WhirlyBall is not considered a simple business to get started making money in. "It's a big investment, and it's not an easy thing to put...
WhirlyBall is not considered a simple business to get started making money in.
“It’s a big investment, and it’s not an easy thing to put together,” said Kim Mangum, the son of WhirlyBall’s creator and the president of the company that owns the sport.
A successful WhirlyBall center will be in an area with a large population — more than 1 million, said Tom Choquette, the owner of the Edmonds center — and have other sources of revenue, such as alcohol sales, video games or laser tag.
The Edmonds center has food, beer and pinball, table-soccer and video games to keep players spending money. Choquette has plans to build a laser-tag arena on an adjacent lot.
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Mangum said it costs between $700,000 and $1 million to put together a WhirlyBall center that includes a laser-tag arena, a common combination. But it’s hard to get financing because banks don’t consider the WhirlyBall cars or courts salable assets, he said.
However, the investment can go a long way, Mangum said. There are centers that net more than $100,000 a month, he said.
Mangum sells WhirlyBall rights for cities or states, giving individuals the right to say who builds and who doesn’t build in an area. Choquette owns the rights to Washington, Mangum said.