First off, thank you for all the bumps! Regardless if you do or don't support what we are doing, any comment bumps us to the top of the forum and we have seen an uptick in Kickstater pledges from pinside over the last 5 days.
I will try to cover some of the things that have been discussed.
Quoted from pinballuniv:
Ok. I've been in the Fargo area for 12 years now (originally from Madison Wis). I REALLY believe this is a HUGE scam. These guys bought the original owners games (everything except Twilight Zone & Junk Yard) they paid full/over retail for the games & now come on here & Facebook acting like they are doing us a favor & then asking for a kick starter so we pay for "their games"
Here's a idea.... put "your" games at a location. Do not charge for a member free or kick starter. If I feel that I want to come & pay to play "your" games I will bring $. If it's not worth it or fun I won't. Simple
How about putting some food & beverages .
Just don't make your fun hobby our problem.
We are not out to scam anyone and I know we have sadly seen scams come and go in the pinball community (i.e. preorder scams and such) so it is understandable that people have their reservations.
We respect opinions good or bad and will gladly address topics as any good venture should.
Regarding what we paid, to be frank, pinball prices are governed by availability and Fargo does not have a lot of availability. We paid what we felt was a very fair price for the machines we got and again thank Scotty for selling the machines to us so we could keep them in Fargo. I imagine the pricing information must have come from someone Scotty talked with.
The Kickstarter has been awesome and it is a great tool for marketing and allowing people who appreciate our vision to show their support inside and outside the Fargo metro. I believe Kickstarter is a great marketing tool and should be there to assist a new venture. That being said, Kickstarter may not be a good idea if your venture is dependent on the site to "make it or break it". In our case, we are locked in our lease and will be opening our doors regardless of the outcome of the Kickstarter campaign (although we are less than $500 from our goal!!!)
Our goal is to keep pinball relevant here in Fargo. The next closest place to play is a three and a half hour drive to the Twin Cities . However if you do make a trip to the Twin Cities, visiting with Lloyd at SS Billiards (LTG) is an absolute must!
My personal belief is that for pinball to survive we absolutely have to bring in new players to appreciate the game. I loved having machines in my basement but that was not very accessible to everyone who wanted to play.
The Fargo Pinball Club is attempting to combine the feel and variety of a private basement/collection with the accessibility of machines out in the wild. The location is private to members, but members can bring as many friends as they want. Provided a member can pass a background check (similar to something an employer would do) you are more than welcome to join.
The kicker is that each member is responsible for their guests and with the security cameras and key fob access, we know who is coming in, when they come in, and can see who they are bringing in with them. So if someone decided to have sex in the club (as mentioned in a previous post) they are going to be on camera and we will know who they are or who they arrived with.
We could put machines on location but say someone had a bad day and decided to tip our Monster Bash over. Even with a clear image on a camera, we would have no idea who that person was or how to track them down.
I did explore the beer and food idea but after investigating the licenses, regulations, and requirements (especially with food prep) we felt the focus should remain on the machines. (it is important to note however that we do maintain an operators license with the state). That being said however, if people wanted to pick up something for dinner on the way to the club, we do not have a problem with that (no alcohol however due to insurance concerns). One of the things I wanted to do at the last location but could not was to bring in a snack and soda. Well now I am able to.
Quoted from bob_e:
Exactly what will the funds be used for?
General funding, for the lease, for a PRIVATE club. Or did I miss something? So a paid membership gets one a key-fob to enter the "club" pay to play the games. Do you have a bill changer to supply quarters or tokens? What sort of staff will be there to fix problems like stuck balls or machine malfunctions?
Tilt Pinball was an Arcade open to the public, now closed. Sounds like it was not a profitable venture for the previous owners because there was not enough public interest aka players. And now a $45 annual fee will make the difference in profitability? Do you expect walk in traffic to sign up at $45 per person?
All the arcades I went to never had an annual membership fee or cover charge to get in the door. Except, Cedar Point the amusement park.
I know the major football universities now sell you a "license" just so you can buy tickets to their football games. An end around play to increase ticket prices. They can do it because the fans, short for fanatics, are willing to pay.
The funds will be used for the direct operating expenses of the club. We absolutely have a change machine but will also have PayRange on each machine (check out this great video from East Side Pinball in the Twin Cities and their implementation of PayRange.
Tilt Pinball in Fargo (later renamed Fargo Pinball) was not open to the public. They had public open house hours every now and then, but it was a private membership club with pay to play machines as well. It was profitable but Scotty wanted to spend less time working on the club and more time at the lake.
Quoted from bob_e:
I don't see Mom here buying her kid a membership to play pinball for an added cost per game.
That is my picture of my son on the last day Fargo Pinball was open downtown, but unfortunately all the machines had been moved out prior to the last day. My son was crushed. It was truly a sad day in Fargo.
Again, thank you all for the bumps and support. We have nearly hit our Kickstarter goal with two days left to go. We are very proud to say Fargo Pinball will officially open to it's doors to our members on December 19th.
I again appreciate all the support and wish you all a wonderful evening.