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SkateWorksPNW

Packing it up and moving down south to Arizona...

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I've decided that after 7 years in Seattle WA it's time for me to move on. I've been looking at moving to Scottsdale AZ as there seems to be a decent amount of rinks in the area and the people there I have played with were all very nice and drama free.

The big thing I am trying to determine is if I should open a store out there.

In Seattle I have three dedicated hockey stores and will likely be selling all of these to another local hockey store ownership group. It would be too hard to manage stores in Washington from Arizona. 

Looking at the hockey landscape in Arizona it seems there are two big players, Behind The Mask and Ice Den. Both of them seem more like a standard hockey shop and they don't seem to do any custom skate modifications, profiling or anything more than just selling gear and sharpening skates. 

Is there a market for something"more" out in Arizona or would it be a waste if time? 

I own and run the hockey shops in Seattle WA because I love hockey. It has never been a source of income. I also wanted to help address and educate a growing market and community that was in dire need of some educated ownership. 

Edited by Nicholas G
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Having spent some time in the area and having skated there a bit there isn't much.  Polar Ice in Chandler has a nice space but the shop (Players Bench) - closed and then became goalies only.  Not sure what it is now - its been many years.

 

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When The Coyotes opened The Ice Den back in 1998 I was the first Manager of the Pro Shop there. It's a great area, best place I've ever lived short of my current home in Thailand. I think the area could use another Hockey shop, especially one that offers profiling and other skate services. We had Doc Fleger former Bruins Equipments Manager when we first opened, but I don't think the Ice Den has offered anything since in the way of custom work. I'd say for it! I think you'll like the area and the Hockey is pretty awesome there.

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:18 PM, Nicholas G said:

I've decided that after 7 years in Seattle WA it's time for me to move on. I've been looking at moving to Scottsdale AZ as there seems to be a decent amount of rinks in the area and the people there I have played with were all very nice and drama free.

The big thing I am trying to determine is if I should open a store out there.

In Seattle I have three dedicated hockey stores and will likely be selling all of these to another local hockey store ownership group. It would be too hard to manage stores in Washington from Arizona. 

Looking at the hockey landscape in Arizona it seems there are two big players, Behind The Mask and Ice Den. Both of them seem more like a standard hockey shop and they don't seem to do any custom skate modifications, profiling or anything more than just selling gear and sharpening skates. 

Is there a market for something"more" out in Arizona or would it be a waste if time? 

I own and run the hockey shops in Seattle WA because I love hockey. It has never been a source of income. I also wanted to help address and educate a growing market and community that was in dire need of some educated ownership. 

You'll probably want to do some in-depth market research to see how feasible it is. 

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I lived in Chandler (Phoenix) for a few years back 2006, moved there to play for the ECHL team, which went defunct the offseason before I was slotted to sign. Anyway, the only decent shop that was able to do any kind of repairs was Behind the Mask, there was a standalone store one off the main street close to the Chandler rink and one inside the rink. Pretty sure theyre both gone now though. Anyway there's a decent rink in Scottsdale and a lot of money in that area, I'd imagine there's a market to be explored there. 

Not sure if it would be profitable because So Cal but... have you looked into San Diego at all? 5-6 rinks here now and the only decent shop is a Play it Again. The Gulls are surprisingly popular here and boast the best attendance in the AHL from what ive been told. I've noticed a whole new slew of beginner hockey players at the rinks as well. Of course you have the OC giants an hour away so that might kill the market for a smaller shop here.  

Edited by dnoboy

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6 minutes ago, dnoboy said:

I lived in Chandler (Phoenix) for a few years back 2006, moved there to play for the ECHL team, which went defunct the offseason before I was slotted to sign. Anyway, the only decent shop that was able to do any kind of repairs was Behind the Mask, there was a standalone store one off the main street close to the Chandler rink and one inside the rink. Pretty sure theyre both gone now though. Anyway there's a decent rink in Scottsdale and a lot of money in that area, I'd imagine there's a market to be explored there. 

Not sure if it would be profitable because So Cal but... have you looked into San Diego at all? 5-6 rinks here now and the only decent shop is a Play it Again. The Gulls are surprisingly popular here and boast the best attendance in the AHL from what ive been told. I've noticed a whole new slew of beginner hockey players at the rinks as well. Of course you have the OC giants an hour away so that might kill the market for a smaller shop here.  

There is a new rink being built in North Phoenix: https://thefoothillsfocus.com/?p=3473

I am reaching out to speak with the investors to see if I can snag a spot in the facility.

Looking into acquiring the WSHL Medford, OR team as well as they are currently for sale. Would likely put in a shop at that rink too. http://www.sospartans.com/news/wshl-franchise-for-sale 

San Diego is absolutely an option. Mainly because I have a ton of family there and lived in San Diego for many years and love it there. Glad to see hockey is finally growing in that area. It struggled for a very long time. Suggestions for a location for a shop there? I assume Mira Mesa and such? 

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14 minutes ago, Nicholas G said:

There is a new rink being built in North Phoenix: https://thefoothillsfocus.com/?p=3473

I am reaching out to speak with the investors to see if I can snag a spot in the facility.

Looking into acquiring the WSHL Medford, OR team as well as they are currently for sale. Would likely put in a shop at that rink too. http://www.sospartans.com/news/wshl-franchise-for-sale 

San Diego is absolutely an option. Mainly because I have a ton of family there and lived in San Diego for many years and love it there. Glad to see hockey is finally growing in that area. It struggled for a very long time. Suggestions for a location for a shop there? I assume Mira Mesa and such? 

I WOULD say Mira Mesa since it's pretty central to all rinks but that's where the only decent shop (Play it Again) is so I'm not sure. The shop inside the Mira Mesa rink is a joke these days though, very little if any gear and they lost their experienced repair dude from what I've heard.

There's a new rink/Gulls training facility in Poway, about 5-10 miles north of Mira Mesa, which has a small shop in it as well. 

The Escondido rink has a VERY limited pro shop that's basically just a sharpening spot.

If I was to look at opening a shop I'd probably look at something further south, perhaps the Clairemont or La Mesa (SDSU), closer to the 5, as anyone South of Mira Mesa has to go up North on the 15 freeway to Mira Mesa to even get a sharpen done. 

Theres a nice rink by State (KROC center) that has no kind of hockey store/sharpening in the vicinity that I know of. 

 

 

 

Edited by dnoboy

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You'd probably want something in north county since that's where all the rinks are. Carlsbad, Escondido, Poway, Mira Mesa. Of course theres also UTC (yuck) and Kroc is really nice but pretty out of the way for most people. 

We'd definitely welcome a company to take some business from Hockey Tron's HQ 🙂 

If you want central to the rinks you'd be looking at Escondido/San Marcos area most likely. Maybe Vista to keep the rent down lol. 

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It's pretty bad to say that PIAS is our hockey shop in SD. None of the rinks/shops do any kind of profiling, even if their website says they do. I had to argue with a guy in Mira Mesa to give me a 3/4" cut because "that's really only for goalies".

I would say we need a shop either in the Mira Mesa/Poway/Rancho Bernardo area for SDIA/Poway/Esco rinks, or near Sorrento Valley for UTC/Carlsbad. I wouldn't put a shop in Esco/San Marcos/Vista because guys like me that don't live that far north will just venture up to Irvine if we need to go that far. I love the ice at the Kroc, but they're pretty isolated that far south.

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