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View Full Version : What attracts you to a pool room?



09-17-2002, 10:27 AM
I have a friend who owns a struggling local pool room. It's clean with lots of room and has 7 very nice reg. tables and 1 bar box.

He is having trouble attracting players. I have tried to help with some ideas but realize that my personal attraction may not be relevant to the players in general.

Outside of choosing a place because you know the people or your friends go there, what do you look for? In other words if you moved to strange town and visited several rooms, why would choose one over the other?

Do you put more emphasis on atmosphere than tables, pro shop, etc. or vice versa? How important is gambling action, alcohol, smoking, music, etc.

griffith_d
09-17-2002, 10:29 AM
Attractions:

1. Pool Tournament - Add money
2. Not so smoky environment
3. Drink specials
4. Pool specials
5. Food

Griff

nAz
09-17-2002, 10:31 AM
POOL Tables attracts me
oh and decent prices

bluewolf
09-17-2002, 10:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CueBald:</font><hr> I have a friend who owns a struggling local pool room. It's clean with lots of room and has 7 very nice reg. tables and 1 bar box.

He is having trouble attracting players. I have tried to help with some ideas but realize that my personal attraction may not be relevant to the players in general.

Outside of choosing a place because you know the people or your friends go there, what do you look for? In other words if you moved to strange town and visited several rooms, why would choose one over the other?

Do you put more emphasis on atmosphere than tables, pro shop, etc. or vice versa? How important is gambling action, alcohol, smoking, music, etc. <hr></blockquote>

for me is excellent,friendly service,good tables,nice atmosphere. i think a lot of business to some places is brought in by leagues, though. so the pool room that can get the leagues to play there have an atvantage.

Laura

Troy
09-17-2002, 10:47 AM
Unforunately, it is not pool players that make a room financially successful. It's the ball-bangers, simply out on a date having a good time, that are the people that make a room financially successful.

Troy...~~~ Has worked in enough pool rooms to understand

9 Ball Girl
09-17-2002, 10:48 AM
What attracts me:

1. where's it located? parking for those who drive?
2. decent pool tables
3. league/tournament play
4. pro shop
5. food/drink
6. nonsmoking/smoking
7. don't care much for video games but those tv game thingys are cool

09-17-2002, 10:50 AM
blondes... big boobs.... tight ass.. thats about it

PQQLK9
09-17-2002, 11:25 AM
&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: CueBald:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt;
He is having trouble attracting players. I have tried to help with some ideas but realize that my personal attraction may not be relevant to the players in general.&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

"If you want to catch a mouse you have to think like a cheese"
"you got to give the people what they want"

Get to KNOW your customers, their likes and dislikes and THANK them for their business.
Offer some kind of incentive for players to come in on a regular basis...(give a coupon for each hour of play to be redemmed for table time,equipment,food etc. after a certain amount.
SEX SELLS!!!...good looking personable people draw a crowd.

I'm sure there are many more but the above are a few of MY favorites.

Kato
09-17-2002, 11:35 AM
Equipment (clean tables and balls)

Good music but not Loud, I like speed metal, heavy stuff, regular and soft rock, I can deal with rap and country but I don't like it loud.

Clean restrooms

Cold beer and drinks

Decent prices

All day or all night rates

Kato

stickman
09-17-2002, 11:41 AM
I like a pool hall with friendly, service oriented employees. The hall should be clean and have good equipment that is cleaned and maintained. Good food is a big plus. Tournaments and league play are essential in my opinion. Our hall used to have a league appreciation night, each session for all the league players. It would be a night of free pool, free snacks, etc. Perks like this help promote customer loyalty. They also used to have a Tuesday night three ball competition that brought a lot of players in. Everyone donated two dollars to the pot, and signed up prior to the event. Each player shot in the order that they had signed up, and we went through the rotation three times. The player with the fewest strokes won a dollar for each player signed up. The other dollar went to a kitty that was payed to the first player to make all three balls on the break. Naturally, the kitty got fairly big, since making all three on the break is uncommon. There were also, in-house leagues, in addition to the APA league play. There was something going on almost every night. I have nothing against children, but nothing ruins an otherwise pleasant outing than a poolhall that allows little ones to run wild thoroughout the place. A good poolhall won't allow this. Music or no music is okay with me, likewise with smoking.

TomBrooklyn
09-17-2002, 11:41 AM
-Good Prices
-Good Tables
-Friendly employees
-Air Conditioning In Hot Weather
-Smoking allowed
-Not smokey (ventilation system)
-No loud music
-Minimum of cRap, Techno, Wierd Music, especially songs with curse words.
-No freakin' air hockey, ping pong, basketball hoops or other loud games near players area where noise is an issue.
-Unofficial designated tables/section for players vs. bangers
-Tournements/Leagues
-Food available inside or within a block locally
-Parking available
-Pro Players or very good players there
-Shiny clean good quality balls

Wally_in_Cincy
09-17-2002, 12:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: CueBald:</font><hr> I have a friend who owns a struggling local pool room. It's clean with lots of room and has 7 very nice reg. tables and 1 bar box.

He is having trouble attracting players. I have tried to help with some ideas but realize that my personal attraction may not be relevant to the players in general.

Outside of choosing a place because you know the people or your friends go there, what do you look for? In other words if you moved to strange town and visited several rooms, why would choose one over the other?

Do you put more emphasis on atmosphere than tables, pro shop, etc. or vice versa? How important is gambling action, alcohol, smoking, music, etc. <hr></blockquote>

In your opinion why is his place struggling?

Is the staff friendly?
Is it in an "out of the way" or dangerous location?
Does he have food and drinks at reasonable prices?

09-17-2002, 03:26 PM
ACTION!!!!!!ACTION!!!!!ACTION!!!!!

Wally_in_Cincy
09-19-2002, 01:42 PM
Well, did any of the responses help? Enquirering minds want to know.

09-19-2002, 02:51 PM
Boy, I'll second that Tom. I can do without the music, or TV for that matter. What was the quote in "The Hustler"? "No bar, no pinball machines, no bowling alleys, just pool ... this is Ames, mister." and "It's quiet." "Yeah, like a church ... Church of the Good Hustler." Unfortunately, those days are gone. Troy is right, it's the ball-bangers on dates who bring in the money, at least in some "upscale" pool rooms. I'm not saying the place has to be a dive, but I don't care for rooms that remind me of French cathouses either. There's one in my area I call the Neon Whorehouse. Unfortunately, the players' room closed for neighborhood (i.e. upscale) renovation. So it goes.

Good luck to your friend, CueBald; he'll need it.

Bob

nmshooter
09-19-2002, 08:11 PM
I think you are asking the wrong people. I too had a friend who owned a pool hall and he had the same problems. He had a very nice establishment with food and play specials, 14 9' tables, very clean place, smoke free. Any given night he had maybe 3 or 4 customers. Weekends he maybe had 50 people come thru the doors. He was located about a block from a high school hoping to get younger kids interested in pool and he was also located on the main street in the town. What was the problem? He didnt serve alcohol for one thing. There was another place across town that did, they had 100-150 people per night and about 400-500 people per night on weekends. They didnt have near the quality tables but they had more of a party atmosphere and leagues which may have helped.

I read somewhere a few years ago that may or may not still be accurate today. It said that pool was the #2 PARTICIPATION sport in the US (might have been World) right behind Bowling. We are not talking about sports you watch or support but sports you play. I think that out of all those people maybe 10-20 percent of them take the game to a serious level such as the people who post here. The others I think play pool because they can go out with buddies, have a few beers. He couldnt even gets kids to come play after school on a "pay 4 bucks all night" promotion because kids either dont have the money or they are spending their money on cd's, dvd'd, movie tickets etc.....

I really wish I knew what to tell your friend because as a serious player, I would prefer all the things mentioned here. I like, nice, clean, level tables that are taken care of and a nice clean place to play in with food and drink. I dont drink alcohol. I can play with/without loud music. I am not the average player though. The average player (banger) wants all of that. He or she want the meat market type night spot.

preacherman
09-19-2002, 10:29 PM
Atmosphere and simonis cloth.
Non-smoking area.
No loud music bleering.
Decent owners.

Jim

09-19-2002, 11:42 PM
I am currently tabulating the results and plan to meet with the owner in the next few days. I don't really think he is going to like the results of the survey.

While it is a great place to play, or would be if more players were there, it is non-smoking, no alcohol, and no food. And while it is a nice clean place, it doesn't look like a pool hall. The best way to descirbe the atomosphere is like a big refinished basement with 8 pool tables. It is even divided into 3 rooms and all the lighting is in a false ceiling. Because so few people frequent the place, there is no action.

To add insult to injury, there is an established 14 table room less than 10 miles away where there are always games in progress, sweet young things behind the counter (sorry ladies), that allows smoking. I think you can see the problem.

While it may catch on in time, it appears he has built a nice clean family oriented billiards room for which there is little market. It's a great place for some quiet private practice, but if you're looking for even a casual game, you will continue on down the road.

More as it develops.