(Topic ID: 276392)

Am I crazy to open a pinball joint in a sleepy beach town?

By spblat

1 year ago


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  • 85 posts
  • 60 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by mbwalker
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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    There are 85 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago

    On the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think now is a great time to buy real estate, especially in a tourist town, for the right price. If the pinball venture doesn't work, try something else or re sell. Lots of empty storefronts in small towns right now

    #52 1 year ago

    Play this song, when open. Forty mile town. “Pray that it can be an ocean town...“

    #53 1 year ago

    Sounds like a fun idea but i'm sure reality will be a bit different, especially in this social and economic climate. Good luck.

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from V8haha:

    Are you independently wealthy?
    If you can support it from your other income then I’d say go for it. Being able to right off every pinball purchase is a plus. Specially if you have income from other sources that you need to shelter

    Just keep in mind that as an operator of pinball machines (not a distributor), the games would be depreciated over 5 years under the IRC. Yes, with current bonus depreciation rules you would "write off" the entire purchase in the first year. But what everyone forgets about is recapture. If you turn around and sell that pin the next year, you have to recapture the depreciation in the form of income. So yes, the initial year would likely be a significant write off, but in future years I would anticipate new pin purchases and the recapture from the sale of old games would essentially be a wash.

    -1
    #55 1 year ago
    Quoted from JustEverett:

    Just keep in mind that as an operator of pinball machines (not a distributor), the games would be depreciated over 5 years under the IRC. Yes, with current bonus depreciation rules you would "write off" the entire purchase in the first year. But what everyone forgets about is recapture. If you turn around and sell that pin the next year, you have to recapture the depreciation in the form of income. So yes, the initial year would likely be a significant write off, but in future years I would anticipate new pin purchases and the recapture from the sale of old games would essentially be a wash.

    It would be tough to recapture anything on a cash deal for an item that isn't registered or titled in anyway that the govt can track.

    #56 1 year ago

    Do you have a buttload of cash to put down? Half down for the lot and another 30%+ down for the construction loan? And an excess of income to help qualify?

    Just throwing some ballpark numbers out there, but I think you'll need hundreds of thousands of your own skin in the game in order for this to be remotely feasible.

    #57 1 year ago
    Quoted from NY2Colorado:

    Legal weed, great craft beer, and pinball all go perfectly, together.
    Do the have legal weed and good beer in Oregon?

    Haha! This is like all the good that comes from us here in Oregon right now

    #58 1 year ago
    Quoted from spblat:

    Hi friends. So I want people to enjoy pinball. I want them to enjoy my games and I want a venue for expanding my collection. There's a sleepy beach town I love that has zero pinball machines within about an hour's drive in any direction. Because you can't make money on pinball alone in a smallish space without tons of traffic I was thinking about buying a lot near the beach and leasing space to residential tenants or other business owners in a building I'd raise, leaving me around 1000 square feet for a dozen games and a few tables for people to hang out, have a snack, charge their phones or play tabletop games. Behind the modest token revenue and the tenant income would be merchandise sales, snacks and beverages, in-home game rentals and events.
    So I have a business plan. I have my eye on a lot three blocks from the water. I have a rough financial model. I'm looking for funding in a climate where lenders aren't interested in startups. What I'm most apprehensive about is that in order to satisfy my desire to spread the pleasure of pinball, I also need to get excited about managing the real estate and the leasing and the retail and a bunch of non-pinball stuff.
    What do you think? Am I gearing up to do something challenging and fun, or am I setting myself up to fall out of love with pinball? How do you scratch your "spread the love of pinball" itch without a seven-figure budget?

    I'm really familiar with nearly the entire Oregon coast, what town? Just curious

    #59 1 year ago

    This all comes back to the old saying - If you want to become a millionaire in pinball, you need to start off as a billionaire.

    Like some others have said, if you have a boatload of money and can afford to burn some of it then go for it.

    #60 1 year ago
    Quoted from Honch:

    It would be tough to recapture anything on a cash deal for an item that isn't registered or titled in anyway that the govt can track.

    Well the OP is talking about running a business, not committing tax fraud. Just keep in mind that the statute of limitations for an audit when you commit tax fraud is non-existent. So maybe the best advice isn't to tell someone to pay cash and not report it.

    #61 1 year ago
    Quoted from JustEverett:

    Well the OP is talking about running a business, not committing tax fraud. Just keep in mind that the statute of limitations for an audit when you commit tax fraud is non-existent. So maybe the best advice isn't to tell someone to pay cash and not report it.

    That wasn't advice to the OP. I was merely pointing out the fact that things like that aren't tracked. And if you truly believe that cash businesses actually report all of their income, I have a bridge I could sell you. Cash deal of course.

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from Honch:

    That wasn't advice to the OP. I was merely pointing out the fact that things like that aren't tracked. And if you truly believe that cash businesses actually report all of their income, I have a bridge I could sell you. Cash deal of course.

    I do plenty of work for cash heavy businesses. I'm sure that they don't report everything, but that's their decision. Plus to the original point of my post, how is someone going to "write off" an asset if they never report it? Your post is non-sequitur and pointless.

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from JustEverett:

    I do plenty of work for cash heavy businesses. I'm sure that they don't report everything, but that's their decision. Plus to the original point of my post, how is someone going to "write off" an asset if they never report it? Your post is non-sequitur and pointless.

    Congratulations, it sounds very exciting!
    And Of course you would write off the initial purchase. When did I ever say otherwise? I was referring to the sale of said game after it's "retired". I wasn't looking to get into an accounting/tax debate with you. I get it, you're an accountant.

    #64 1 year ago

    Don't they always say "If you want to make a million dollars in the arcade business, start with two million"?

    #65 1 year ago
    Quoted from bluespin:

    What about building an Airbnb with an arcade? A local collector built an Airbnb and a large arcade on his property using storage containers and is renting them out. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17170419?s=67&unique_share_id=7b85e074-8c2b-449c-a100-ffd197fa8808

    I'm embarrassed I didn't suggest this earlier.

    I Airbnb'd out a 200 square foot converted garage in my backyard, with access to your own private pinball arcade: my basement. There were 8-10 machines there at the time. For several years, I was the top Google result for "Airbnb arcade". Occupancy was around 85-90%, but I do live in a destination town with lots of year round visitors. I'd say 1/3 to 1/2 of the bookings we got were *specifically* because of the arcade.

    The only reason that I stopped doing it was because given the zoning of my neighborhood, we weren't allowed to have someone sleeping in a detached structure. We didn't know that at the time, and the city didn't realize it either when they had granted us a short term rental license.

    Short term rentals are easy money if you own a property in a location that allows them (all states, counties, cities have their own rules, and sometimes they aren't allowed at all, or they may grant a certain number of licenses, or it may be a free for all...and everywhere in between). People want unique experiences and cool spaces - you shouldn't make them a lowest common denominator style/design like mid/low range hotels need to be. If you put the pins in a separate room, you'll still get bookings from normal people who don't care about the arcade aspect.

    People will say "yeah, but this is a bad time because COVID"...well, my other short term rental was shut down for 2.5 months this spring, and all bookings were canceled for the rest of the year. When we were allowed to open up again, it was very quickly re-booked and we are back to within 4% of last year's occupancy, with availability remaining in Nov/Dec. (This place doesn't have anything arcade related). People are desperate to get out of their houses right now.

    If you want more detailed info, please send me a PM. A short term rental is a much better idea than an arcade - it's very likely you'll make more per day than you will with an arcade, and if you have a reliable cleaner, it's virtually no work. (Though you do need to own property to do it...which is a large investment...although the down payment could be cheaper than 40 nice pinball machines).

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    People are desperate to get out of their houses right now.

    This is very true. We were shut down the entire month of april but after that... may to october has been booked about 85 to 90%. Strangely enough, covid is helping to boost our business. People are looking for places to go with their loved ones where they don't have to socially distance or wear masks or be around strangers.
    Pre-covid I offered an airbnb "arcade experience" where people could come for a 2.5 hour block for $50/person, play in the arcade and then leave. Before covid19, the arcade was a shared space with my overnight guests and my experience guests playing together. That worked well but with now covid, people don't want to be around strangers so I stopped the experience part of the airbnb.
    It is a wonderful way to make some money which helps pay for my hobby and the electric bill. And, we get to meet like-minded people from all over the country and even the world.

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    9 months later
    #67 4 months ago

    Hi everybody, OP here. The model changed significantly but I went ahead and did it https://www.instagram.com/p/CP_fDWgBVY-/

    #68 4 months ago
    Quoted from spblat:

    Hi everybody, OP here. The model changed significantly but I went ahead and did it https://www.instagram.com/p/CP_fDWgBVY-/

    Great video of the floor and various signs!

    #69 4 months ago
    Quoted from spblat:

    Hi everybody, OP here. The model changed significantly but I went ahead and did it https://www.instagram.com/p/CP_fDWgBVY-/

    Which town is this in again? We just bought a place in rockaway!

    #70 4 months ago
    Quoted from jrivelli:

    Which town is this in again? We just bought a place in rockaway!

    You are in luck. I'm minutes north of you

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    #71 4 months ago

    Put it on the Pin map

    #72 4 months ago
    Quoted from shimmydisc:

    Put it on the Pin map

    Already there. I haven't found a way to link to a specific entry in their database but if you scan over to Oregon's north coast you'll find me between Lincoln City's bars to the south and Seaside's arcade to the north.

    Edit: https://pinballmap.com/map/?by_location_id=15503

    #73 4 months ago

    That is great, congratulations!! If I have one suggestion, it would be to remove the Cheetos from the vending machine.

    #74 4 months ago
    Quoted from spblat:

    Hi everybody, OP here. The model changed significantly but I went ahead and did it https://www.instagram.com/p/CP_fDWgBVY-/

    On your next video, please zoom out, and include the exterior of the building.

    #75 4 months ago

    To answer the title of your post, Yes.

    Maybe just put a machine on free play in a bar / establishment that you like in the area for six months?

    If you tolerate the wear on your games with no profit, you might learn a few things and have some ideas.

    If you aren’t happy, the loss is minimal.

    #76 4 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Great video of the floor and various signs!

    Good soundtrack, though! Where my Röyksopp fans at?!? ... [crickets]

    #77 4 months ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Good soundtrack, though! Where my Röyksopp fans at?!? ... [crickets]

    YES!

    #78 4 months ago

    Looks cozy and lots of space, nice. Hope you will do well.

    #80 3 months ago

    Best of luck, we'll all be rooting for you. I'd recommend you do some decorating to add a little warmth to the space, which currently looks a little 'retail grey'.

    #81 3 months ago

    Do you have a local pinball show you can support? This would be a great way to support the love of pinball and not go into financial debt.

    3 weeks later
    #82 3 months ago
    Quoted from spblat:

    You are in luck. I'm minutes north of you [quoted image]

    Perfect, we go to nehalem to eat everytime we are down there!

    #83 3 months ago

    Maybe I missed it, but do you have a sign indicating it's a pinball arcade?

    #84 3 months ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    Maybe I missed it, but do you have a sign indicating it's a pinball arcade?

    Big letters on the window "PLAY PINBALL HERE"

    #85 3 months ago
    Quoted from WODKA:

    Big letters on the window "PLAY PINBALL HERE"

    Maybe get one of those neon (maybe LED these days) pinball signs to draw more attention (just a random Amazon grab below)?
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    Edit - Maybe it's just not showing up in the google map photos yet?

    There are 85 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

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