(Topic ID: 58251)

A new pinball museum pending in Michigan


By Garrett

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 68 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by frolic
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    There are 68 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #2 6 years ago

    Awesome news!!!!!

    Add another to the go-to list!!

    #3 6 years ago

    Way to go Clay!

    Ken

    #4 6 years ago

    so much work to do for this, it's pretty overwhelming.
    i wasn't going to say anything to anybody about it either until it was more near ready to open. but a local radio station was at the planning zone meeting, and documented the whole re-zoning thing. it was on their website in hours, and then hit the AP wire. if you do a google search on "green oaks pinball museum", about 7 pages of different google returns show. Newspapers from California to Texas to Kansas City to Miami and of course Detroit carried the article. It must have been a pretty slow news day.

    #5 6 years ago

    Great news. Only a 45 minute drive up the road for me! Looking forward to the opening. Anyone have any insider info on a scheduled date of completion?

    #6 6 years ago

    Congratulations, Clay. All the best with it.

    #7 6 years ago

    Clay, if you need help I'm sure the local pinheads would be more than happy to lend a hand. Let us know if you need help if this goes through!

    Do you have any plans for wall murals? The old school overhead projectors make this pretty easy to lay out.

    #8 6 years ago

    I am fortunate enough to be helping Clay out with this project, and let me tell you, it's a bit overwhelming. We've got a bit of work to do to get the new hall ready for the pins to move in, but it will be all worth it in the end. For those of you that know Clay, he doesn't waste time on projects. We'll definitely be moved in before the snow flies...

    We'll have over 6000 sq. ft. of space, and combining two collections together to have close to 200 games up and playable in the new facility. It's an exciting time for pinball in SE Michigan! Stay tuned for more info....

    Thanks,
    Eric V.

    #9 6 years ago

    I live in Pinckney (just west of Brighton), let me know if you need help.

    #10 6 years ago

    Awesome news! Only an hour drive for me. I can't wait! If you need any extra help Clay I'm there.

    #11 6 years ago

    Very nice, Clay. Now I just need to move closer to Detroit.

    I look forward to seeing you at the museum!

    #12 6 years ago

    From the news article: "The permit was granted with a condition that the museum would not be used for commercial purposes. It allows Harrell to open the facility to the public up to four times per year[...]"

    So that would be spring, summer, fall, and winter, right?

    #13 6 years ago

    I for one welcome our pinball ninja!

    Seriously though, this is exciting news. Michigan is a heck of a lot closer than vegas to me, and I love Clay (and Tim isn't getting any younger).

    #14 6 years ago

    Seems like it takes a lot of guts to 'get back on the horse' after being thrown off so viciously. Good luck to the venture, always glad to see pinball on location, even in a limited fashion.

    #15 6 years ago

    So.....
    Another reason to visit my brother who lives in Brighton.

    This looks great! Way to go Clay and thanks for helping him Eric!

    #16 6 years ago

    What an excellent way to honor an excellent collection.

    #17 6 years ago

    Thank you all for the kind words. There's a website for the venture at http://www.vfwpinball.com and i've also started a Kickstarter campaign to help with funding (burning through money on the build out like it grows on trees...) http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/52228098/ann-arbor-pinball-museum-wants-to-open

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    i've also started a Kickstarter campaign to help with funding (burning through money on the build out like it grows on trees...) http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/52228098/ann-arbor-pinball-museum-wants-to-open

    California pinball museum kickstarter = $150k
    Michigan pinball museum kickstarter = $5k

    I smell a winner (already donated). here's to hoping you far exceed your goal clay!
    I love the guys from california (great personalities) and I did back them, but $150k seems like a lofty goal that isn't going to get met

    #19 6 years ago

    Personnally I thought those guys out there are loaded and 150k would be pocket change to them??

    #20 6 years ago

    Clay, I know a scrap guy that would come get the safe if you would like.

    #21 6 years ago

    I think it's great that Clay's vision of sharing his collection, despite many bumps along the way, is finally coming to fruition in a big way.

    I believe in ya...I'm in on the kickstarter campaign.

    Congrats!

    #22 6 years ago

    Congratulations Clay!!! Good luck with everything!

    Traveler

    #23 6 years ago

    Got rid of that safe! man that thing took 3 of us to push it out of the building (yes it has wheels.) Also had to remove a wall to get it out. It must have weighed 1000 pounds. put it outside and put a 'free' ad on Criags list. within 30 minutes a guy was on the way. why anyone would want a safe that is 6' tall, 4' wide, 2.5' deep and weighs half a ton, i don't know. Don't know the combo and frankly i think the lock is broken on it too. but it's gone. probably can't recycle it either, as the steel walls are filled with concrete.

    again thanks everyone for your support. you can keep an eye on the project by visiting http://www.vfwpinball.com - i usually add a blog post about every day.

    #24 6 years ago

    pot nearly tripled thank you for doing this clay. Come on michiganders lets get this done today.

    #26 6 years ago

    Funded it this morning, this is the coolest damn thing ever! A dream come true to have a pinball museum less than an hour from my home.

    I'd do the $200 or $400... but I feel like I'd be a pain in the ass coming down every other weekend lol.

    #27 6 years ago

    Considering the failure of the Largest Museum of Pinball, this is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel for a new major pinball museum.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/museumofpinball/worlds-largest-museum-of-pinball-help-us-launch

    #28 6 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    (and Tim isn't getting any younger).

    Low blow!

    I'm not sure Tim qualifies as old, yet. Vegas, however, does qualify as FAR.

    #29 6 years ago

    why are the other museums allowed to open daily? if yours can only be opened 4 times a year to the public, how can we properly enjoy the games? do we need petition the county? your games should be able to be loved and played more often then 4 times a year! gems!

    #30 6 years ago

    Nonprofit=lots of downtime.

    #31 6 years ago
    Quoted from silver_spinner:

    why are the other museums allowed to open daily? if yours can only be opened 4 times a year to the public, how can we properly enjoy the games? do we need petition the county? your games should be able to be loved and played more often then 4 times a year! gems!

    Pins are inherently evil and public exposure to their dark influence must be closely limited?

    You're assuming he wants to be open to the public more...

    #32 6 years ago

    Another thread on this topic has more details; basically, the city will only let him be open that much (same for PAPA!).
    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/clay-and-ann-arbor-pinball-museum

    I guess they are just not "zoned" for commercial use; I wonder if the owners of either have thought about applying for a SUP, though. Are these heavily residential areas?

    #33 6 years ago

    Man, I hope I don't have any problems with my machine anytime soon. It looks like Clay is plenty busy- haha.

    #34 6 years ago

    Interesting that it was a VFW hall previously, and I'd assume they rented it out for parties and stuff.

    Maybe being open every day to the public is different than being open for private events or club events.

    #35 6 years ago

    I wonder if there is a loophole available for something like this like "private bars" where you have to pay a $1 a year and get on a list to become a "member" and sign in when you arrive. Then, it's no longer an open to the public place, as it is a members only private establishment, and doesn't have to follow the same by laws as publicly operated venues.

    #36 6 years ago

    Hey all,

    the location is in a lovely rural area, and there aren't that many houses around. Yet, it's still very easily accessible off of an expressway exit, and close to the major metro areas of Detroit and Ann Arbor.

    The main reasons for the limited public hours are zoning/taxes/financial. Clay is funding most of this out of his own pocket, and the general idea is to keep the machines in as good a condition as possible. Thus, the "private" status of the museum. It's not that we want to keep away the close-knit and friendly pinball community. It's just that we really don't want packs of unsupervised, raging 8-year-olds wandering through the place either...

    If you go and check out the KickStarter campaign website, you'll see that many of the contribution levels come with opportunities for private showings. As some of you know and have visited us in the past, we've had a bit of that same model at the current warehouse for the past couple years. Now we'll be able to have open events four weekends a year. Plans aren't final on what those four events will be, but we've got some neat ideas in the works....

    Thanks,
    Eric V.

    #37 6 years ago

    100% Backed! =)

    #38 6 years ago

    Ann Arbor gets even better!

    #39 6 years ago

    Clay has done so much for pinheads world wide, and for the most part on his dime. As we see many projects like this cropping up all over the place, Clay and the crew have done there homework and what's a few bucks to make this very low priced goal. You will be amazed, as I was with what they can do, I have seen it! Pin on my friends!

    #40 6 years ago

    Thanks for the kind words everyone.
    on the public opening thing. Even though it was a working VFW until April 1st 2013, apparently the township had no idea that they were doing fish frys on fridays and sunday brunches. The zoning person at the township said if they knew that was going on, they would have put a stop to it. So there i am, wandering into city hall, asking for a public pinball museum, thinking they knew about the vfw operations...

    the way it went down was this.... We bought a new house about a mile from the vfw on 10 acres. i was going to put a 6000 sqft pole barn on that property. So i called Morton buildings (the Cadillac of pole barns) for a quote. I nearly died when i got the quote for a 6000 sqft insulated pole barn. Then add site excavation, water (would need a new well dug), new septic field, heating/cooling, electric 400 amps, and finally a concrete driveway to the building. WOW. it was just too much money. Plus my wife was wondering, "why does anyone need 6000 sqft for pinballs???" And having all my pinball buddies over at the house, well, she was concerned...

    so then my wife found the vfw for sale. Seemed perfect. Commercially set up for crowds with full water, septic, parking lot, 6500+ sqft, new heating/cooling. And for a fair price, and just a mile from our house. The problem is the zoning. it's R2 which is residential but allows for day care centers and museums. Still had to pay $1500 and go in front of the zoning board with a business plan. But they tell me it can't really be a "business", it has to be a museum. I ask how can i have a museum that's never open?? It makes no sense. So they agree to limited public openings of four weekends a year. Which i guess is fine. Actually it's pretty good. They could have said none.

    So with that in mind, there's no limit on "private" things. After all, i own the property. Just can't have a zillion people there. I told them there would be 20 or so guys on any given night, and they were fine with that. Just can't be an arcade (no quarter, everything free play), no retail shop selling games, and no major signage other than what's already there.

    It's not perfect, but it's as good as i'm going to get. The property was affordable and close to my new house. Yes the building needs work (new roof!), but it's still cheaper than a pole barn on my property. The open four weekends a year lets me do maybe a pinball showcase, or a tournament, something like that. But I can do the private, less crowded things anytime. Which suites us fine, because that's what we've been doing in the Tilt Town and Flipper City models (which frankly has been working out OK as of late.) And now the township is in full knowledge of what I'm doing, so i can't get in any trouble. That was the important part.

    #41 6 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    toyotaboy said:

    (and Tim isn't getting any younger).

    Low blow!

    I'm not sure Tim qualifies as old, yet.

    He said himself he worries about the day he's not around, and there's a sign on the door of his museum that says "closed for good, should have come while you had the chance"
    http://pinballsoul.com/knerd-knews-visits-pinball-hall-of-fame-las-vegas

    #42 6 years ago

    This is awesome.

    #43 6 years ago

    That building looks awesome Clay. I'm looking forward to its opening!

    #44 6 years ago

    I'm glad to hear the vision is still alive and you've found this opportunity. I've been with you in spirit clay since the TOP days - wishing you the best with the next venture! Your sharing and contributions have saved me many times.

    #45 6 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    He said himself he worries about the day he's not around, and there's a sign on the door of his museum that says "closed for good, should have come while you had the chance"
    http://pinballsoul.com/knerd-knews-visits-pinball-hall-of-fame-las-vegas

    Eh. That's just foreboding.

    #46 6 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    Eh. That's just foreboding.

    ...and then another guy (or gal) buys it and makes it even better. I mean no disrespect to Tim (he's awesome), I am only saying that *progress* (i.e - the future) does not have to be a dirty word.
    Scott

    #47 6 years ago

    As for Clay's efforts; A++++. I wish him the best of luck.
    I've been to Flipper City and I absorbed every moment knowing that a utopia such as this could not last forever. Flipper City was a pinball enthusiast's (wet) dream. I can only hope that his new venture will be half as spectacular. If it exceeds Flipper City then I may have to move to Michigan.
    Scott

    #48 6 years ago
    Quoted from shakethatmachine:

    As for Clay's efforts; A++++. I wish him the best of luck.
    I've been to Flipper City and I absorbed every moment knowing that a utopia such as this could not last forever. Flipper City was a pinball enthusiast's (wet) dream. I can only hope that his new venture will be half as spectacular. If it exceeds Flipper City then I may have to move to Michigan.
    Scott

    It will exceed Flipper City.

    #49 6 years ago

    Thank you all for your comments and support!
    i'm hoping more michigan guys will do the kickstarter thing, since clearly this venue benefits them the most. But i'm amazed by the outside-the-area support we've been receiving. It truly is humbling that so many people whom don't live even close have contributed. Thank you all again!

    #50 6 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    It's not perfect, but it's as good as i'm going to get.

    This sounds great Clay. Keep in the back of your mind that once you are in that location for a few years and get good relations with the neighborhood, you could go back and ask to re-zone the property to Commercial (or whatever would allow a public museum). That's IF you think you would want to do that.
    The idea of a big arcade may scare some local people who will think 1983 arcade with loads of bored teenagers hanging around (Ahhh................High School). Once they see that you are a responsible person and your guests are generally families and adults they will have a better feel for the whole thing.

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