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Pay to play: how subscription-based businesses are contributing to a growing business model

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jun 17, 2024

DOUGLAS AND SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — You can golf whenever you please. That's the motto at Swing365 in Gretna.

The new business offering around-the-clock golf simulator access for a subscription fee.

"We thought the opportunity was available to get into the community to offer some services that are even 24/7," said owner Ramsey Dolesh.

Golfers like Jon Schuetz pay a monthly fee to get full access, whenever, to the golf simulator.

"I just like the ability to take an hour or a half hour and work what I want to work on," said Schuetz.

Over in Millard, it's the same. At Cloud 9 Billiards Club, the new pool hall offers unlimited access to pool tables for its subscribers.

"I'm 100% positive this will work," said owner Tommy Lacarbo. "We've been working on this since last summer."

Lacarbo said he is confident this model will work in Omaha after seeing it take off in other cities, as players prove they're willing to pay to play on their schedule.

"...Because at four o'clock in the morning if I wake up and can't sleep, I'll come down here and play. I'll get some time by myself or with somebody else," said subscriber Molly McGuire.

This is a fast-growing business model and according to The Business Research Company, the market size is expected to reach over $900,000,000,000 by 2026.

University of Nebraska-Omaha business professor Brent Clark said the subscription-based model benefits businesses if it's used correctly.

"From the company's perspective, they're always pretty comfortable with this idea that they own it and the consumer doesn't own it," said Clark. "So, if they can get away with it, because of those benefits, they're probably going to go for it and they're going to like that model pretty well."

Clark says he only expects the model to grow further and spread to different industries.

For Lacarbo, it's a chance to grow his business and use a growing model.

"This is my passion," he said. "Pool is my passion."

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