(Topic ID: 343117)

Pinball Hall of Fame is a joke.

By Squeakman

10 months ago


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    #301 10 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Rather than dwelling on the negatives, why not support the positives? Those complaining that drive to Vegas can buy a round trip flight to Detroit and back to LV for under $300.00 on one of the shittier airlines.
    Come to the Ann Arbor pinball museum (vfwpinball.com) where all 500 pins start the events working and end with 497 to 500 working when the day ends. No coin drop but there is a daily admission fee. Only open one to three weekends per year, but it's a great time for playing pinball.
    Because of the location and limited number of events, it does not compete directly with the PHoF.
    Those complaining who have never been need to attend one of the events. You never know how long they will continue to be offered....

    My girlfriend and I flew in from NorCal for the VFW Spring event a few months ago. Two words to describe it Unfucking Real. Listen to MrBally cause nothing lasts forever

    #302 10 months ago
    Quoted from jrcmlc:

    Is that part just impossible to reproduce or the owner doesn't care, prefers it different or do you know?

    No idea why.

    LTG : )

    12
    #303 10 months ago
    Quoted from jrcmlc:

    Is that part just impossible to reproduce or the owner doesn't care, prefers it different or do you know?

    Neil Nicastro is the ass-hat who shut down pinball production at WMS. I doubt it’s anything more than a novelty for him.

    #304 10 months ago
    Quoted from Only_Pinball:

    No. Neil Nicastro (ex WMS exec.) is said to have one.

    Two in existence, with rumors of a 3rd one somewhere.

    #305 10 months ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    ... Even you donate your time, AND the parts to fix everything for free, Tim will probably say no.

    I had a several NOS playfields for games that I no longer have. I offered them to Tim and he said no since he had no time to do playfield swaps.

    #306 10 months ago

    I got a good chuckle playing the worn to hell Royal Flush Deluxe (complete with 1 broken drop target, so you couldn't actually fully drop the bank, and *clutches pearls* several burnt out lamps). It had a note on it boasting a newly installed playfield... in 1998.

    #307 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Because people on a pinball forum will never understand why it exists no matter how hard they try. People are selfish by nature.
    The PHOF does not primarily exist for us anal pinball enthusiasts, it primarily exists for Vegas tourists and at the same time supports the local community.
    In other words, this is not a Pinside problem. Vegas tourists that review the business don't know the norms and standards in our hobby (nor should they). Could they do a better job of catering to the pure enthusiasts that want to play all the rare machines? Could they run things better? Of course they could. But, that is not the primary vision and goal.
    To the OP and others pilling on:
    I still choose to support it when I am in town... You don't have to support it if you don't want to support it. Hopefully this explains things well for those who feel like they need to open up new threads tearing down the PHOF whenever they visit the PHOF and their favorite games, grail games, and some toilets don't work.
    Bummer that 80% of the games were off and you turned around and walked out. But, no admission is charged. You wasted a whole 10 minutes out of your life and then made a thread trying to warn others about the horrors of the PHOF, KNOWING others would participate and "pile on" for certain. It's really sad man. We would survive without it and we will survive with it, no matter how good or bad the PHOF appears to be to us all.

    Fully agree. I would go even further than this. His business makes money, LOTS of it. Its margins ($900K net on $1.4M gross) are insane by any hospitality service standard. Businesses get to exist because they make money, period. When they don't they die and close up shop and someone else takes over the space. I would say by that metric he is doing pretty damn well, broken games and all. I know its just repeating ad nauseum, but pinsiders don't pay Tim's bills, tourists do. His primary and in fact perhaps only job is to cater to them. If you broke out income by tourist versus pinsider (lets even lump in pinball enthusiast) on his tax statement it would get ugly, pinsiders are a rounding error at best. One can argue about how crotchety he is, unfriendly to families based on the one off news stores, leaves his games broken for year, a hoarder, penny pincher, whatever mean thing we want to cast in terms of aspersions because he doesn't meet our needs. So what. He makes money, more than my little arcade will see in a lifetime. God speed to him and his approach, carry on and all that. When I start making more money than he does, then maybe, just maybe, I might have some advice to give him on how he runs his operation to do better. Until then its just hot air, armchair business quarterbacking from most people who would be out of business in 12 months in the same position. Every version of him doing better (spending more money to make more money based on all the opinions here) more likely results in him actually making less money. The same number of tourists are coming thru that door whether 10%, 25%, 50% of the games are broken or not, whether pizza is in the foyer or not, whether he has a friendly inviting staff or not.

    #308 10 months ago
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    #309 10 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Fully agree. I would go even further than this. His business makes money, LOTS of it. Its margins ($900K net on $1.4M gross) are insane by any hospitality service standard. Businesses get to exist because they make money, .

    Yeah Holiday inn would really be raking it in if it had volunteers who were obsessed with peoples comfort. Think about it, they can hire a bunch of Grandma's who don't live near their grandkids.

    #310 10 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    His business makes money, LOTS of it.

    IMG_0240 (resized).jpegIMG_0240 (resized).jpeg

    #311 10 months ago
    Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

    Yeah Holiday inn would really be raking it in if it had volunteers who were obsessed with peoples comfort. Think about it, they can hire a bunch of Grandma's who don't live near their grandkids.

    All my arcades games minus 1-5 out of 120 are fully working. My rating is 4.9. His is 4.6 with half the games not working if the reports are correct. That extra 0.3 is likely not worth it in his opinion and I have to say I agree. For me it’s a pride thing.

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    #312 10 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    All my arcades games minus 1-5 out of 120 are fully working. My rating is 4.9. His is 4.6 with half the games not working if the reports are correct. That extra 0.3 is likely not worth it in his opinion and I have to say I agree. For me it’s a pride thing.
    [quoted image]

    There’s some interesting postings and pictures if you filter to the more…critical ratings.

    You also have to figure that those ratings are as long as PHOF has been on google.

    I went to my favorite childhood Chinese restaurant earlier this summer. Best Chinese in south Minneapolis….up until 3 years ago when they got new owners. They have a significant amount of high ratings that date back many years. I took a few bites of my to-go meal and stopped at Culver’s on the way home.

    #313 10 months ago
    Quoted from chad:

    Two in existence, with rumors of a 3rd one somewhere.

    JPOP and Blobert have one stashed in a secret storage unit, but Dark Horse got it.

    15
    #314 10 months ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    There’s some interesting postings and pictures of you filter to the more…critical ratings.
    You also have to figure that those ratings are from when PHOF has been on google.
    I went to my favorite childhood Chinese restaurant earlier this summer. Best Chinese in south Minneapolis….up until 3 years ago when they got new owners. They have a significant amount of high ratings that date back many years. I took a few bites of my to-go meal and stopped at Culver’s on the way home.

    So a few years before I opened my arcade I went to PHOF as I was in Vegas for a conference. It was magical. I had never seen so many pins. Yeah, if I think back most of them played terribly. A lot of out of order signs (less than now I suppose) But I didn’t care. I had never seen so many pins like this before. I played for 8 hours straight, $40 in, closed the place out. It was heaven. I would even say it inspired me to open my arcade. If I went back now I’d probably be terribly disappointed. I know too much. Most all of us know too much. I could never have our pins fall into this disrepair and not hate myself. Luckily we have an amazing volunteer staff who put in hours and hours to keep them purring. So I am not a PHOF apologist. But if I’m honest about it you can coast on former glory for a long long time before it catches up to you (if ever). And if I’m really really honest in 5 years of business my arcade has made ….. um $0. Yes $0. I have not personally taken home a paycheck from the place, They call that either a passion project -or more bluntly a bad business. Tim’s take - way way more than that. I have nicer playing machines, my community likes what I’ve done, we have expanded from 20 machines to 120, it gives kids a place to play. He’s made lots of money in lieu of that. He’s been able to donate to charity because he has made money. Who is doing this wrong or right? I would say he is just doing it differently but from a business standpoint it’s no contest, he wins. My employees are well paid, the cost to get in is low so it’s cheaper than almost any other entertainment activity you can do in my town, all you can play, games in mostly good condition. But we don’t make money, he does. End of story.

    16
    #315 10 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    But we don’t make money, he does.

    One of my sister's managers told me back in the early 1990's that I did everything opposite of everybody else. Yet I make it work.

    And I out lived them.

    LTG : )

    #316 10 months ago
    Quoted from greenhornet:

    All indications gave the impression that the vast majority of profits were immediately and directly benefiting his charities, but this was simply not the case.

    Quoted from snyper2099:

    That is simply your interpretation.

    All righty then. For starters, how do you interpret this statement which has been a staple on the PHOF site for years? How would a reasonable man interpret the same statement?

    "And after the PHoF covers its monthly expenses for rent, electricity, insurance, endowment savings, the remainder of the money goes to the Salvation Army."

    Additionally.

    "There is a candy vending stand, where the entire 25 cents of each quarter goes directly to the Salvation Army."

    I believe there were years in which donations were actually zero. Don't tell me they didn't even donate the candy money!

    Quoted from snyper2099:

    "Damn that guy who donated a million to charity. He didn't donate enough." Are you serious man?

    In this case, whether 1M is enough is relative. If he had only made 1M, then 1M would have been a lot; but 1M of 11M, not so much. On the other hand, the 10M of 11M that went toward the building - now that was a lot. Charities got table scraps, with next to nothing for at least 10 years. 1M for the needy, 10M for me building. I don't see a case for Tim being overly generous here, especially given his statements/comments made over the years referencing local service charities.

    #318 10 months ago

    I could use a million if anyone is willing.

    #319 10 months ago

    One stipulation, no handies behind the dumpster for that million.

    #320 10 months ago

    Don't worry, it won't be a handy

    Quoted from RyanStl:One stipulation, no handies behind the dumpster for that million.

    #321 10 months ago

    You have me interested.

    #322 10 months ago
    Quoted from Stikpin:

    My girlfriend and I flew in from NorCal for the VFW Spring event a few months ago. Two words to describe it Unfucking Real. Listen to MrBally cause nothing lasts forever

    Speaking of, the VFW is having a special show in two weeks, on September 30th. Plus an IFPA tournament on October 1st. Details on how to attend at www.vfwpinball.com

    #323 10 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    One of my sister's managers told me back in the early 1990's that I did everything opposite of everybody else. Yet I make it work.

    And I out lived them.

    LTG : )

    This, baby. Outlived 7 principals at my school and scores of teachers. For 30 + years of teaching I've been hearing from management: wtf are you doing? I got kids of kids I had and every one of them sez I'm the only thing they remember about middle school.

    #324 10 months ago

    Vid? Calling Vid?

    #325 10 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    Cash only wristbands are a hard sell.
    Gotta be cash only for... reporting purposes.

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    #326 10 months ago
    Quoted from fireball2:

    This, baby. Outlived 7 principals at my school and scores of teachers. For 30 + years of teaching I've been hearing from management: wtf are you doing? I got kids of kids I had and every one of them sez I'm the only thing they remember about middle school.

    Ms. Morrissey math 4th grade. I was scared shitless of her. She claimed if any of us goofed off in her class the dragon in her would come out. But she was very loving and caring and let us learn at our own pace. She would teach most of the class together then teach small groups of us based on our collective shortcomings or advancements. She knew exactly what kids strengths and weaknesses were. She called her targeted homework medicine. I went from 4th grade math to 8th grade algebra in the year I had her.

    #327 10 months ago
    Quoted from RyanStl:

    JPOP and Blobert have one stashed in a secret storage unit, but Dark Horse got it.

    Must be the Foam Core version?

    21
    #328 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Because people on a pinball forum will never understand why it exists no matter how hard they try. People are selfish by nature.
    The PHOF does not primarily exist for us anal pinball enthusiasts, it primarily exists for Vegas tourists and at the same time supports the local community.
    In other words, this is not a Pinside problem. Vegas tourists that review the business don't know the norms and standards in our hobby (nor should they). Could they do a better job of catering to the pure enthusiasts that want to play all the rare machines? Could they run things better? Of course they could. But, that is not the primary vision and goal.
    To the OP and others pilling on:
    I still choose to support it when I am in town... You don't have to support it if you don't want to support it. Hopefully this explains things well for those who feel like they need to open up new threads tearing down the PHOF whenever they visit the PHOF and their favorite games, grail games, and some toilets don't work.
    Bummer that 80% of the games were off and you turned around and walked out. But, no admission is charged. You wasted a whole 10 minutes out of your life and then made a thread trying to warn others about the horrors of the PHOF, KNOWING others would participate and "pile on" for certain. It's really sad man. We would survive without it and we will survive with it, no matter how good or bad the PHOF appears to be to us all.

    So, you're saying deplorable maintenance is ok at the PHOF because it's for tourists and not pinheads? The general public doesn't deserve to play well-maintained equipment because they can't tell the difference? Is that what you're saying?

    Quoted from pookycade:

    Fully agree. I would go even further than this. His business makes money, LOTS of it. Its margins ($900K net on $1.4M gross) are insane by any hospitality service standard. Businesses get to exist because they make money, period. When they don't they die and close up shop and someone else takes over the space. I would say by that metric he is doing pretty damn well, broken games and all. I know its just repeating ad nauseum, but pinsiders don't pay Tim's bills, tourists do. His primary and in fact perhaps only job is to cater to them. If you broke out income by tourist versus pinsider (lets even lump in pinball enthusiast) on his tax statement it would get ugly, pinsiders are a rounding error at best. One can argue about how crotchety he is, unfriendly to families based on the one off news stores, leaves his games broken for year, a hoarder, penny pincher, whatever mean thing we want to cast in terms of aspersions because he doesn't meet our needs. So what. He makes money, more than my little arcade will see in a lifetime. God speed to him and his approach, carry on and all that. When I start making more money than he does, then maybe, just maybe, I might have some advice to give him on how he runs his operation to do better. Until then its just hot air, armchair business quarterbacking from most people who would be out of business in 12 months in the same position. Every version of him doing better (spending more money to make more money based on all the opinions here) more likely results in him actually making less money. The same number of tourists are coming thru that door whether 10%, 25%, 50% of the games are broken or not, whether pizza is in the foyer or not, whether he has a friendly inviting staff or not.

    And you're saying deplorable maintenance is ok because the place still makes money? And that's "catering" to the general public?

    I don't know. I think people can tell when they're playing poorly-maintained, half-broken arcade equipment, maybe not every single switch, but in general they can. I could always when something played shitty, even as a kid. I don't think location owners should be defended for poor equipment maintenance. Customer demographic is no excuse.

    -5
    #329 10 months ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    So, deplorable maintenance is ok at the PHOF because it's for tourists and not pinheads?

    That will be decided by them, not us.

    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    The general public doesn't deserve to play well-maintained equipment because they can't tell the difference?

    Right, they can't tell the difference. The coin drop is proof. What they deserve is up to them, not you or I. If you are insisting that I would run things like this if it were up to me, I WOULD NOT. Again, PHOF is not a Pinside problem.

    Quoted from greenhornet:

    "There is a candy vending stand, where the entire 25 cents of each quarter goes directly to the Salvation Army."

    I believe there were years in which donations were actually zero. Don't tell me they didn't even donate the candy money!

    LOL. You should not go there then. It's very clear that the PHOF is not for you because it does not donate "enough" to charity. Like I said before, I am going to support it (as well as all other Pinball venues) when I am in town because I do not see it this way.

    14
    #330 10 months ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    Both of you guys are insulting the general public.

    Is that even possible?

    Have you met the general public?

    #331 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    That will be decided by them, not us.

    So, by spending enough to keep the doors open the general public is demonstrating they're ok with it? I guess that's one way to look at it.

    This place may still earn with shitty equipment, and probably always will due to location and scale, but it's sad. I think customers deserve better and the collection deserves better. Surely easier said than done, but it's doable. Many location owners take a lots of pride in how their equipment plays.

    #332 10 months ago

    I agree. But, wishing things were run different and continuing to support the place are two SEPARATE things to me.

    #333 10 months ago

    The real Hall of Fame is Clay's place! I've been there once (I'm going again next weekend with my son) and the place was amazing. ALL 500 or so games were working, and if they weren't they were fixed in a matter of minutes. I can't imagine the amount of time, dedication and money it takes to keep all those games running, and running well. I suppose it's "easier" to fix them as they have issues instead of just turning them off until you get to it. Doing it that way the amount of games with issues will mount up in no time. Also, it can't be easy to find parts or games that are 50+ years old.

    #334 10 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Have you met the general public?

    I went outside once and looked around, but there were too many of them so I went back inside...

    Robert

    #335 10 months ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    So, you're saying deplorable maintenance is ok at the PHOF because it's for tourists and not pinheads? The general public doesn't deserve to play well-maintained equipment because they can't tell the difference? Is that what you're saying?

    And you're saying deplorable maintenance is ok because the place still makes money? And that's "catering" to the general public?
    I don't know. I think people can tell when they're playing poorly-maintained, half-broken arcade equipment, maybe not every single switch, but in general they can. I could always when something played shitty, even as a kid. I don't think location owners should be defended for poor equipment maintenance. Customer demographic is no excuse.

    Yes, it appears he is saying you are selfish if you want good playing games at the PHOF- LMAO.

    17
    #336 10 months ago
    Quoted from Dan_Fielding:

    The real Hall of Fame is Clay's place! I can't imagine the amount of time, dedication and money it takes to keep all those games running, and running well. I suppose it's "easier" to fix them as they have issues instead of just turning them off until you get to it. Doing it that way the amount of games with issues will mount up in no time. Also, it can't be easy to find parts or games that are 50+ years old.

    Clay has QR codes on all 500+ games. When a game has a problem either a customer (or a VFW hall monitor) scans the code and enters the problem into the online system. Clay monitors the system and assigns one of about 6-8 show day techs to triage / fix the problem.

    Most fixes are simple and the Tech's handle the repair in-situ. More complicated problems, like a smoked board, the game is rolled into the shop for repair. Minor board repair is done immediately on the bench. Worst case scenario is Clay does a board swap.

    Generally speaking, any and all required parts including replacement boards, are in stock in the building.

    It's rare that a game is down for the count.

    Last show I think only one or two games were down at the end of the show, out of couple of hundred problem reports.

    #337 10 months ago
    Quoted from nsduprr:

    Last show I think only one or two games were down at the end of the show, out of couple of hundred problem reports.

    Knowing the location, I'd wager the majority of those reports were minor.

    LTG : )

    #338 10 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Knowing the location, I'd wager the majority of those reports were minor.
    LTG : )

    Yes, absolutely. The vast majority are on the order of stuck balls, broken rubbers or loose plastics. Many of these don't even make the system as the staff just goes ahead and take care of them.

    #339 10 months ago

    I may be stating the obvious here, but I think it is simply a matter of the PHOF being too large for a person like Tim to be able to handle. Of course, you will never, ever, not ever hear him state that, but it appears to be obvious.
    Bigger is not always better, IMO.

    #340 10 months ago
    Quoted from Pinball-Wiz:

    Yes, it appears he is saying you are selfish if you want good playing games at the PHOF- LMAO.

    giphy-11.gifgiphy-11.gif

    #341 10 months ago

    Having never been there or seen this, I'm amazed. Had I been there and seen it, I'd still be amazed. The back-end required to maintain 500 machines of 80+ years difference is astounding beyond just the desire alone. I really hope to see that setup.

    Quoted from nsduprr:

    Clay has QR codes on all 500+ games. When a game has a problem either a customer (or a VFW hall monitor) scans the code and enters the problem into the online system. Clay monitors the system and assigns one of about 6-8 show day techs to triage / fix the problem.
    Most fixes are simple and the Tech's handle the repair in-situ. More complicated problems, like a smoked board, the game is rolled into the shop for repair. Minor board repair is done immediately on the bench. Worst case scenario is Clay does a board swap.
    Generally speaking, any and all required parts including replacement boards, are in stock in the building.
    It's rare that a game is down for the count.
    Last show I think only one or two games were down at the end of the show, out of couple of hundred problem reports.

    #342 10 months ago
    Quoted from jrcmlc:

    Having never been there or seen this, I'm amazed. Had I been there and seen it, I'd still be amazed. The back-end required to maintain 500 machiens of 80+ years difference is astounding beyond just the desire alone. I really hope to see that setup.

    Try to make it for the September 30th event if you can. Www.vfwpinball.com

    17
    #343 10 months ago

    A few years ago when Tim was asking for money (donations) so he could buy the new building, there was a promise of some sort of "wall of fame" mentioning the donors. Would someone here be kind enough to provide a picture of the completed wall? Thank you.

    #344 10 months ago

    Quoted from JethroP:

    A few years ago when Tim was asking for money (donations) so he could buy the new building, there was a promise of some sort of "wall of fame" mentioning the donors. Would someone here be kind enough to provide a picture of the completed wall? Thank you.

    #345 10 months ago

    I have been here 3 times in the past. So you take a cab, uber or bus walk in and it is like still the same dump most machines don't work wasted cab fare. I have been their twice and not played a single game. Pinball circus has been broken 2 of those times. To ever go back would be shame on me. Even 80 percent of the overhead light were out. It always looks like an old department store going out of business and as far as moving the broken machines to the back might as well just pull the few good working machines to the front, probably only about 10 or twelve anyway.

    #347 10 months ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    A few years ago when Tim was asking for money (donations) so he could buy the new building, there was a promise of some sort of "wall of fame" mentioning the donors. Would someone here be kind enough to provide a picture of the completed wall? Thank you.

    He went with the technological advances of the past few years. They scroll along an LCD teevee mounted to the wall near the toilets.

    #348 10 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    He went with the technological advances of the past few years. They scroll along an LCD teevee mounted to the wall near the toilets.

    You’ve got to be joking? I don’t remember him saying this was the way he was going to do it when he begged for free money. I’m pretty sure he promised brick n mortar engraving. You know, something permanent. Hell, he could have got a stick and scraped the names in the concrete outside as it hardened and that would have worked. Disgraceful.

    #349 10 months ago

    Some are expecting more than just a plaque.

    Philanthropists Edith and Henry Everett withdrew a $3 million contribution to fund half of the renovation cost of the Central Park Children’s Zoo in New York City. One of the reasons according to The New York Times--they were displeased that their donation would earn only a small plaque with two-inch lettering on the Zoo’s entry gate.
    your name here (resized).pngyour name here (resized).png

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    #350 10 months ago

    I feel the need to chime in as I was in Vegas this past weekend for a wedding stopped in for a few hours. While it was it a shame that so many games were off there was still plenty of games to play. Were the ones flipping collector quality/playing perfect no, but they played just fine for location games. I haven't had the chance to see the new location until now but I did love it. The sheer amount of wedgeheads on site left me radioactive green with envy. I spent the better part of an hour just walking up and down the aisles taking the opportunity to see all of the obscure titles on site and the amazing artwork that came with them. Again it's a shame they weren't all in working order but just being able to see some of those obscure titles in person made the trip worth it. There were more than enough games on and flipping to spend well over $5 that a few people in this thread have complained about. The Jack's Open alone played amazing at $.25 a play, I put 10 plays on it and wish I could've had time for more. There were several other EM's that were turned on and flipping that were in fantastic condition also. I hadn't had the opportunity until stopping in to play EHoH with the current code but it played great along with the lions share of the rest of the modern Sterns that were up and running. I saw Tim and 2 other techs on site while I was there hammering away on games to get them back up and running. Besides the EM's and modern Sterns there was plenty of titles to play in between the 2 styles, there were more than enough games playing to satisfy just about everyone's favorite era. I also feel the need to point out that while the new location is many times bigger than the one on Tropicana it is still packed full of games with narrow space in the aisles for all the games. This is no place for kids to be unsupervised and running wild, both for their own safety and everyone else visiting. Would I make a trip to Vegas to go to the Hall of Fame specifically, no. But if your in town and tired of the nonsense on both the old and new strip this place is still definitely a great place to spend the better part of an afternoon.

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