Business plan

Dover Lounge Wins City’s Business Plan Competition | Local News

DOVER – Winners of the $20,000 Dover Launch business plan competition, Tory Welsh and Tobin Twelves, want to open an indoor golf course and multi-sport simulator in town.

“I think we can all agree that there’s plenty to do in our area on a sunny day or a bluebird ski day, whatever it is,” Twelves said during his presentation Thursday night at the final round of the contest. “And when it rains? What about mud season? »

The married couple live in Wilmington. Twelves is a local real estate agent, general contractor, snowboard coach and golf enthusiast. Welsh is an IT professional who works at Mount Snow Ski Resort in West Dover and enjoys skiing, hiking and reading.

They want to call their business The Dover Lounge. They estimate their market to consist of around 4,000 local residents between Dover and Wilmington and around 20,000 annual tourists. They expect to spend around $1,500 per month on an initial marketing effort with ads promoting mid-week specials to attract locals and weekend events to attract tourists.

They will need to raise around $500,000 in seed money. Their hope is to have four simulation bays and charge each customer $5 to play games which, in addition to golf, could include baseball, dodgeball, football and soccer.

Twelves said the $20,000 would go towards down payments or renting the simulators, fitting out space, building costs or buying inventory.

“The key to winning this contest tonight is that it will show other investors and lenders the viability of our plan,” he said.

Their current plan calls for the business to open by July 4th. However, the couple said the plans would be reviewed in January based on investor interest.

“We’re going to hit hard,” Twelves told the Reformer, referring to the search for investors.

City staff will help the couple determine where to allocate the $20,000, and then provide the funds upon receipt of invoices. Part of the process is renting or buying space in Dover.

After the competition opened in August, 13 entries were submitted. The other finalist who showed up on Thursday was Dana Sorice, a human rights lawyer who lives in Dover with her husband Mark Sorice, a carpenter.

They want to bring karts to Dover.

“Our idea is very fluid,” Dana said. “We want a family entertainment center where everyone can come and bring the kids and race. And if you don’t like racing, you can make an arcade game. If you don’t like arcades, maybe you like pinball or ski ball or a rock climbing wall.

Similar to the winning proposal, the idea is intended to offer something to do on a day when outdoor activities are not on the table and would require a lot of funding.

“I’m not sure we’re looking for investors,” Dana said. “I’d rather sell a kidney first.”

Dana said the couple were “lucky to call this place our home.”

“It was our dream,” she said, adding that the couple had raced go-karts years ago and thought it would make “a great deal.”

About 40 people attended Thursday’s event at the Carinthia base lodge in Mount Snow. Participants were able to ask questions during the presentations and speak with the finalists privately before the judges chose the winner and then again afterwards.

Eric Durocher, director of economic development for the City of Dover, said community members came to a brainstorming session at the end of August to discuss potential business ideas for the competition. . He foresees that some of these ideas could still become realities.

The city has programs and incentives “to start or grow your business here,” Durocher said. Information can be found at doververmont.com/economicdevelopment.

Mentors for contest participants included Shelly Huber of Creatin’ Business, Jim Verzino of Windham Grows, Gretchen Havreluk of Ingram & May Small Business Consulting and Eyad Salha, business technical assistance provider at Brattleboro Development Credit Corp.

Contest judges included Dover resident Paul Fisher, Heather Kelly, co-owner of Dover-based Sticky Fingers Bakery, Tracy Bartels, managing director of Mount Snow, Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. Banking at Brattleboro Savings & Loan Robert Davis.