I just wanted to post my experience visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
Usually when I'm in Vegas, I make a stop to the Pinball Hall of Fame. Why? It's one of the largest collections on the West Coast. Now, I've read all the stories about Tim and Pinball Hall of Fame but I wanted hear from the people who run the place myself.
There are some things that I already knew. I knew that Tim runs this as a nonprofit for years and for years it's just been him that has been repairing and maintaining the pinball machines. He told me that he actually has more but can't put them out since the building is only so big (they are working on a getting a bigger building). He also told me that he does this to
1. Expand the hobby... let others get to play pinball (too many collections are HUO or private).
2. Gives visitors and locals value for the money (low charge for a lot of fun)
3. Doesn't take money and donates the money to running the place and charities like Salvation Army and MS. They open up the books since this is a non-profit. Right now they're saving up money for a larger building... maybe 40,000 sq ft which I think would triple the size.
4. He does allow people to come help him repair but he's been burned so many times. As of right now, there are 2 regular volunteers and 1 visiting volunteer who stay the week to repair things. I'm amazed on how many machines are in excellent condition from a routed point of view (probably played over 20 pins of which 2 had a real issues... rest are low priority that doesn't effect gameplay). I personally volunteer at the Museum of Pinball as a repair tech and we have 20 people. If you are a owner, you know that pins need love and care (replacing rubbers, waxing, fixing switches/targets, etc etc...) and this takes time.
5. He's more approachable than the stories say. We probably talked about 20 minutes on this thoughts on HoF, the pin industry and the like. His heart is in the right place. Like I mentioned, he's been burned so he carries a lot of weight by himself.
That's it.... hope you enjoyed the report!