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Indoor Golf Center/Bar - Page 3

post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post

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.

I agree that my idea would do little to no business from May-August. Business would slowly increase again in Sept-October when football starts and the weather starts to turn. But really the money would need to be made from Nov-thru mid April. My business plan shows no revenue during May-August and then slowly increasing from there. Where I am from you can't buy land for a driving range that is convenient enough for people to get to. The land is just to expensive now. Again my overhead being extremely low for this business is the only way it works. Try to go too big and you will not have enough of a market to support it. There are only so many golfers that actually need to play in the winter. These are the people I am thinking of catering to. My facility would be now more than 15 mins from a population of 130k people. If I can get 1% of these people to spend 300 each throughout the winter I would have 390,000 in revenue. This would sustain the business. I just don't know if I can get that. 40k of those people live in areas that have a median household income of 100k which is high. 17k of which is plus 150k. This is my target market.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyBlue View Post


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.

 

It was a very nice place.  I don't think anyone actually used the sim.  It was day 2 of a bachelor party and most preferred to lounge on the couches.  Some people might look at that as $40 for 18 holes, but I looked at it as $40 for an hour of fake golf.  And I don't mean that to crap on your idea, I'm sure there's a market for this sort of thing.  I think its more the casual golfer than the Serious Golfer, though.  

post #39 of 44

@MickeyBlue 

 

I haven't read through this thread fully but I wanted to contribute something. I go to this place in downtown San Francisco called Eagle Club. Here's the link: http://eagleclubig.com/. They have about 11 or 12 hitting stalls that use the GC2 launch monitor and a projector on all stalls. IMO, what makes this place work is that it's located in a very business populated area that's walking distance from a lot of major companies. This it like a go-to place for many golf enthusiasts who work in the downtown SF area.

 

During the lunch period, the place is more than half filled with guys in business casual wear and there are some who are practicing. Either way, the place always has someone using it. They do have one pro there that offers lessons and he does get a good amount of clientele. There really is no bar, but they do offer a decent variety of canned beer. The lowest price for one can of beer they have is $2. The place looks fairly small, but since you're using simulators, you really don't need much room at all - there's some savings in operating costs. 

 

I do think that an indoor golf center is feasible and adding a bar will get you some added revenue. I like going here every once in a while to use the launch monitor to get my carry distances, which has helped me significantly in the last few rounds that I played. I usually stay for about 1.5 to 2 hours and I pay about $30, but with the added benefit of getting good numbers from the launch monitor, $30 it great value for me. Of course, I had to pay for street parking, which in downtown SF, is $3.75/hour on the meter, with a few parking garages nearby. 

 

Anyway, good luck on your endeavor and hope everything works out. 

post #40 of 44

This ties into a discussion which popped up at TM "Loft Up" day at the local GGalaxy.

 

The St. Louis area had a lot of snow this year, but the golf pro didn't seem to think an indoor range was that good an idea. He said even in snowy years, it wouldn't make much $$ during the warmer months. What do you do with it? 

 

In St. Louis, someone ran an indoor golf range in the old Armory building back in the 1980s. The building also had some tennis courts, and a small restaurant and bar. Couldn't make a go of it: lots of indoor space, but it generated very little revenue.

 

For your idea, if you had an indoor driving range and restaurant/bar area, next to some softball fields for warm weather, you might make a go of it. I agree with others that you would need some warm-season revenue sources once the snow melts.

post #41 of 44

I too have not read through the entire post, but I want to contribute too.  Full disclosure, I am a partner in a business that sells, rents, and operates golf simulators.  The money is in the winter months for sure, but you do not open a business based on golf simulators, you open a bar/restaurant that has golf simulators as a form of entertainment for your patrons.  The key is not to overspend on the equipment, unless you are in NYC, then you can afford to overspend.  Indoor golf business start ups should not invest in equipment that is over $30K, your lease payment will crush you, all it takes is one bad month.  Secondly, the biggest mistake is going it alone.  Piggy back, there are tons of businesses out there that would love to add sims, but are afraid.  Capitalize on that fear.  Make a deal to put some sims in 2-3, I recommend start with two have room for 3, and grow into it.  No set rent amount, the business that you place them in, will get a small percentage of the pay per play money, plus negotiate for them to give you a refundable deposit.  Do not set up an agreement to be there for a lifetime, only for 3-4 years, the time it takes to pay off the equipment.  Let the deposit be the amount the lease company will ask to incept the lease.  A good indoor golf business from November to Mid March should do about $1500 per sim every week.  This is generated from an indoor golf league Monday - Thursday, slower days so it is okay.  Then peak time is Friday - Sunday. 

 

Think about it, the place that you put the sims in, makes more money from food and beverage.  While you make money from the pay per play.  Plus, their employees oversee the use of the equipment, and it is on their utilities, and you only pay the location a small percentage of your net income after lease payment.  No employees (except for paying the sim company to provide regular maintenance - so you do not have to worry about it, this should be part of the costs before figuring out your net profit that you share), rent (if you want to call it that) is based on what you make.  Plus, you can tap their existing clientele, which is usually built in, especially if you propose this to a golf course near you, but it only really works if they have a bar/restaurant already. 

 

Why pay over $2500 - $5000 for rent, and at $12 per hour in NY, after payroll taxes, your employee can cost you up to $15 per hour or more.  If you are open 45 hours, then that is $675 per week right there. 

 

Problem is that most indoor golf entrepreneurs want a place to call their own, it is about the image rather than the investment.  Keep it all about the money.  That is how November - March will make you approx. $30K net over 5 months.  Heck shut down in the spring, they will be calling you to put them back up in May because of rain, night, and something to do while they eat their wings and drink their beer. 

post #42 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyBlue View Post

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.

I agree with you on basically all accounts. You are also right in your next post addressing me that the only way this works is if you have minimal overhead. I guess what I'm getting at is that you would need to find a way to keep people hanging around before and/or after rounds. You want them spending their beer money at your place, not playing their round and then leaving to drink elsewhere. Maybe you could set up a putting green and do an hourly drawing where if you make the putt you get a free pitcher or something. I don't know that that is the best idea, but what I'm getting at is I think you would need to come up with some creative ways to keep people at your place. I would definitely be in on a winter league if I had a local place like this.
post #43 of 44

the place i go to has to simulators b.y.o.b. 2 couches and 2 TVs i go in play a round of golf and leave. i guess because i don't drink the drinking is not a draw for me. but the simulator is also a tracman so if i wanted to some hard numbers on my swing i can do that as well. what i would like to see is the driving range with 6 to 10 in door enclosures  so that when its cold or the weather is bad i can still work on my game cause isnt that what its all about being able to play in the winter months so that we dont get stale. i think thats when you start to get the serious golfers at your place  

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

@MickeyBlue
 

I haven't read through this thread fully but I wanted to contribute something. I go to this place in downtown San Francisco called Eagle Club. Here's the link: http://eagleclubig.com/. They have about 11 or 12 hitting stalls that use the GC2 launch monitor and a projector on all stalls. IMO, what makes this place work is that it's located in a very business populated area that's walking distance from a lot of major companies. This it like a go-to place for many golf enthusiasts who work in the downtown SF area.

During the lunch period, the place is more than half filled with guys in business casual wear and there are some who are practicing. Either way, the place always has someone using it. They do have one pro there that offers lessons and he does get a good amount of clientele. There really is no bar, but they do offer a decent variety of canned beer. The lowest price for one can of beer they have is $2. The place looks fairly small, but since you're using simulators, you really don't need much room at all - there's some savings in operating costs. 

I do think that an indoor golf center is feasible and adding a bar will get you some added revenue. I like going here every once in a while to use the launch monitor to get my carry distances, which has helped me significantly in the last few rounds that I played. I usually stay for about 1.5 to 2 hours and I pay about $30, but with the added benefit of getting good numbers from the launch monitor, $30 it great value for me. Of course, I had to pay for street parking, which in downtown SF, is $3.75/hour on the meter, with a few parking garages nearby. 

Anyway, good luck on your endeavor and hope everything works out. 

Yes I have seen the website for this place. I think it does help that they are in a downtown setting so golfers have little options if they want to hit balls. I am thinking of a place like this but a little larger with a small lounge/ bar area. Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

This ties into a discussion which popped up at TM "Loft Up" day at the local GGalaxy.

The St. Louis area had a lot of snow this year, but the golf pro didn't seem to think an indoor range was that good an idea. He said even in snowy years, it wouldn't make much $$ during the warmer months. What do you do with it? 

In St. Louis, someone ran an indoor golf range in the old Armory building back in the 1980s. The building also had some tennis courts, and a small restaurant and bar. Couldn't make a go of it: lots of indoor space, but it generated very little revenue.

For your idea, if you had an indoor driving range and restaurant/bar area, next to some softball fields for warm weather, you might make a go of it. I agree with others that you would need some warm-season revenue sources once the snow melts.

Yes, this seems to be a common thought that I can't really argue with. There needs to be some business in the summer months. I never thought about being located near softball fields, or some other outdoor venue that my gain me some business just because I'm close. I will keep that in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4quarters View Post

I too have not read through the entire post, but I want to contribute too.  Full disclosure, I am a partner in a business that sells, rents, and operates golf simulators.  The money is in the winter months for sure, but you do not open a business based on golf simulators, you open a bar/restaurant that has golf simulators as a form of entertainment for your patrons.  The key is not to overspend on the equipment, unless you are in NYC, then you can afford to overspend.  Indoor golf business start ups should not invest in equipment that is over $30K, your lease payment will crush you, all it takes is one bad month.  Secondly, the biggest mistake is going it alone.  Piggy back, there are tons of businesses out there that would love to add sims, but are afraid.  Capitalize on that fear.  Make a deal to put some sims in 2-3, I recommend start with two have room for 3, and grow into it.  No set rent amount, the business that you place them in, will get a small percentage of the pay per play money, plus negotiate for them to give you a refundable deposit.  Do not set up an agreement to be there for a lifetime, only for 3-4 years, the time it takes to pay off the equipment.  Let the deposit be the amount the lease company will ask to incept the lease.  A good indoor golf business from November to Mid March should do about $1500 per sim every week.  This is generated from an indoor golf league Monday - Thursday, slower days so it is okay.  Then peak time is Friday - Sunday. 

Think about it, the place that you put the sims in, makes more money from food and beverage.  While you make money from the pay per play.  Plus, their employees oversee the use of the equipment, and it is on their utilities, and you only pay the location a small percentage of your net income after lease payment.  No employees (except for paying the sim company to provide regular maintenance - so you do not have to worry about it, this should be part of the costs before figuring out your net profit that you share), rent (if you want to call it that) is based on what you make.  Plus, you can tap their existing clientele, which is usually built in, especially if you propose this to a golf course near you, but it only really works if they have a bar/restaurant already. 

Why pay over $2500 - $5000 for rent, and at $12 per hour in NY, after payroll taxes, your employee can cost you up to $15 per hour or more.  If you are open 45 hours, then that is $675 per week right there. 

Problem is that most indoor golf entrepreneurs want a place to call their own, it is about the image rather than the investment.  Keep it all about the money.  That is how November - March will make you approx. $30K net over 5 months.  Heck shut down in the spring, they will be calling you to put them back up in May because of rain, night, and something to do while they eat their wings and drink their beer. 
. This is an interesting take on it. I head this from someone outside this forum as well. I am not sure of many establishments near me that could accommodate a golf simulator. Most are pretty small spaces to begin with. I might look into this in other surround communities. The thing is if I can make it a full time job I am not sure I want to do it at all. I would rather just let me money work for me in the market. However if I did this at like five places in different towns if might generate enough income to work. Again, thanks for the information and the different spin on it. I think I need to visit a few of these places this summer and again next winter and get a feel for how many people come through their doors each day both in the fall/winter/spring/summer.
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