View Full Version : Discounts at Pool Rooms for Frequent Players
04-03-2002, 01:46 PM
It's almost imposssible to play enough pool (in NY area especially with rates of $9-$20 HR) to improve and still stay solvent. Im discounted about 50% of the time roughly. It seems to me that regular players should get better rates, especially when you consider their respect for the equipment, as opposed to the Ball Bangers. Comments pool players/room owners?
04-03-2002, 04:29 PM
04-03-2002, 04:59 PM
I average about $70.00 per week at Amsterdam West in NYC which constitutes three PowerPlays of $22.00, $22.00 & $29.00 respectively. Luckily a room owner in NJ, who wants my business and wants me to promote his room, provides me with table time at NO cost. As such, I spend a full day in NJ once a week. Not as nice a facility as Amsterdam West, but it is functional.
I believe that if an individual is a very regular player, as well as an individual who brings NEW faces to the club and other commercial customers, special considerations should be offered. Businesses can not give the store away however, a little good will can go a long way as long as the recipient is NOT broadcasting the special arrangement to the world at large.
04-03-2002, 05:07 PM
In this area (Dallas), most houses provide free or discounted practice time
for league players. I currently play in three leagues per week, and my "main"
hangout provides unlimited free pool anytime except Friday and Saturday nights
after 7 pm.
If you think that's generous, how about this: A former place I used to play
gave league players free pool anytime, free sodas, and half-price food!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Nostroke:</font><hr> It's almost imposssible to play enough pool (in NY area especially with rates of $9-$20 HR) to improve and still stay solvent. Im discounted about 50% of the time roughly. It seems to me that regular players should get better rates, especially when you consider their respect for the equipment, as opposed to the Ball Bangers. Comments pool players/room owners?
04-03-2002, 05:17 PM
I've been playing in pool rooms for about 10 years now. It seems to me that in any good business, the business should treat the regular patrons special. Most pool rooms SHOULD offer a membership card that allows the regular patrons to get small discounts on play and merchandise. The membership card itself has to be purchased for a reasonable price. For example, A membership cards costs 50 dollars a year. This allows the patron to get 40 percent off table time til 4 p.m. and 10 percent off the rest of the time. I sure would like to hear what Chris in NC has to say about this???. ...Drake.
04-03-2002, 07:38 PM
I don't automatically get a discount at my regular hangout, but often I am discounted...I think this is b/c I tip well...food for thought
04-03-2002, 08:14 PM
Poolrooms should have fluctuating prices but not because a player is a regular. There are only so many good hours in the week that a pool room makes any money. The rest they should be happy to have anyone playing. Daytime specials are a must in any poolroom. A membership system is very good because it brings the player to your room almost exclusively if you have any competition. You can sell time in advance such as a book of hours for a 25% discount that can be spent any time. You don't care if he gives them away to friends as long as you have live bodies in the place. You have to squeeze as much out of every hour you are open you can. There is a real problem if you start playing favorites with customers though. It can breed resentment. That is not to say what you do is anybody's business. None on my friends ever paid table time. Just one of the perks of having a long time friend who owns a pool room. If I ever charged Tommy Kennedy or Bobby Maidoff when they were kids, they may not have become the players they are now. It is tough for a kid trying to learn to play, they don't have enough money to practice.
Drake, we offer a number of various discounts to our frequent pool customers, and feel that it's good business to do so. The critical question as a room owner is whether these discounted rates are simply helping to fill up empty tables during low demand periods, or are they costing an owner money in the situation where players are getting the discounted rates when you have a waiting list of full pay customers.
We have a weekday $7.99 all day prepay rate from opening (11am) until 7pm for anyone - regulars or not. Regulars (who play at least a few times a week) automatically get a 25% discount at all times except when there is a waiting list, and we generally freeze the clock on the regulars when they reach $10 weekday or $15 weekends, except when there is a waiting list.
I also have one really dedicated senior citizen who practices 3-4 hours a day (usually by himself), and we've worked out a $150/month (pay on the 1st of the month) unlimited play arrangement which works out good for both of us. He's very easy on the tables and almost always plays during the daytime - when there are plenty of open tables. On the rare occasion he's here at night when the tables fill up, he'll gladly give up his table or join up with others to help us out.
One of the problems from an owner's point-of-view when offering these various discounts are that you must be very consistent and fair to all customers - so as not to slight those who don't get the discount because they are not regular enough. Sometimes two players playing together (one regular, one not) start and end at the same time and come up to pay their bill together. If one sees they are being charged more than the other, it's not a good situation and so it must be handled carefully.
Sometimes when a regular comes in whose been playing and spending alot recently on pool and supporting our grill as well, I might just tell him the pool is on the house for that day or night - stay as long as you wish. Of course, I'm most likely to do that on a slow night when it's unlikely I'll have a waiting list of full pay customers. Little things like that really are important to the customer and help to build a loyal customer base that will continue to support you and send others.
Of course when the manager and owner is one-and-the-same and present virtually all the time like myself, it's much easier to handle and give out the discounts and freebies. Contrast that to the situation where numerous shift managers and employees would not likely have the authority or discretion to make that decision on their own. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is in some rooms, and customers need to understand and respect that. - Chris in NC
Here in vancouver alot of pool rooms are starting to do an 11am to 7pm deal for $12.00 all day for 2 people and $2.00 more if any extra person joins the table. I started playing pool at about $8.00 per hour and it was almost always loser pays so if you had a few bucks on the side and you lost it got to be quite an expensive day. Obviously this would drastically cut down on my practice time. With the new rates I can practice to my hearts content and because I am getting my pool so cheap I feel thatI am more inclined to be faithful to the room offering this deal and stay there to eat instead of going out afterwards. Every now and then I go there at night with my girlfriend or son and pay the regular rate of $10.00 per hour... sometimes they give me a discount but sometimes they dont..either way I never expect it but for sure I am very grateful when they give it to me. I don't by any means think that discounts should be expected during peak hours of play but it sure helps me and my game when they do it during the day. Thanks to all room owners that give me and guys like me a break!
04-04-2002, 07:00 AM
Well said! Arbitrary, Discretionary and/or Discriminatory decisons as to who gets what, when and how, will only undermine the goodwill which you work so hard to establish. Personally, I like the flat rate monthly fee.
04-04-2002, 10:08 AM
Room owners have to walk a fine line here to ensure that they make money to pay the bills and make a profit as well as cater to their regular players.
Let's face it, the room makes money on those ball bangers who come in on a Friday and Saturday night. Spending money, not only on table time, but alcohol and food.
My favorite room here in New England offers a yearly membership at $100. This membership entitles the member a lower afternoon rate of $5 from 11AM-6PM. Members also get 25% off time during evening hours regardless of the day. Merchandise is sold at a 25% discount also. This room has the best mix of pool players and ball bangers that I've ever seen. A regular player gets his/her $100 back in discounts relatively quickly. For example, I get my $100 back within the first three months and have nine months at a discount.
This membership idea is great for this room, because it ensures the room business from their regulars during off-peak hours. But not all rooms need to do this. I also play in a room in downtown Providence, RI. This room really does not have to offer any discounts, because their room is located in such a good area that it's always full.
I'm a true believer in Capitalizism.
Gayle in MD
04-04-2002, 11:33 AM
I live near Annapolis Md., and the nicest room, Jillians, provides free pool all day Mon through Fri, from 11am till 5pm, as long as you have lunch there. The tables, 9 foot GC's, are beautifully maintained. The cost after five is 12 bucks per hour for two. It is pretty empty during the day. You get the free rate as long as you arrive before 3pm. Before I had my own table at home, I practiced there 2 - 3 times a week. It was great, since only serious players came in to shoot during the daytime hours, great people, and they knew their stuff. It always surprised me that very few people took advantage of the free tables during the day, (about 20 GC's in a lovely room) but the place is packed on the weekends, and many weeknights. If you practiced there regularly, and stayed beyond the five o'clock free period, they never charged you for the table unless they ran out of tables. When in Ocean City Md., during the summer months, Mulligans is the only nice room, with 9 footers, but the only time the tables are ever discounted is before and after the beach season, and even then only on Wed. nights, 1/2 price. So, move to Annapolis, LOL, rated the fourth best place to live in the country!
Gayle in Md.
04-04-2002, 01:05 PM
We have to keep in mind that New Yorkers make three times as much money as the rest of us do in the States therefore the prices, pool rates, are three times higher there than anywhere else. LOL. We have a hall that charges $5 from 1pm - 6pm per person. Can't beat that deal. Plus their food is pretty good. I wouldn't tell an owner how to run his business because unless he is running the place as a hobby he has to generate enough income to pay his bills plus have enough left over to live off of. The big problems that owners have is finding dependable employees who won't give the store away or walk off with half the cash. Everytime that bartender gives you a double shot it is not coming out of his pocket but the owner's. Jake
04-04-2002, 08:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Gayle in MD:</font><hr> I live near Annapolis Md., and the nicest room, Jillians, provides free pool all day Mon through Fri, from 11am till 5pm, as long as you have lunch there. The tables, 9 foot GC's, are beautifully maintained. The cost after five is 12 bucks per hour for two. <hr></blockquote>
What a deal! How much is lunch?
Might be moving.
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