York Urbanist


This third segment in a series of creating a hypothetical and entrepreneurial approach to rebuilding the sport of curling in the fictional community of Aasvogel, Ontario follows from: http://yorkurbanist.com/recreation/curling/curling-a-recreation-to-a-business/re-forming-the-core-group/

Iain Archibald and his group met for a second time, more casually. Iain brought the beer, Rod the chips and dip, and Peter came with curling rock hats that he unearthed from storage.  Just like old times, they reckoned… the good ole boys bringing back lost memories. These were ten interested guys… interested enough to talk about a new curling adventure. They had established that they needed a plan.

But could they rekindle that aura of the community curling club… or was that even what they wanted. After all, this is 2014.  What has changed since Aasvogel lost its curling club in 1988.  It was a good place to start the conversation.  (This meeting did not have an agenda).

Karl started it.  “Well, there’s computers now.  Come to think about it, what about internet?”

Curling Dimensions YU“And the Quonset hut building isn’t exactly your typical construction”, said Iain, the construction expert in the Calgary club ice and rockgroup. “Lots have happened to mechanical and electrical components, too.” (check the web page: http://yorkurbanist.com/recreation/curling/curling-facilities/)

“Those teams at the past Olympics are certainly more fit than, whatshisname… Wear-a-neck, back in the ‘80’s. Look at the calendar Joan got!” “And there are fewer stay-at-home moms out there!”    

Aasvogel isn’t the town it used to be.  As a matter of fact, the name Aasvogel has been relegated to a village of the larger municipality.  There are industries, albeit mostly distribution centres.  The incomes in the area have increased relative to the farm community of the past. Surely there is money out there for memberships.  Besides, many of the young folks are into hockey. At a tenth of the cost of hockey, curling should be a desirable sport for parents to enter their children.  Then there are those others…. You know, the urban guys who have never lifted a broom or the Asians who know nothing about the sport.  How do we get them in the door?  By the way, how many people do we need to make this venture go?

Iain’s accountant jumped in.  He is not a curler, but he had seen enough Olympics and worked on enough construction company projects that he had a sense of the needs of a Business Plan

The first order of business is your Vision, he said.  What does this business look like the first year, fifth year and thirty years from now? 

Peter piped up: “We are throwing rocks and drinking beer until we can’t get to the club on our own.” The curlers in the ten chuckled and started scratching their heads.

“So this group of ten are going to build a four sheet curling club and invite all their curling buddies?” asked the accountant.   

“No, the curlers in our crowd are going to bring their friends, who will invite their friends until we have enough money to pay for this sucker,” said Karl.

The accountant smiled and said “now we are getting somewhere, you need marketing and money.”

Iain, despite the casualness, came prepared.  “I imagine this,” he said as he handed out a one paragraph vision statement. It read:

The new Aasvogel Curling Facility is a family oriented community centre that welcomes recreation curlers, who want to experience a sport for fun and a place to gather with like-minded curling enthusiasts!

This flummoxed the rest of the group to the point of silence. 

After a moment, Karl did not hold back: “But what if I want to practice for the senior OCA events?”

“You can do that!” said Iain, “Just as long as you have at least 250 other people helping to pay for this facility. 

The accountant posed the question: “How many people is enough?” Iain had the information at his fingertips.  “The ultimate scenario has 100 members per sheet of ice.  Therefore, if we have 4 sheets we need 400 members, within five years of opening.” That was considered an achievable number by this group.

The devil is in the details. The numbers only make sense when revenues, fees, expenses, marketing and operations are considered.  But do they need members, or could this operate like the local arena? 

Stay tuned for Business Plan – Part 2. See: http://yorkurbanist.com/recreation/curling/curling-a-recreation-to-a-business/the-business-plan-part-2/