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Old 05-17-2016, 07:42 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,401 times
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I am interested in opening a miniature golf business. I'm currently looking at several cities in Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. When it comes to miniature golf, what kind of course do you think is more fun, the old fashioned courses with all kinds of obstacles (windmills, loops, small buildings, etc) or the courses that are more like a real golf course, just miniature in size, or the heavily themed courses? Personally, I find that the older courses with all the obstacles was more fun, but would like some feedback on what you think? I really want to open up a nice place that is family friendly and has a fun course for people of all ages to play. I'm only interested in opening a miniature golf course. I'm not looking at including an arcade, batting cages, climbing walls, go carts, bumper boats, etc.. I'm just interested in opening an 18 hole miniature golf course and maybe include a small snack bar. I'm also only interested in opening an outdoor course, not an indoor course. If you have a city that you think I should be looking at, please let me know and tell me why you feel your city could use a miniature golf business. I'd appreciate any input you could give me. Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
20,344 posts, read 20,435,090 times
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have you considered one that is unusually large, with oversized windmills, clown mouths, loop-de-loops and holes 3 feet across? I mean really Huuuuuge! One with balls the size of basketballs and putters that are ten feet tall. One that dwarfs the players and makes them feel really small, minature-like?
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,981 posts, read 5,455,906 times
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OP, I don't know that you can make enough profit in this day and age on miniature golf alone. That's why other places have added batting cages, etc.

I suppose that if you put it close to Adventure Land, you might do okay because lots of families are drawn there. Otherwise, you have high property taxes and probably not enough customers, once the novelty wears off. I strongly recommend a lot more marketing research.

Here's Glow in the Dark golf in Des Moines:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...golf/11312163/
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:54 AM
 
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Do something else. This isn't the area for it, I've seen many o mini golf joints come and go in my day. Look towards more tourist areas that are waterpark/family oriented. Branson, Wisconsin Dells, Okoboji, etc.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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I'm not really sure if there is *any* area for it, at least by itself. The best analogy I can think of is that mini golf courses are a lot like drive-in movie theaters. They had their place in history, but have been slowly fading away for several decades.

As already mentioned, if you are set on building a course, your best bet is to just include the mini golf course as part of a larger attraction. Most mini-golf courses I see these days also have arcades, go-karts, swimming pools/water slides, etc.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:42 PM
 
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Ankeny is the 3rd fastest growing city in us and near Des Moines, plus has high household incomes. That's where I'd put it. Maybe waukee also. Ames if you want the college kids.

Edit: just saw its outdoor only. Is your plan to only have it open 3-6 months out of the year?
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:04 PM
 
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Do miniature golf joints get lots of repeat business?

Seems to me that they would only do good in places with lots of tourists and turn over.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:00 PM
 
387 posts, read 480,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniaturegolfer View Post
I am interested in opening a miniature golf business.
Why?

This article in USA Today paints a pretty grim picture for the future of such businesses:

Whatever happened to America’s mini-golf courses? | For The Win
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:51 AM
 
1,255 posts, read 809,464 times
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There is one in Waterloo, been there for maybe 40 years now, out on Airline Highway by the airport north of George Wyth park. I have no idea if it has changed ownership multiple times over the years or if it is profitable or if it was paid for years ago.

But remember that 40 years ago, the economy is Waterloo was much different, still riding high with very well-paying manufacturing jobs at John Deere, Rath Packing, Chamberlin (big defense manufacturer) and in Cedar Falls, Viking Pump and UNI (which was very much "the college" to most people in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, not a big employer or big influence on the community even though it had been there 100 years at that point).

But Waterloo was the dominant city in the area. So there was a lot of discretionary family income at that time when this place opened up. And at that time, there was not much out of Airline Highway, so land was probably pretty cheap. Being really close to George Wyth probably helped as well, since that was/is a daytime destination for families (boating, picnics, etc.).

We were just there a few weeks ago and it was, frankly, packed. What I recall about the place when I lived in the area was that lots of my friends went there for the driving range and go carts. But for golfers, they could go there after work and hit a couple of buckets of balls on the range. Or they would grab the kids, let the kids do the mini-golf and go-carts while they hit golf balls on the driving range. That seemed to be the key, IMO, during the slow times for the area (which were really bad in the late '70s and most of the '80s) and the place survived all those years.

When we were there recently, the driving range was busy. The mini golf was busy, too. The go carts had a constant line. And the snow cone concession was like printing money - 30 cents of ice and syrup into a 5 cent cup sold at $2 ... affordable for any kid or family of five kids and it looked like every kids had one). They have a batting cage (slow pitch and fast pitch softball and baseball), a paintball course and some sort of archery thing. They also have this huge (outdoor) bounce pad that is maybe 30 feet by 60 feet, surrounded by sand that was full of kids just bouncing. It is run by a family and no doubt a lot of work, but the father and his teen kids looked pretty happy.

Again, no idea how profitable it is. Everything is outside.

Check it out if you are in the area.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:30 AM
 
1,509 posts, read 2,059,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodburyWoody View Post
There is one in Waterloo, been there for maybe 40 years now, out on Airline Highway by the airport north of George Wyth park. I have no idea if it has changed ownership multiple times over the years or if it is profitable or if it was paid for years ago.

But remember that 40 years ago, the economy is Waterloo was much different, still riding high with very well-paying manufacturing jobs at John Deere, Rath Packing, Chamberlin (big defense manufacturer) and in Cedar Falls, Viking Pump and UNI (which was very much "the college" to most people in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, not a big employer or big influence on the community even though it had been there 100 years at that point).

But Waterloo was the dominant city in the area. So there was a lot of discretionary family income at that time when this place opened up. And at that time, there was not much out of Airline Highway, so land was probably pretty cheap. Being really close to George Wyth probably helped as well, since that was/is a daytime destination for families (boating, picnics, etc.).

We were just there a few weeks ago and it was, frankly, packed. What I recall about the place when I lived in the area was that lots of my friends went there for the driving range and go carts. But for golfers, they could go there after work and hit a couple of buckets of balls on the range. Or they would grab the kids, let the kids do the mini-golf and go-carts while they hit golf balls on the driving range. That seemed to be the key, IMO, during the slow times for the area (which were really bad in the late '70s and most of the '80s) and the place survived all those years.

When we were there recently, the driving range was busy. The mini golf was busy, too. The go carts had a constant line. And the snow cone concession was like printing money - 30 cents of ice and syrup into a 5 cent cup sold at $2 ... affordable for any kid or family of five kids and it looked like every kids had one). They have a batting cage (slow pitch and fast pitch softball and baseball), a paintball course and some sort of archery thing. They also have this huge (outdoor) bounce pad that is maybe 30 feet by 60 feet, surrounded by sand that was full of kids just bouncing. It is run by a family and no doubt a lot of work, but the father and his teen kids looked pretty happy.

Again, no idea how profitable it is. Everything is outside.

Check it out if you are in the area.



When my kids were young about 20 years ago we use to take them to Airport National Golf Course in Cedar Rapids where they had a miniature golf course that was also very popular. I thought it wasn't there anymore but found it online just now ...

Public Golf Course, Mini Golf, Driving Range, Tee Times: Cedar Rapids & Iowa City IA
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