Trial Will Cut Cost of Camps, Could Tap New Markets
When Camp Rollerblade was announced a couple months ago, it seemed like little more than a neat repackaging of Zephyr Adventures' annual series of Learn to Skate Camps.
And in fact, that's what it was: Zephyr's Learn to Skate Camps with a new name, occasioned by Zephyr's new partnership with the skate maker Rollerblade.
But today, the companies announced that they were expanding Camp Rollerblade into two test markets, in the hopes of reaching out to more potential skaters.
The expansion adds two "day camps" to the Camp Rollerblade schedule: a two-day weekend commuter camp for adults (June 4-5) in San Francisco; and a four-day children's camp (July 18-21) in Boston.
Up until now, Camp Rollerblade had stuck to the Learn to Skate Camp mold, meaning that it only offered 5-day learn-to-skate vacations at scenic locations.
The camps, which provided food and lodging, costs $1300 to $1400. And while that's not a lot for a vacation, it was enough to limit the clientele.
"Zephyr's specialty is running overnight trips and we have stayed away from day camps," said Zephyr's owner Allan Wright.
"However, we know that many potential skaters are leery of spending five days and $1300 to learn to skate. Therefore, the shorter and cheaper camps should attract many more participants.
"Similarly, the Camp Rollerblade for Kids in Boston is a brand new effort to reach the kids market.
"If it works, we will work with other Skate Schools to bring this kids camp concept to other markets."
The children's camp will be led by Jennifer Staller of Four Wheels Skate School.
It is for 1st to 6th graders. If enough kids enroll, they will be split into two groups by age with the younger kids attending in the morning, and the older kids in the afternoon. The price is $199.
The adult camp will be led by Get Rolling author and skate instructor Liz Miller.
For $239, students will get 12 hours of instruction, a Saturday night pizza party and various freebies, including a signed copy of Get Rolling.
"If the weekend Camp Rollerblade model is successful, we will continue to work with skate schools and instructors in other markets to run these camps rather than doing it on our own," Wright said.
"We want to make our growth positive for skate schools, too."
(Posted February 28, 2005)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson