Pinball Membership Club

Started 2 years ago by SkillShots in forum MarketBuying advice.


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Pinball Membership Club


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  • Started 2 years ago by SkillShots
  • 39 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
  • Latest reply from jpitchjr

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    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    My partner and I are starting a pinball membership club open to the public. Not an arcade, but all about pinball. We've finished our business plan and are now ready to start purchasing machines. We need to buy 24 machines for our shop. If you were buying 24 machines all on free play, what ones would you ensure were in your shop? Any advice is appreciated!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Considering you are in Vernon Hills, this news absolutely thrills me! It would be very difficult to suggest pins unless we have an idea of your budget.

    Edit: It would also help to know a little about your business model. Is this going to be an entry fee type of deal where you get unlimited play, or are you charging people per game?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    We have about $80K to buy machines. We are opening in August, 2012. Want a mix of cult classics, new releases and just fun. thoughts?

    Business model is pay by the hour or buy an annual membership for unlimited play. Also will have machines designated for just members, not open to general public.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Holy jeebus! This is great news!
    My suggested list:
    earthshaker or Whirlwind
    Bk2k
    Whitewater
    Addams Family
    haunted house
    Medieval Madness (if u can find one)


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Killer, wish I lived closer, that is a fantastic idea!!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    $80,000 is an impressive budget. You should be able to amass a very solid lineup. Who will be fixing these games, by the way? Will you have a full time tech on staff, or are you guys capable of fixing them yourself? The answer to these questions may affect what games I recommend. I guess I'm trying to get a handle on what your pinball background is. Are you guys pinheads, or just looking at it as a business opportunity? Also, how many pins can you comfortably fit in the space you are leasing?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks! what about Twilight Zone, Cirqus Voltaire, Theatre of Magic and Tales of the Arabian Knights. worth buying?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    what about Twilight Zone

    yes, mine.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Very cool idea! Looking forward to checking out your place.

    I would buy a mixture popular games with some hard to find games (low production, rare games) to get people in there with collections an additional incentive to check out games they don't usually get to see.

    Good luck with the business, I hope it turn out to be a success!!!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    We are pinheads, have them in our basement and thought it would be a great idea to bring guys like ourselves together. We've run parties/tourneys in our basements and decided, WTF. why not do more. Business plan, support services, all taken care of. no background in pinball, just love it!


    2 years, 1 month ago
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    SkillShots said:

    Thanks! what about Twilight Zone, Cirqus Voltaire, Theatre of Magic and Tales of the Arabian Knights. worth buying?

    You certainly can't go wrong with any of those.

    nutshell79 said:

    I would buy a mixture popular games with some hard to find games (low production, rare games) to get people in the are with collections an additional incentive to check out games they don't usually get to see.

    I agree. Take a look at the games they have at CP Pinball. That's the type of lineup that will draw both pinheads and non-pinheads to your location.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    seen CP Pinball online, very cool have you visited?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    seen CP Pinball online, very cool have you visited?

    I have not, but I've always wanted to. The problem, with CP is that they aren't open all the time. What type of operating hours are you guys thinking about?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Haven't nailed that down yet but there will be a members only night and tournament/league night also I imagine. Met with both Stern and Jersey Jack last week, they are interested in co-marketing, launch events and even prototype evaluation for members only.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I assume the name of the new establishment will be Skill Shots?

    I think this is a great idea. The northern/northwest Chicago suburbs are totally dry when it comes to location pinball. The pinball community really needs something like this, and I predict it will be a huge success.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Good luck! I sent you a pm regarding two of my machines. I'm getting out of this hobby, i think.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    gweempose said:

    I assume the name of the new establishment will be Skill Shots?
    I think this is a great idea. The northern/northwest Chicago suburbs are totally dry when it comes to location pinball. The pinball community really needs something like this, and I predict it will be a huge success.

    Thanks. and yes, you are right. How original huh? We are documenting our story on facebook as we set the business up if you search for skillshots pinball. Want to respect the site and not advertise but we want to put the best product out there we can. Taking all feedback and suggestions!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    davewth said:

    Good luck! I sent you a pm regarding two of my machines. I'm getting out of this hobby, i think.

    Shenanigans. You change your mind more than I change my underwear.

    Good luck with the business, cool idea and hope it works out for you. Keep us posted as I will be happy to come check it out


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks to all for the advice. more questions coming as we build this out. any guidance always appreciated.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    This sounds great although I think that you are locating it too far North. Something around Oak Brook would probably do better, you've got more expressways to draw from. (Ok, I work in Oak Brook so I might be a bit biased )


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    It's close to home for us which makes it easier for a start up. If people like it and it takes off, we will open more I assure you. Will put Oak brook on the list.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    you are going to have a hard time finding 24 worthwhile machines in that amount of time. you better get crackin'!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Found a guy in Ohio says he can get us any machine we want within two weeks. shopped out and everything. Meeting him on Friday ath http://www.ohiopinballshow.com. checked him out and he is legit.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    davewth said:

    Good luck! I sent you a pm regarding two of my machines. I'm getting out of this hobby, i think.

    How much you want for the JD?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I've got a beautiful HUO SWE1 for sale if you are interested. It doesn't always get a lot of love from pinheads, but it's VERY popular with everyone else.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    will keep it in mind. we have a list of 50 machines right now need to cut that in half. I'd like to play it. I figure i'm my best test market. Any thoughts on the Jersey Jack WOZ machine? He offered to give us a discount and make us distributors if we were interested? Do you think the market is ready for more high tech in pinball?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    Jersey Jack WOZ machine

    just owning one would attract a lot of people. what a great idea you have going on here. good luck to you.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    nutshell79 said:

    davewth said:

    Good luck! I sent you a pm regarding two of my machines. I'm getting out of this hobby, i think.

    How much you want for the JD? [:)]

    pm sent.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    I'd like to play it.

    You're welcome to come over and play it any time. I'm just a hop skip and a jump away from Vernon Hills.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    mojozone said:

    just owning one would attract a lot of people.

    Agreed. I don't think many will be on location in the Chicago area


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    mojozone said:

    just owning one would attract a lot of people.

    +2

    I would say WOZ is a must.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    That sounds like an epic idea wish it was close to me!!! Good luck!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Here's a possible selection of pins to consider for your awesome pinball club:
    (1) WOZ from JJP, set up in a separate spot in your new place.
    Some new Sterns from 2010/2011/2012
    (1) AC/DC premium 2012 Stern, (1) Transformers LE 2011 Stern,
    (1) Tron: legacy LE 2011 Stern, (1) Iron Man, 2010 Stern.
    The (4) good ones from the 00's decade:
    Batman TDK (Stern 2008), Spider-Man (Stern 2007), LOTR & TSPP (Stern 2003)
    The above totals (9) so far.
    Get (9) awesome pinball machines from the 90's decade:
    (1) should be RFM or SWE1
    Must have the top rated pins, so (1) MM, (1) TZ, (1) AFM, (1) MB
    Better get these also: (1) ST:TNG {Williams '93 widebody}, (1) GNR {Data East '94 widebody}
    May want to get top one from Alvin G & Co --> (1) Mystery Castle 1993
    And a top one from Capcom such as (1) 1995 Pinball Magic [note: BBB is a bit pricey]
    Then (3) from the 80's that have good gameplay and great artwork:
    {1 early 80's, 1 mid 80's, 1 late 80's, many to choose from, so have fun deciding}
    For the final (3) of (24) total, it would be cool to have:
    (1) 50's Gottlieb woodrail type that has nice artwork and is in excellent condition.
    (1) mid/late 60's Gottlieb w/ the now conventional design of 2 flippers at bottom, and in-lanes that return ball to flippers, w/ mechanical and/or lighted backbox animation, and great artwork.
    (1) mid/late 70's Gottlieb (e-m or ss) that's fun to play & has great artwork {example: Joker Poker}.
    I bet that line-up would bring people in to Skill Shots to play some pinball. Good luck!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    Thanks! what about Twilight Zone, Cirqus Voltaire, Theatre of Magic and Tales of the Arabian Knights. worth buying?

    TZ if only one, add CV if only two, add TOTAN if three (I like Popadiuk's games), TOM last.

    Keep in mind the first two were failures for operators, but once properly tweaked, fairly troublefree.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Get a few DE games like GNR, JP and Checkpoint.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    SkillShots said:

    Do you think the market is ready for more high tech in pinball?

    YES!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Pinball-is-great said:

    Here's a possible selection of pins to consider for your awesome pinball club:
    (1) WOZ from JJP, set up in a separate spot in your new place.
    Some new Sterns from 2010/2011/2012
    (1) AC/DC premium 2012 Stern, (1) Transformers LE 2011 Stern,
    (1) Tron: legacy LE 2011 Stern, (1) Iron Man, 2010 Stern.
    The (4) good ones from the 00's decade:
    Batman TDK (Stern 2008), Spider-Man (Stern 2007), LOTR & TSPP (Stern 2003)
    The above totals (9) so far.
    Get (9) awesome pinball machines from the 90's decade:
    (1) should be RFM or SWE1
    Must have the top rated pins, so (1) MM, (1) TZ, (1) AFM, (1) MB
    Better get these also: (1) ST:TNG {Williams '93 widebody}, (1) GNR {Data East '94 widebody}
    May want to get top one from Alvin G & Co --> (1) Mystery Castle 1993
    And a top one from Capcom such as (1) 1995 Pinball Magic [note: BBB is a bit pricey]
    Then (3) from the 80's that have good gameplay and great artwork:
    {1 early 80's, 1 mid 80's, 1 late 80's, many to choose from, so have fun deciding}
    For the final (3) of (24) total, it would be cool to have:
    (1) 50's Gottlieb woodrail type that has nice artwork and is in excellent condition.
    (1) mid/late 60's Gottlieb w/ the now conventional design of 2 flippers at bottom, and in-lanes that return ball to flippers, w/ mechanical and/or lighted backbox animation, and great artwork.
    (1) mid/late 70's Gottlieb (e-m or ss) that's fun to play & has great artwork {example: Joker Poker}.
    I bet that line-up would bring people in to Skill Shots to play some pinball. Good luck!

    VERY GOOD LIST!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I think getting the new releases would be a huge draw. Especially if you get the LE's and not the pro versions, which would be more costly but would draw way more people.

    Would love to see WOZ and ACDC LE!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    So, basically, what you want to do is this.....

    http://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/

    except as pinball only?

    Me likey! I'd definitely stop by....

    Later,
    EV


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Addams Family is a MUST for any respectable pinball hall.

    I would suggest looking at the list of games at Lyons Pinball (in Lyons, CO) and maybe even calling the owner to pick his brain.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    lotsa good ideas, here. I'd say you need a taf, one of the smash and bash (afm, mm, mb, sm) for sure and then who knows.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Very excited to hear this! If you need help with anything let me know!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    ARTMAN said:

    If you need help with anything let me know!

    Ditto.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Very cool -- I'm in Deerfield - I know a bunch of people who would be interested!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    kapper said:

    Very cool -- I'm in Deerfield

    Well hello, neighbor!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    GBN class 89

    Howdy!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    gweempose said:

    If you need help with anything let me know!

    Ditto.

    +3


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    do you guys have a location yet? are you looking to be in a retail center of more of industrial typs space?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    We are definitely looking for retail space. We don't want anything too big. We don't want to be an arcade. We want to be about pinball and only the pinball experience. We were able to meet Steve Ritchie and George Gomez at Stern last week and they said they'd attend our opening. Got really geeked out when they said that! I think I'm going to buy AC/DC Premium this weekend. So we will at least have AC/DC and WOZ. We will take all the advice we can get. thanks!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I'm in real estate and would be happy to give you some free advice. Retail space is going to be significantly more expensive but obviously has the benefits of exposure.

    If you want to talk it over let me know your email addy and I will get in touch with you.



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