When Adrian D'Amico was forced to close the doors at 3Sixty Indoor Skate Park park just weeks after it opened he had to dig into his Super and personal savings to keep the business afloat.
Being so new it didn't qualify for any incentives or government assistance, including JobKeeper.
And his 28 casual staff suddenly found themselves out of work.
But Mr D'Amico has retained a positive attitude and is planning to unplug 2020 and reboot it with a grand reopening now COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
He is hoping the community likes the idea of celebrating the activity centre's rebirth on June 27 so he can quickly roster on all his employees affected by the lockdown.
Picking the timing was a challenge in itself.
"We have been busily preparing to get back on the road again. It has been very hard to determine what to do because skate parks aren't mentioned much on the Services NSW website," he said.
Prior to the grand reopening Mr D'Amico is providing people the chance to sign up for 30 days for $50.
"My intention is to build attention and excitement," he said.
"The main point I want to make is that although I am a startup business and I have poured my heart and soul into this and have placed everything I have on the line, I don't want what has happened to us to be a story of woe.
"This is a story of resilience. We have held on without any assistance. I am still going through different channels trying to get some assistance but everything I have done to survive this has been off the back of savings, my Super and friends and family.
"We have just been hanging on until we can get back into business again. We know there is nothing else like this indoor skate park is the Illawarra".
Following the demise of the indoor skate park in Campbelltown, which won't reopen after COVID-19, the closest ones are in Sydney and Canberra.
Mr D'Amico knows he was onto something good when Illawarra's first indoor skate park opened.
"We opened with a bang. It was going nuts and then coronavirus hit and we got shutdown," he said.
"We didn't put a pandemic on our risk assessment. We planned for everything else except that. But no one could have predicted that and it is time to say the unavoidable has happened and lets move on.
"You can't complain when you get into business and something bad you can' t avoid happens.
"But what we have done here is hold on to the very end. And now it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have held on by the skin of our teeth but we are still here".
Help for business: Let everyone know you're Back in Business
Mr D'Amico knows that being open so briefly at the end of a summer of fires followed by COVID-19 means many people in the region still have not been to 3Sixty Indoor Skate Park.
And his message is there is plenty of room in the brand new activity centre which has more space than Hangtime Trampoline Park which was previously located on the site.
"We will be applying the 4sqm rule and encouraging people to sanitise their hands. But the fortunate position we are in here is that we have 750 sqm of skate park which already operated on a capacity of 50 people. That is 15 sqm per person anyway," he said.
"And we have 1200 sqm altogether so with the 4sqm rule I could fit 300 people in here".
When 3Sixty reopens on June 27 the skate park will still be able to be used by 50 people at a time.
There is also a skate shop, large cafe and seating for 80 upstairs and 50 downstairs providing tonnes of room for parents and siblings to sit and watch in comfort.
There is also plenty of room for birthday parties with bookings already starting to be made again after COVID-19.
"Entry is normally $14 for one hour but because I know families have been hit hard by COVID I have introduced a special prior to opening that is $50 for a 30 day pass which means you can come once a day every day for 30 days if you want. It is worth $420.
Prior to the school holidays the centre will open from 1pm to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 10pm on Saturday and 9am to 7pm on Sunday.
During the school holidays which start a week after the grand reopening 3Sixty will open from 9am each day. Skaters can buy one hour, two hour or three hour sessions.
"The reason I built an indoor park is I am a day with three kids and whenever I went to outdoor parks I would just fry in the sun and get hungry," he said.
"But now I can sit inside, order and coffee and food from the cafe, dial up the Internet on the WiFi and do some work while the kids go and play to the hearts content".
Mr D'Amico also runs a business coaching business that has also been impacted by COVID-19.
But feels that service will be more important than ever now and is a position to be able to relate even more with his clients who have gone through the same thing.
No-one could predict or stop the coronavirus. Now it is a matter of what to do to come out the other side the best way you can.
"They have mouths to feed and bills to pay like myself. I totally understand what they are going through and I feel for everyone and will do whatever I can to help them".
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