great feedback from the machine. I was really interested in my ball speed and launch angle at one point and this information was given on every hit.

This is a tough market so not sure if the business end of this we make sense or not but I am going to get as much information as possible to make an educated guess.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyBlue View Post


I will keep you posted. I can tell you new machines will run 40-60k for a good machine. A used machine a few years old in good condition would be about half that 20-30k. I do not have concrete upkeep numbers but would assume 1k per machine for the first year and increase that by 20% each year compounding. Again, no hard numbers here just assumptions. I would guess a good new system would have a shelf life of at least 8-10 years if not more. I would get all this information before I go ahead with this. I am in phase one of 20 if you know what I mean. Still a lot to work out. Lease rates are key and keeping your overhead down without sacrificing customer service. Install is around 2-3k I believe for a simulator and 1k or so for shipping. Cost are each prices.

Remember if you ever opened up your own business there is a lot if hidden costs.
Lawyer
Account
3% of all credit card purchases or so
Paychex or another company like them would also take a cut 1-2% for providing credit card machine( they would also do your taxes and payroll).
Employer social security
Worker comp
You pay extra for taxes for yourself, like 7-8% because you are the employer plus your normal tax rate.
Insurance
Liquor insurance if you serve beer,wine, (booze maybe)
Utilities
Lease rate
Loan payments
Cable/internet
Cleaning company
Inventory
Misc repairs
And I am sure more things I can't think of at the moment.

 

You probably already know, but there's some very good business plan software out there to help you work your way through it these days.  Business Plan Pro is a personal favorite of mine, but there are plenty of others.

 

In addition to giving you the info you need to make a good go/no go decision, a good, professional business plan will go a long ways when/if the time comes to talk to a small business lender.

post #23 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post

@MickeyBlue I hope you can post in other threads here-Lots of good talks about golf in general.
Thanks, I will certainly be spending some time on this site. That is when the wife isn't bugging me to do something. I had a chance to read some other threads before posting and found most of them informative and/or entertaining.

Cheers
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

You probably already know, but there's some very good business plan software out there to help you work your way through it these days.  Business Plan Pro is a personal favorite of mine, but there are plenty of others.

In addition to giving you the info you need to make a good go/no go decision, a good, professional business plan will go a long ways when/if the time comes to talk to a small business lender.

You are correct a business plan is a must. Thank you for the recommendation of business plan pro. I will look into it. I would anticipate getting a small business loan for such a new idea (these centers have been around 10 years maybe) would be difficult. I will look at all options but assume I might need to take out a Helco loan and fund the rest with savings.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyBlue View Post

I am a new member who has really enjoyed this website. There seems to be plenty of golf addicts out there like myself. I was looking for some advice/comments/ideas on setting up an indoor golf business in the suburbs of a major city with winter lasting around 5 months. I would envision this facility having 5 aboutgolf simulators to use. Would offer beer, wine, and lite food.

I would assume most people would only come to play golf so I was thinking of only having a small bar( four chairs) and the rest of the facility being 5 sims and bathrooms small kitchen. Each bay would have its one simulator/seating for four/ and TV.

I have read about a lot of these places going under in the last 3 years and I think it is because they have too big of a facility, to many simulators, and are not located within 15 minutes of a dense population with high incomes.

How much would you pay weekday/ weekend to play 9 holes?
How much would you pay weekday/ weekend to play 18 holes?

How many times do you think you would use a facility like this during the winter months (Nov-mar) for practice?

How many times do you think you would use a facility like this during the winter months (Nov-mar) to play 9 or 18 holes?

what would be most important as customer to you in going to a place like this?

How many beers on average would you drink per 18 on a simulator with friends?

What would you pay for a domestic beer?
What would you pay for an import?

How long do you think a league should last? IE start one from nov-dec and another from jan-March?

Any thoughts, comments, advice would be very helpful. I do not want to go ahead with this business venture until I have more information. Have a family to think about and they come first.

Thanks


I'd research the business model of TopGolf. (www.topgolf.com)  Instead of simulators, it is a heated range with a bar area and the like.  For a bay, they charge $40/hour during peak times.   Bar area is a normal sized bar so it would be larger than you are imagining.  We have 3 of these in the metro area (so far).  Seems like a good idea though, especially in the northern areas.  Good luck.

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElWagonne View Post
 


I'd research the business model of TopGolf. (www.topgolf.com)  Instead of simulators, it is a heated range with a bar area and the like.  For a bay, they charge $40/hour during peak times.   Bar area is a normal sized bar so it would be larger than you are imagining.  We have 3 of these in the metro area (so far).  Seems like a good idea though, especially in the northern areas.  Good luck.

 

TopGolf looks like a good time.

post #27 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElWagonne View Post


I'd research the business model of TopGolf. (www.topgolf.com)  Instead of simulators, it is a heated range with a bar area and the like.  For a bay, they charge $40/hour during peak times.   Bar area is a normal sized bar so it would be larger than you are imagining.  We have 3 of these in the metro area (so far).  Seems like a good idea though, especially in the northern areas.  Good luck.
I have been to a top golf about 40 minutes from my house. Had a really great time the few times I've been with my buddies. If it were closer I would be there once a week probably. Ha. My friends and I all said it would be really cool to own one. It has everything you could want. The thing is to start one is 10 times the expense than the business I'm looking into. The land and build out would be well over a million dollars I would assume. This is something that would be too rich for me. Those reading this I would recommend going with your buddies one day if you haven't been before.
post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

Hi @MickeyBlue
 !

Welcome to the Sandtrap. I recently discovered a golf bar nearby and think it's awesome. They don't seem to be very busy so I don't know how long they will last but hopefully they'll make it because I sure like having that option in the winter months!! This plays has leagues and tournaments and a full bar.

Here's a link so you can see what they have done: http://www.golfindorion.com/en/

They are charging $30 an hour for the bay, as many players as you want. My brother-in-law and I played 18 in about 2 hours sunday night so it was around $45 with drinks which is pretty reasonable.

If you decide to go for it keep us posted!

Just had a chance to take a look at the website link. That place looks really nice. This is the quality of place I would like to open. I sure hope business picks up so you can enjoy this place for many years to come. I know I would be there often if it was near my house as well.
post #29 of 44

I think if it were me, I wouldn't look at this as a golf center/bar. It would be a bar that also has golf simulators. IMO, the money is in the bar and food, not in the golf. I would make golf cheap, something like $8 for 9 holes or $12 for 18 holes. I don't like the hourly rate idea because if I wanted to grab a beer after work and play Pebble Beach as a solo, I'm not going to pay $30 for a bay. I would pay $10, and then would buy a few beers along the way. If you get a foursome playing, then you just made $40 off of that bay anyways. I think the golf needs to be cheap so that you get the people that didn't necessarily come there to play to still give it a shot.

 

The highlight of the place needs to be a bar with food and music. This is where the real profit lies, and keeps people coming year round instead of just the winter months when they can't play golf outdoors. Then have the simulator bays with a fair amount of soundproofing so that they don't have the music blaring in their bay (or allow them to control the sound level in the bay) and also the people eating don't have the sound of a driver ringing throughout the place every 5 minutes.

 

Also, as I'm sure many of you know, people become loose with their money when they are drinking. If you get some guys to come in just for a few beers, they may decide they want to give the golf simulator a try as well. That's why, IMO, the price to play the simulators need to be cheap. I don't see a lot of success in a business model that caters particularly to golfers who want to come have a drink and play on the simulator. I do, however, think there could be some success in a full scale bar that serves food and provides a golfing experience to those who are interested. That way you tap into two crowds instead of just one. It may be more of an investment than you are willing to make though because you would need a sizeable facility and several employees.

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
 

I think if it were me, I wouldn't look at this as a golf center/bar. It would be a bar that also has golf simulators. IMO, the money is in the bar and food, not in the golf. I would make golf cheap, something like $8 for 9 holes or $12 for 18 holes. I don't like the hourly rate idea because if I wanted to grab a beer after work and play Pebble Beach as a solo, I'm not going to pay $30 for a bay. I would pay $10, and then would buy a few beers along the way. If you get a foursome playing, then you just made $40 off of that bay anyways. I think the golf needs to be cheap so that you get the people that didn't necessarily come there to play to still give it a shot.

 

The highlight of the place needs to be a bar with food and music. This is where the real profit lies, and keeps people coming year round instead of just the winter months when they can't play golf outdoors. Then have the simulator bays with a fair amount of soundproofing so that they don't have the music blaring in their bay (or allow them to control the sound level in the bay) and also the people eating don't have the sound of a driver ringing throughout the place every 5 minutes.

 

Also, as I'm sure many of you know, people become loose with their money when they are drinking. If you get some guys to come in just for a few beers, they may decide they want to give the golf simulator a try as well. That's why, IMO, the price to play the simulators need to be cheap. I don't see a lot of success in a business model that caters particularly to golfers who want to come have a drink and play on the simulator. I do, however, think there could be some success in a full scale bar that serves food and provides a golfing experience to those who are interested. That way you tap into two crowds instead of just one. It may be more of an investment than you are willing to make though because you would need a sizeable facility and several employees.

 

 

your talking about an all out bar and grill with simulators in another room i don't to play golf in a place like that. i want to go to place that caters to golfers but yes has an option to grab something to eat while i'm playing. 

post #31 of 44

I went to a place like you're describing in Montreal:  http://www.sharx.ca/golf/

 

FWIW, it was empty when we were there.  Probably around lunch time on a Saturday.

 

I never really liked hitting on simulators.  I'd also be concerned with getting people drunk, then letting them swing clubs around other people.  

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzcapri View Post
 

 

your talking about an all out bar and grill with simulators in another room i don't to play golf in a place like that. i want to go to place that caters to golfers but yes has an option to grab something to eat while i'm playing.

 

Yea, I'm talking a full bar and grill scene. I just don't think the idea of a golf simulator based bar with beer and finger foods is enough to support itself. I think it has to be incorporated within something else to be successful. I'm sure there are examples that would prove me wrong, but to me it seems like something that would be booming at first, but then when the new wears off and the weather gets nice, the business declines significantly. Nobody comes to your bar now because they go out and play a real round and then go to the other bar where they can get a full menu of grill items with drinks and music. Then during the winter, business increases again. To me that's not a successful business model.

 

A secondary option to the bar would be to incorporate one into a golf store. Once again, this is a much larger scale business venture than what the OP was referring to, but during the spring, summer, and fall months the outdoor range and inventory of golf products would support the business. When winter rolls around, you start up a simulator league to make up for losses in inventory sales and also make money off of heated indoor stalls for the driving range. I could see this being successful as well. However, I don't think an indoor golf bar alone is enough to make it as a business. I just don't see how it makes money when the weather allows people to play real golf.

post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
 

I think if it were me, I wouldn't look at this as a golf center/bar. It would be a bar that also has golf simulators. IMO, the money is in the bar and food, not in the golf. I would make golf cheap, something like $8 for 9 holes or $12 for 18 holes. I don't like the hourly rate idea because if I wanted to grab a beer after work and play Pebble Beach as a solo, I'm not going to pay $30 for a bay. I would pay $10, and then would buy a few beers along the way. If you get a foursome playing, then you just made $40 off of that bay anyways. I think the golf needs to be cheap so that you get the people that didn't necessarily come there to play to still give it a shot.

 

You can't do that.

 

- You'd have a bunch of your simulators being used by one or two people.

- Slow play.

 

If it's $30/hour four people could play 18 in 90 minutes, so it's cheaper for them to go that route: they'll pay about $11.25 to play 18 holes.

post #34 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post

I think if it were me, I wouldn't look at this as a golf center/bar. It would be a bar that also has golf simulators. IMO, the money is in the bar and food, not in the golf. I would make golf cheap, something like $8 for 9 holes or $12 for 18 holes. I don't like the hourly rate idea because if I wanted to grab a beer after work and play Pebble Beach as a solo, I'm not going to pay $30 for a bay. I would pay $10, and then would buy a few beers along the way. If you get a foursome playing, then you just made $40 off of that bay anyways. I think the golf needs to be cheap so that you get the people that didn't necessarily come there to play to still give it a shot.

The highlight of the place needs to be a bar with food and music. This is where the real profit lies, and keeps people coming year round instead of just the winter months when they can't play golf outdoors. Then have the simulator bays with a fair amount of soundproofing so that they don't have the music blaring in their bay (or allow them to control the sound level in the bay) and also the people eating don't have the sound of a driver ringing throughout the place every 5 minutes.

Also, as I'm sure many of you know, people become loose with their money when they are drinking. If you get some guys to come in just for a few beers, they may decide they want to give the golf simulator a try as well. That's why, IMO, the price to play the simulators need to be cheap. I don't see a lot of success in a business model that caters particularly to golfers who want to come have a drink and play on the simulator. I do, however, think there could be some success in a full scale bar that serves food and provides a golfing experience to those who are interested. That way you tap into two crowds instead of just one. It may be more of an investment than you are willing to make though because you would need a sizeable facility and several employees.

I understand where you are coming from. If I was at a bar that had a simulator I might use it once or twice a winter. The thing is this will not support the cost of the simulator nor do I think I sell much more alcohol. I would basically be a bar/restaurant. I do not want to compete in this space. There are way to many options of bars people can choose from and me having a simulator is not going to pull in that many more people. Bars succeed based on how many women ( hopefully hot) that you can get into your place every night. Guys go where hot girls hang out and I can guess hot girls won't want to hang out at a sports bar with golf simulators, and golfers won't want to go there because there are drunk people there all the time. I would be trying to be something for everyone but in the end would be nothing for everyone. I do get that pricing has to be at a point that is reasonable or people will only do it once a winter. Getting them to spend $20 extra drinking while they play 18 with their buddies is key to driving revenue. The overhead at a place you describe would be to high for me personally anyways. Thanks for your input. It does make me think.
post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzcapri View Post

your talking about an all out bar and grill with simulators in another room i don't to play golf in a place like that. i want to go to place that caters to golfers but yes has an option to grab something to eat while i'm playing. 

I would tend to agree with you. I want to go to a place that caters to golfers but also offers beer and basic food. I don't think I need to spend tons of money on the food as I don't think it's the draw. The draw is the golf and beer. As long as the pizza is good guys will be ok with it. I think? I could be wrong.

There was a place in MO that opened and closed within 1-1/2 years. The place looked great but I believe they went to big. They had 10+ simulators I think, full big bar, full kitchen all in a 10,500 sq ft facility. They tried to be everything to everyone. I just think their overhead with loans, staffing, inventory, lease rate was probably to much to support. It would be my dream to have owned this place if it worked because it looked really nice but finacially it would have been a nightmare. Link. http://teesgolfgrill.com/about/
post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

I went to a place like you're describing in Montreal:  http://www.sharx.ca/golf/

FWIW, it was empty when we were there.  Probably around lunch time on a Saturday.

I never really liked hitting on simulators.  I'd also be concerned with getting people drunk, then letting them swing clubs around other people.  

That place looks really nice. They did it right. I know you stated you don't like simulators to much but what was your thoughts on the aboutgolf sim? I was looking into those? I agree people that drink too much and golf clubs could be a problem.
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