Billy Thompson

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Graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds school of Business with a dual degree in Operations Mgmt and International Business.
Kate’s Skating Rinks was started back in 1961, in Gastonia, NC, a neighboring city of Charlotte, by John and Kate Grice, my grandparents. All through the 90’s the family business continued to grow up to 9 properties, most of which were leased to others. In 2001, the original family took back over the Kate’s brand and I started running the locations. Over the 16 years of operation we became an industry leader in building and retailing skates both in house and online. We rebranded our online store during COVID and our sales sky rocketed during our closure allowing us to stay afloat.
We have now shifted gears during this unprecedented time and started to focus on what the customer needs, and what will make them happy in all aspects of our business. Around 2015 I became very aware that our online revenue needed a jump start and became extremely focused on brand management, repeat sales and brand visibility through revenue generating platforms on our website. I successfully relaunced a new website in the fall of 2019 as well and our clicks per visit have jumped as well over 50%. In 2017, I purchased the company from my stepmother after my father’s passing and now own 3 locations in the Charlotte area. In our first year of operation as owners we took a facility over from a lease holder in eastern Charlotte, that was already very successful day to day. We did a major remodel and culture shift at this facility and just last year alone, before Covid, we were up over 25% in gross revenue at that location and continue to see strong numbers even during this downturn of a year.
Over the years I have been a very active member of the RSAI (Roller Skating Association International) by holding regional director seats, board seats and now I am the Vice President of this great association.

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