(Topic ID: 247318)

Official Pintastic New England 2020 hotel/driving discussion


By dmarston

1 year ago



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  • 72 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 74 days ago by dmarston
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    #1 1 year ago

    For its sixth annual show, Pintastic New England will be moving from Sturbridge to Boxboro, and we will have an official overflow hotel in Westford, all in Massachusetts. Use this thread to discuss the optimal driving routes, the hotel and restaurant options, how to get there by plane or train, and other nearby businesses of note. Special rate codes for the Pintastic blocks at the Boxboro Regency and Westford Regency will be posted soon. The Boxboro hotel (actual site of the show) is at Exit 28 off I-495, while the Westford hotel is at Exit 32 off I-495.

    One of the most noteworthy businesses on the state highways in between the two hotels is Electronics Plus in Littleton.
    http://electronicsplus.com/
    It's an old-style walk-in retail store for electronic gear and parts; the kind of store you might have thought was extinct! It's at the crossing point of MA routes 110 and 119, one block from Exit 31 off I-495. For pinball repair, you can find solder and fuses there. (Miniature lamps like #44 and its LED counterparts are probably better to get right at the show, in the Vendor Hall.) They have popular sizes of other components, tools, and test equipment. If you visit them, please mention the Pintastic show.

    Do you know a business in the Ayer-Boxboro-Acton-Littleton-Westford area that is a hidden gem or would appeal to pinballers? You could mention it in this thread.
    .................David Marston

    #2 1 year ago

    The new site in Boxboro is closer to Boston. There are commuter trains running between Boston and Fitchburg that stop at a station called "Littleton/Route 495" that is right near Exit 29 off I-495 and Exit 39 off the Route 2 expressway. The Pintastic show will be at Exit 28 off I-495, close in direct linear distance but requiring a fews turns to navigate.
    https://www.mbta.com/stops/place-FR-0301
    I know some of you don't drive or prefer to use public transportation. I hope this helps you figure out how to get to the show. Show dates are June 25-28, 2020.
    .................David Marston

    #3 1 year ago

    i will use my gps.....see you next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #4 1 year ago

    So both hotels are not on site? I was under the impression the hotel was on site.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from Brypten:

    So both hotels are not on site? I was under the impression the hotel was on site.

    Boxboro Regency Is the site. However It looks like that hotel only has 143 rooms, so an extra hotel will probably be needed. Hence the overflow.

    For reference, Sturbridge had 261 “rooms” total.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Boxboro Regency Is the site. However It looks like that hotel only has 143 rooms, so an extra hotel will probably be needed. Hence the overflow.
    For reference, Sturbridge had 261 “rooms” total.

    Yes the over flow hotel is a sister hotel to the regency and is 10 min away. We will have a free shuttle bus running all days till from 9am to 3am so everyone can stay safe. So this will increase our hotel rooms to 320 rooms.

    #7 1 year ago

    So, uh, is it too early to get my LE pass for next year yet?

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Boxboro Regency Is the site. However It looks like that hotel only has 143 rooms, so an extra hotel will probably be needed. Hence the overflow.
    For reference, Sturbridge had 261 “rooms” total.

    Thanks for the clarification!

    #9 1 year ago

    LE passes are not on sale yet. We still need to talk about the extra swag included in the package. Our usual target is to have them on sale in early December.
    .................David Marston

    #10 1 year ago

    Here's an example of comparative travel times that shows why objective research or GPS is worthwhile. I speculated that Keene, New Hampshire, might have interesting differences between the old Pintastic location in Sturbridge and the new one in Boxboro. I chose to start right in the center of downtown Keene.

    There are state highways that form almost a straight shot between Keene and Sturbridge, much of it along route 32 (a route number shared by NH, MA, and CT). The straight route has a few miles on route 10 at the Keene end, and later diverts off 32 onto MA 67 and then to MA 148. Mapquest says this 67-mile trip would take 1:48 to drive.

    From the same Keene address to the Boxboro site, there is a mild bend in the route. Leave Keene on route 12 and follow it to Winchendon, MA, then take a few miles of diagonal crossover on MA 140 to where it joins the MA route 2 expressway, then go a couple miles on I-495 at the Boxboro end. Mapquest says this slightly shorter trip (61 miles) takes only 1:17 to drive, a half-hour less, thanks to the higher-speed roadways.

    Try checking your address.
    .................David Marston

    #11 1 year ago

    The Apex Center in Marlborough is ~15 minutes south of Pintastic and offers bowling, CART racing and many other activities for out of town guests who want to expand their gaming experience beyond Pinball. There are also a number of restaurants and hotels...

    https://www.apexentertainment.com

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    LE passes are not on sale yet. We still need to talk about the extra swag included in the package. Our usual target is to have them on sale in early December.
    .................David Marston

    They will go on sale November 1st so mark your calendars. Also the hotels have started booking. Don't wait on booking your room. The host hotel has 60 less room available. So it will sell out quicker. Not to worry we do have our sister hotel 10 min away with free shuttle service till 3am each day. Go here to book https://pintasticnewengland.com/hotel-2/

    IMG_2826 (resized).JPGIMG_2827 (resized).JPG
    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from dannunz:

    They will go on sale November 1st so mark your calendars. Also the hotels have started booking. Don't wait on booking your room. The host hotel has 60 less room available. So it will sell out quicker. Not to worry we do have our sister hotel 10 min away with free shuttle service till 3am each day. Go here to book https://pintasticnewengland.com/hotel-2/[quoted image][quoted image]

    Thanks for the heads up Gabe! Booked!

    #14 1 year ago

    How much of a discount is it booked with the group rate? I tried doing it online for just one night. The link from the Pintastic website has it locked in for the whole show. If I change it to one night it tells me the offer isn’t valid

    #15 1 year ago

    I know it is early but can you speak to the actual layout of the event within the hotel? The reason I ask is that I sold my Cue Ball Wizard to a very nice couple who were buying their first pin. When they were picking up the machine they saw the various Pintastic signed prints I have hung up in the game room and commented that they went to the show and that they were very disappointed with it. I was surprised to hear that and asked why they felt that way and they said they went Saturday evening and most of the machines were gone or being packed up so they felt it was not worth the price.

    Turns out they paid for their admission at the booth and walked into the vendor hall that was adjacent to the booth. They spent some time there as the vendors packed up. When they left that room they walked to the intersection where the hot sause guy was set up, looked into the hall in front of the free play room and saw people eating at the tables and ordering food and figured it was the dining area and then they went home. Yikes.

    I wound up showing them photos of the free play room I had on my phone and they were crushed they didn't get to explore that room full of pinball machines. They did change their minds about returning next year and I gave them a card with the dates and new location and I hope to see them there.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from Murphdom:

    How much of a discount is it booked with the group rate? I tried doing it online for just one night. The link from the Pintastic website has it locked in for the whole show. If I change it to one night it tells me the offer isn’t valid

    If you change the dates it takes the group code off. Enter "PINTASTIC 6-20" to get the cheaper rate.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from Matesamo:

    I know it is early but can you speak to the actual layout of the event within the hotel?

    We haven't determined the whole arrangement just yet, but the Boxboro hotel has a simpler layout based on a central hall. We had lots of signage around for Sturbridge and will have some for Boxboro, though I think we won't need as much. As of now, I can't say with 100% certainty where the Box Office will be relative to the rest of the show, but I hope it will be easier to find everything after buying tickets.
    .................David Marston

    #18 1 year ago

    We are worrying and talking about a show that’s a year away? Go play some pinball.

    #19 1 year ago

    You have moved closer.
    Not going!

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from Matesamo:

    I know it is early but can you speak to the actual layout of the event within the hotel? The reason I ask is that I sold my Cue Ball Wizard to a very nice couple who were buying their first pin. When they were picking up the machine they saw the various Pintastic signed prints I have hung up in the game room and commented that they went to the show and that they were very disappointed with it. I was surprised to hear that and asked why they felt that way and they said they went Saturday evening and most of the machines were gone or being packed up so they felt it was not worth the price.
    Turns out they paid for their admission at the booth and walked into the vendor hall that was adjacent to the booth. They spent some time there as the vendors packed up. When they left that room they walked to the intersection where the hot sause guy was set up, looked into the hall in front of the free play room and saw people eating at the tables and ordering food and figured it was the dining area and then they went home. Yikes.
    I wound up showing them photos of the free play room I had on my phone and they were crushed they didn't get to explore that room full of pinball machines. They did change their minds about returning next year and I gave them a card with the dates and new location and I hope to see them there.

    This is upsetting. We have huge signs pointing to free play and maps everywhere with the show layout. Crazy

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from Matesamo:

    If you change the dates it takes the group code off. Enter "PINTASTIC 6-20" to get the cheaper rate.

    You need to scroll back one month at a time and the dates are blocked off with the code applied

    #22 1 year ago

    If anyone is having an issue booking online please call the hotel and tell them you want to book under the pintastic block. The discounted Pintastic rate is $50 cheaper than the regular rate.

    #23 1 year ago

    We just booked today for Thursday - Sunday. $115 per night.

    1 week later
    #24 1 year ago

    I mentioned before that the Boxborough hotel has a helipad on site. For those of you who own a plane rather than a helicopter, Minute Man Air Field (6B6) is a couple miles away and offers free shuttle service to the hotel, or rental cars.
    http://minutemanairfield.com/pilots/
    For commecial flights, Boston Logan would be the usual choice.
    .................David Marston

    #25 1 year ago

    what should i take if i own both?

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from gmanrulz46:

    what should i take if i own both?

    I guess it depends on how many games you might buy and which one can haul them.
    .................David Marston

    2 weeks later
    #27 11 months ago

    The overflow hotel in Westford is adjacent to the retail portion of the Cornerstone Square complex. Without crossing any streets, you can walk from the Westford Regency to the following food options: Burton's Grille, Five Guys, Evviva Trattoria, Market Basket (supermarket with deli), Rangoli Grill, Oki Poke', and Panera Bread. Westford Wine & Spirits is there, too.

    The Cornerstone Square shopping center also has a UPS Store, in case you need to ship stuff home.

    Many other food options are in shopping centers on the other side of the Exit 32 ramps.
    .................David Marston

    #28 11 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    The overflow hotel in Westford is adjacent to the retail portion of the Cornerstone Square complex.

    Cornerstone square is fairly newish, only being completed at the tail end of my years as a Westford resident. That entire square has a lot to offer. There's a breakfast diner, pharmacies, I think a Whole Foods now, multiple pizza options, McDs, and of course a Dunkins where you can stand in line and look at another Dunkins.

    Fun fact about the fast food though - Westford has a large "stuck up" contingency, and because of the easy 495 access to that square of shops, many didn't want the fast food bringing in the "trucker crowd" (this is what I was told my my neighbors upon moving there). Therefore, there are rules for the fast food places in order to operate - 1) No drive thru's. 2) Wooden siding if a standalone unit. 3) No neon signage.

    Going in the other direction from the hotel also gives you some very good options. Bamboo is equidistant from the hotel as Cornerstone Square. That was my go-to for takeout.

    Fuse Westford has awesome upscale burgers (their Crunch Burger for $11 may be the best burger in the region IMHO).

    Nashoba Ski Area has the Sunset Tiki bar which is a cool outdoor atmosphere where you can kick off your shoes hang out in the sand, play cornhole, listen to live music. A bit pricey on the drinks.

    Kimball Farm has the best damn ice cream, portions which illustrate why other countries look down at us, some of the best mini golf I've ever played from both a challenge and landscaping perspective, a driving range, batting cages, par-3 golf course, (*cough* pinball-less arcade *cough*), and more.

    Keep going past Kimballs and you can cross the highway in Littleton where they have a huge new plaza with even more restaurants and a giant cinemas.

    There's a LOT around if you're staying at the Westford Regency.

    #29 11 months ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Cornerstone square is fairly newish, only being completed at the tail end of my years as a Westford resident. That entire square has a lot to offer. There's a breakfast diner, pharmacies, I think a Whole Foods now, multiple pizza options, McDs, and of course a Dunkins where you can stand in line and look at another Dunkins.
    Fun fact about the fast food though - Westford has a large "stuck up" contingency, and because of the easy 495 access to that square of shops, many didn't want the fast food bringing in the "trucker crowd" (this is what I was told my my neighbors upon moving there). Therefore, there are rules for the fast food places in order to operate - 1) No drive thru's. 2) Wooden siding if a standalone unit. 3) No neon signage.
    Going in the other direction from the hotel also gives you some very good options. Bamboo is equidistant from the hotel as Cornerstone Square. That was my go-to for takeout.
    Fuse Westford has awesome upscale burgers (their Crunch Burger for $11 may be the best burger in the region IMHO).
    Nashoba Ski Area has the Sunset Tiki bar which is a cool outdoor atmosphere where you can kick off your shoes hang out in the sand, play cornhole, listen to live music. A bit pricey on the drinks.
    Kimball Farm has the best damn ice cream, portions which illustrate why other countries look down at us, some of the best mini golf I've ever played from both a challenge and landscaping perspective, a driving range, batting cages, par-3 golf course, (*cough* pinball-less arcade *cough*), and more.
    Keep going past Kimballs and you can cross the highway in Littleton where they have a huge new plaza with even more restaurants and a giant cinemas.
    There's a LOT around if you're staying at the Westford Regency.

    Cool thank you for that info.

    #30 11 months ago
    Quoted from dannunz:

    This is upsetting. We have huge signs pointing to free play and maps everywhere with the show layout. Crazy

    Maybe have signs that just say "more games this way" for folks who might not know the pinball terminology?

    #31 11 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Maybe have signs that just say "more games this way" for folks who might not know the pinball terminology?

    Or maybe just follow the crowds of people walking that way to see we’re they are going.

    #32 11 months ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Kimball Farm has the best damn ice cream,...

    It's a great place to send the non-pinball-liking family members, if you have any. It's right on Route 110 between exits 31 and 32.
    .................David Marston

    #33 11 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    It's a great place to send the non-pinball-liking family members, if you have any. It's right on Route 110 between exits 31 and 32.
    .................David Marston

    For anyone from out of town, they also have just about the best fried seafood around. No joke.

    #34 11 months ago

    The Westford Regency is served by LRTA bus route 15 out of Lowell.
    http://lrta.com/schedules/route-15-chelmsfordwestford-via-rte-129110/
    Pintastic is reachable by public transportation from the worldwide transportation network, with some patience.
    .................David Marston

    4 weeks later
    #35 10 months ago

    The Boxboro hotel is at Exit 28 of I-495, which is near milepost 76. That's about halfway between Marlborough (Exit 24, Mile 63) and Lowell (Exit 35, Mile 89). That stretch of I-495 can get congested during rush hours. Today, I confirmed that there is a set of back roads that you can take from Route 110 in Littleton to Taylor Street to Hill Road to Route 111 near the hotel. Hill Road is not especially speedy, though, so I look to local residents (Boxboronians?) for other suggestions. I'll check out Liberty Square Road when I can.
    .................David Marston

    3 weeks later
    #36 10 months ago
    Quoted from albummydavis:

    For anyone from out of town, they [Kimball Farm] also have just about the best fried seafood around.

    Based on that recommendation from albummydavis, I went there this past Saturday afternoon and got some fried haddock. It was good, possibly the best in the near vicinity of Boxboro, but not truly outstanding by New England standards. And it was pricey, as you might expect from a tourist-trap place. Seafood fans should compare it to the restaurant in the Boxboro Regency and report which they like better.
    .................David Marston

    1 week later
    #37 9 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    I confirmed that there is a set of back roads that you can take from Route 110 in Littleton to Taylor Street to Hill Road to Route 111 near the hotel. Hill Road is not especially speedy, though, so I look to local residents (Boxboronians?) for other suggestions. I'll check out Liberty Square Road when I can.

    OK, I tried Liberty Square Road all the way from where it intersects route 111, which is 2.5 miles East of Adams Place (street that leads to the Boxboro Regency). The Liberty Square Road route is longer in mileage but easier and faster to navigate.
    .................David Marston

    1 month later
    #38 8 months ago

    Just passed this, its on route from westford. No time to stop but looks there are electronic components on its site, diodes, trans (to-66) capacitors.

    http://www.youdoitelectronics.com

    Anyone been?

    #39 8 months ago

    Better asian food places in the area from westford to event.

    Takumi Sushi & Hibachi
    197 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua, NH 03060
    (603) 891-1717
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/xRbWRAe4uuCd7LGT8

    Note: nashua is north not on route but one of the better sushi places.  I'm just not gonna mention our dump of an arcade across the street, just skip Fun World. Don't get tempted unless  you have a thing for being disappointed.

    Vietnamese Noodles:
    Pho 88 restaurant
    1270 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851
    (978) 452-7300
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/wHeTq2arKAwq1XJh6

    Very close to westford, authentic. If your in a group try the hotpot.

    Sichuan Gourmet Billerica
    502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821
    (978) 670-7339
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/GBg9U2k87sZnYXXB9

    Sichuan food is not kung pow chicken or yellow noodles.  If you look around, go for the dishes that you cant read -its in chinese.  Look around you'll see some amazing dishes the regulars get. Fried skillet fish, mapo tofu, cold noodles and so on. Its spicy!

    New Jang Su Korean BBQ Restaurant
    260 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803
    (781) 272-3787
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/rCPpi9YuQpoRyPwHA

    Not too far off the trail, good place of you like korean bbq

    Korean quick fix: kmart

    H Mart Burlington
    3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803
    (781) 221-4570
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/G51G5WiAgnbwB9Mj6

    The market has some food stalls, good kimchee, VERY busy on weekends.

    #40 8 months ago

    You-Do-It in Needham is a good source for parts and also some gear. Navigating to the store could be the subject of its own thread; it's kinda way in the back of a cluster of commercial buildings.
    ...................David Marston

    #41 8 months ago

    I am traveling from Providence via car for tourney days and happy to give anyone a ride there who’s on the way.

    I know this is a business so it’s probably hard to make this event work at a more expensive Boston area hotel but I hope in 2021 we might see someplace a bit more central to Boston.

    #42 8 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    You-Do-It in Needham is a good source for parts and also some gear. Navigating to the store could be the subject of its own thread; it's kinda way in the back of a cluster of commercial buildings.
    ...................David Marston

    I can see it from the highway, huge sign. Thanks, ill have to make a stop.

    #43 8 months ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    I am traveling from Providence via car for tourney days and happy to give anyone a ride there who’s on the way.
    I know this is a business so it’s probably hard to make this event work at a more expensive Boston area hotel but I hope in 2021 we might see someplace a bit more central to Boston.

    Better idea buddy - let’s move the show 45 miles north every year, until the show is on the Canadian border.

    I’m teasing, please, know I’m joking. Ugh.

    1 week later
    #44 7 months ago

    The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is planning to re-number the exits of their expressways to the new standard mileage-based exit numbers. This will affect I-495 sooner or later, probably changing Exit 28 to Exit 74, as the ramp cuts away at mile 74.8 on the northbound side. If past practices hold, the exit will have a "Formerly Exit 28" supplementary sign for at least a couple years.

    The nearby stretch of MA Route 2 also has numbered exits. Route 2 might get renumbered before I-495. I think the exit onto I-495 will be Exit 112A or 113A.
    .................David Marston

    3 weeks later
    #45 7 months ago

    You can get a visual sense of the new location by looking at our 2020 promo video #1:


    Starting at 1:38, the aerial view is looking South. You can see I-495 in the upper right corner.
    .................David Marston

    #46 7 months ago

    I was hoping to book a room at the actual hotel the event is at, if anyone has one reserved and can't make it, let me know, maybe it could be transferred.

    #47 7 months ago
    Quoted from Shredso:

    I was hoping to book a room at the actual hotel the event is at, if anyone has one reserved and can't make it, let me know, maybe it could be transferred.

    Booked up already? Wow that was quick

    #48 7 months ago
    Quoted from Shredso:

    I was hoping to book a room at the actual hotel the event is at, if anyone has one reserved and can't make it, let me know, maybe it could be transferred.

    There are 50 rooms available each night. We are having an issue with the on line booking system for Friday. Call the hotel and reserve a room under the Pintastic block.

    #49 7 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    You-Do-It in Needham is a good source for parts and also some gear. Navigating to the store could be the subject of its own thread; it's kinda way in the back of a cluster of commercial buildings.
    ...................David Marston

    Been there since I was a kid.

    #50 7 months ago
    Quoted from dannunz:

    There are 50 rooms available each night. We are having an issue with the on line booking system for Friday. Call the hotel and reserve a room under the Pintastic block.

    I was able to book today, thanks!

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