By Jesse Hertstein
Portable computers, portable phones, portable televisions . . . why not portable miniature golf courses? Why not, indeed, thought Duane Guenard when he came up with the idea for Nine Holes on Wheels, a Cumberland, Rhode Island, business that delivers and sets up temporary golf courses for just about any event where people might want to putt around.
Five years ago, Guenard was working on a business plan to develop an indoor amusement center when he came across Mini-Golf Inc., a company that makes prefabricated courses. "That gave me the idea that, with a few design changes, you could probably make [a golf course] you can move easily and serve a potential market for birthday parties, corporate picnics, school outings and fund raisers," says Guenard.
Working on the design with Mini-Golf in Jessup, Pennsylvania, Guenard started with about $20,000 and worked from home with rented vehicles. He now offers three different styles of courses, which he rents for $300 to $1,250 per day. "Portable miniature golf is an untapped market," says Guenard, who's investigating the possibility of selling Nine Holes on Wheels as a business opportunity. "With the popularity of golf on the rise, there's a lot of potential for a business like this."
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