OPENING AN
OXYGEN PARTY BAR BUSINESS

           If you have been to Las Vegas in the last 10 years, you have probably noticed the influx of oxygen bars.  An oxygen bar takes the ambient air and absorbs all of the nitrogen out and feeds you a flow of 85 percent to 95 percent oxygen.  They also bubble the oxygen through a flavored liquid to provide an aroma, which is the same as aromatherapy.

Oxygen bars seem like a natural addition to many businesses, or a kiosk in a mall.  They have been added to; chiropractic offices, spas, nightclubs, airports, tanning salons, fitness centers and casinos.  If you have ever been in the Real Estate Business, you would know that location, location, location, is everything, and that applies to oxygen bars as well.

The problem is that the first month, business is good and everyone is excited about having an oxygen bar.  However as time goes on, the novelty wears off and sales decline and the business closes the doors in 6 months.  The secret to location with an oxygen bar is not having a lot of traffic, but having a lot of new traffic, such as a tourist center like Las Vegas, or an airport.  Most oxygen bars in Las Vegas are successful because of the number of tourists visiting, both in casinos and at the airport.  There are some successful oxygen bars at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios.  This suggests that Disneyland would be a great location, however Disneyland is a little too conservative to allow an oxygen bar so far.

Besides catering to tourists, oxygen bars have been noted for reducing headaches, hangovers, fatigue, stress, jet-lag, altitude sickness, cramps, and minor aches and pains.  Oxygen is also noted to flush impurities and toxins out of ones blood, preventing cancer from gaining a foothold.  In addition oxygen can improve memory, alertness and mental clarity for short periods of time.  Today the biggest growth area is for sports oxygen to oxygenate ones blood before competition and eliminating fatigue after competing.  With an oxygen session before competition, the athlete will have a longer performance period before fatigue sets in and reduces performance.  

My recommendation to opening an oxygen bar is to combine it with a second or third product line.  Most Oxygen bars by their selves do not generate enough business to live off, however when you combine it with a different product line, it is an additional profit center for the existing business.

Second, be flexible.  Donít sign any long-term leases and be ready to change directions when you see a better opportunity.  For example we were doing street fairs and had paid $200 to be a vendor in the Encinitas Street Fair.  We got a call to do a private party in Palm Springs and I told them I was committed to Encinitas.  They said that was too bad because this gig paid $1200.  I immediately asked them what time they wanted me to show up.  We forfeited $200 rent for the street fair and earned $1200 in 4 hours of work compared to 24 hours at the street fair and probably only $600 in revenue.  

Nowadays we make more money at private parties than we do at fairs and festivals, basically because of the poor economy.  We have concluded with fairs, it is a game of staying in business until the economy improves, and if we break even at a fair we are happy but exhausted.  We spend a lot less time at a party or trade show than required by fairs and festivals.  However we still do the street fairs to promote the oxygen bar.

Oxygen Bars should also sell additional related products, like head massagers, electric muscle stimulation systems, and canned oxygen to increase the revenue.  There are dozens of products that can be sold at an oxygen bar.  I frequently joke that the customer is tied to the oxygen bar via the oxygen line and we have enough time to sell them a time-share in Antarctica.  

In general, operating an oxygen bar is a fun job.  You participate in many different types of fairs, trade shows, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, sweet sixteenís, and every event is different.  You seldom get bored as every event is unique.

Oxygen in a can, also called sports oxygen is considered recreational oxygen by the FDA and does not require a doctors prescription as long as the percentage of oxygen is less than 95 percent oxygen.  Oxygen in a can and oxygen bars cannot claim to treat, cure or prevent any diseases.  It should only be used to increase the level of oxygen in ones blood and any benefits claimed are well documented and based upon science and research.   

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