Most of LSSU’s revenue is enrollment based, but the non-enrollment based revenue is still critical to our operation and future financial viability. What actions can LSSU take to increase its revenue?

This entry was posted in Revenue. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Revenue

  1. Bobbie Kyle says:

    Is there a way for LSSU to profitably utilize the Taffy Able Arena for shows? Perhaps by partnering with the tribe/casino for big shows that could be done in the ice arena during non-ice time? In the late 90’s / early 2000’s I saw Howie Mandel and Carrot Top perform on stage in the arena.

    • mwalworth says:

      Thank you. I too remember some events in the Arena. I have forwarded your idea to Matt Jurvelin, Steve Gregory, and Kris Dunbar (and her successor) since they would be the most involved in such an event. I will continue to follow up with them until a response is provided.

    • mwalworth says:

      I forwarded the following to Matt Jurvelin: “The following suggestion was presented by an employee in my Budget Conversations Blog.

      Is there a way for LSSU to profitably utilize the Taffy Able Arena for shows? Perhaps by partnering with the tribe/casino for big shows that could be done in the ice arena during non-ice time? In the late 90’s / early 2000’s I saw Howie Mandel and Carrot Top perform on stage in the arena.

      Can you work with your team (events, marketing, PR, etc) and those copied to develop a response?”

      Matt Responded “The response would be: we have and we do and we will. Call Norris to reserve now.”

  2. Damon Whitten says:

    Bobbie we were just having that conversation at Taffy the other day. We certainly have the ability to book dates far in advance based around scheduling issues with the facility. I have never had the opportunity to see a show in there but it seems like it would be a great way to utilize the space and to add revenue.

    A new staff member was just added to Norris and we think that can help to promote the use of the facility and ice rentals to grow revenue and users.

    • mboucher says:

      I would love to see us have a skate rental service so that more people could participate in Open Skate sessions – we could charge a fee for these public skate sessions. Since the ice will already be down, it might be a way to recoup at least a little of the cost of keeping the ice going. I don’t know if the cost would offset any staffing/risk costs we might have though.

    • Bobbie Kyle says:

      Damon –
      I think this would be an even better venue for events like this now that the new sound system was installed last year.

  3. Mike Furr says:

    In my travels I have seen that our potentially revenue generating facilities have not had the maintenance that I would think they would need to remain competitive in their respective marketplaces. The Cisler Center still needs significant remodeling above and beyond recent projects. The Arts Center hasn’t been able to do any significant upgrades to their sound and lighting systems since opening, many local churches have more sophisticated sound equipment. The SAC just got needed exercise equipment, but still needs more investment to be on par with facilities any clients from major cities would expect, and obviously the rest of Norris is struggling to compete.
    The successful business people I know all funnel a percentage of revenue back into the business one way or another. When the employees know that making sales results directly in new equipment or nicer facilities it is very motivating and the customers also feel that energy as new things are constantly happening. Can we allow these places to keep a percentage of the revenue they bring in for use in improving themselves and challenge them to make up the difference and even go beyond?

    • Dan Kozal says:

      This is a great idea and I think would serve as a great motivation!

    • mwalworth says:

      I agree, this needs to be done. Right now, only a small portion of Norris Center Revenue is funneled back into the building. Our problem continues to be the ongoing need to maintain a balanced budget in a time of decreasing enrollment. When resources are scarce, the first thing administration wants to do is cut infrastructure and maintenance. We need to invest in the institution’s assets.

  4. Dan Kozal says:

    I believe that the Arts Center, Cisler and Norris have a goldmine of untapped potential for bringing in revenue.
    I don’t know how profitable the movies at the Arts Center were, but as a customer they were a great experience! My son and I made it to a couple movies last year and enjoyed them greatly. The experience was wonderful, affordable and local! I hope to see this continue and expand.

    My home is the Norris Center. Many employees like myself take a lot of pride in the building and have been begging for an opportunity to take advantage of our facility’s versatility and to maximize LSSU’s community involvement and revenue potential. When there was a building manager we were building a bridge between the community and LSSU. Bringing in new events, renting the ice, pool, SAC and building in general brought thousands of people onto our campus (including a lot of potential students) all while bringing in revenue. Without a building manager we have lost our way.

    -I believe we need to rehire a building manager that should be charged with increasing revenue as well as coordinating the public, student and athletic usage of the building. Perhaps with a commission type incentive package.

    -Reopen the Pro Shop and LSSU should run it! Rent skates, sell coffee, drinks and snacks. Have a one stop shop where customers can rent ice, buy a hockey stick, hot chocolate and LSSU gear.
    In conjunction with Pro Shop and Seamore, put on hockey tournaments to fill unused summer ice time–we are already paying to keep the ice on why let it just sit there unused?

    -Keep the building open during holiday breaks. Over Christmas break the Big Bear and Pullar added open skating times for the public and we locked our doors. Why not encourage families to buy skating equipment from OUR Pro Shop for Christmas gifts then come here to use them on the best ice in town? Same for the use of the SAC. People buy a membership then are sent to the Big Bear because we are closed. Why not open up the courts so families can come play with their new LSSU athletic equipment bought at OUR pro shop?
    -Have a local battle of the bands in the rink when the ice is off. Sell beer and charge a small admission fee.
    -Redacted and rewritten by MWalworth [LSSU should run our food service – have we looked at that? Norris concession stands have HIGH earning potential, why not keep that money in house?]
    -Sell more advertising space. There is a lot of wall space in the rink and we installed ad spaces in the stairwells that are just sitting bare. There is also space all over the building that could be used to sell ads. And if there’s space that hasn’t been sold, put up LSSU ads, such as nursing, engineering, and other programs that aren’t thought about much in a sports building. Not everyone that comes thru our doors is here for sporting events. We have a wide range of events here bringing in a wide range of people,why not advertise all that LSSU has to offer? It could help increase enrollment.
    -Get with local businesses to create sponsored VIP areas. We have been looking into adding more VIP seating areas similar to the Laker Legion Loft. If we could get sponsors to help cover the cost to build, we could rent these areas out for games.

    We can handle just about any event imaginable at the Norris, we just need support to get them coming in!

    • Bobbie Kyle says:


      You bring a lot of great ideas to the table. A local battle of the bands would be great use of the space during non-ice time. We have a lot of great local talent. This would be a great summer event that would bring our community to campus during a low activity time. Brady Lawn offers an outside area in the summer as an alternate when there is ice on.

      I agree with keeping the facility open during our breaks and holidays. We are asking for a competitor to take our customers when we allow them to serve them in periods we choose not to.

  5. Richard Bumstead says:

    I also work in the Norris Center, in particular Taffy Abel Arena. We need to look at our customer base as a combination of the American and Canadian sides. Ice rentals are a service and between the two cities there is quite a demand. The Canadian side can and is willing to rent ice here at our facility. Prices are comparable and competition is lower than on their side of the river. Our location is also convenient for our Canadian customers with the border station right next door. I believe with someone contacting youth hockey associations on both sides of the border we could greatly increase revenue. Our building also had a unique and well known hockey personality in Denny Suggitt. He alone had loyal customers coming to this building just for his services. Lake State running their own pro shop would definitely have good financial benefits. Thank you.

    • mwalworth says:

      Matt Jurvelin has been tasked with this effort. Ice rental is one of the largest revenue streams for the Norris Center. We cannot afford to lose ice rentals. $75k-$100k per year is not unreasonable. You guys and gals do a great job over there…I’ve heard many positive comments from happy clients.

  6. Mike Kaunisto says:

    As the GM of the Soo Indians AAA team I hope that LSSU comes to an agreement to keep the Proshop open. The AAA team purchases all of our equipment for the team there every year. Players consistently, year after year, purchase skate sharpening and gear throughout the season.
    Not to mention the 18 home games we play and the visiting team also utilizes the Proshop. Other teams and fans question why is the concession not open during the games when often there are 200 to 300 fans in the Arena.
    The Soo Indians are a major ice renter and without the Proshop it would be a huge inconvenience to our players, staff and visiting teams to go to the big bear to their Proshop. The revenue from all of this would be lost.
    Hopefully this will get resolved before the Bantam festival and Soo Indians Tryouts in June as these camps are great recruiting tools for future students at LSSU.

    • mwalworth says:

      Thank you. I have had numerous questions regarding the Pro Shop. Since it’s an Auxiliary unit, it falls under the jurisdiction of Matt Jurvelin. I know Matt is working on putting something into that space to service the ice arena. I will keep the issue open – and report back as I hear more.

Leave a Reply to mwalworth Cancel reply