(Topic ID: 343117)

Pinball Hall of Fame is a joke.

By Squeakman

10 months ago


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    Post #40 Response from Tim Posted by timarnold (10 months ago)

    Post #1836 Tim posted a thread about this past year's finances at the PHoF Posted by ForceFlow (5 months ago)


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    There are 2,285 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 46.
    65
    #1 10 months ago

    I traveled to the PHOF yesterday and was deeply disappointed. I’ve been there dozens of times and never have is seen the place in this bad of shape. I know I’m beating a dead horse but I’m pissed. Was in there for 45 minutes and just left. Not one game I wanted to Play was working. I’d say, and this is not an exaggeration, that 80% of the games were turned off. There were specific games I wanted to play that I can’t play anywhere else and they were broken. They claim to have hundreds of pins but it looks more like a lot less than that. It’s a pretty bad state of affairs there these days.

    13
    #2 10 months ago

    Yet another PHOF thread.

    Preaching to the choir, my friend. It’s sad

    #3 10 months ago
    Quoted from Squeakman:

    I know I’m beating a dead horse but I’m pissed.

    download (resized).jpgdownload (resized).jpg
    #4 10 months ago

    Hot take!

    29
    #5 10 months ago

    My brother texted me earlier this summer with a picture of him and his family in front of the giant PINBALL sign. My initial thought was to send him a warning about the place but I thought that was negative and I only had that idea from internet stories anyways... So I reply "Have a great time! Play some Pinball Circus for me!"

    ...

    An hour later I get a text from him that the cops had been called on them and his whole family had been kicked out!

    Apparently his seven year old was walking in a way that required the cops to be called.

    34
    #6 10 months ago

    PHoF threads rarely disappoint. Have thought about a Vegas trip just so I can share my own complaints.

    60
    #7 10 months ago

    I was there earlier this year and it was not just the games that were Out of Order. 3 out of 5 stalls....down

    Pinball Hall Of Fame (resized).jpgPinball Hall Of Fame (resized).jpg
    44
    #8 10 months ago
    Quoted from CastleRockIM:

    ... 3 out of 5 stalls....down
    [quoted image]

    That's why we all just piss on the floor.

    16
    #9 10 months ago

    Was there recently and what I don’t understand is why they don’t separate out the non playing machines more specifically (there are a lot) - and call that the ‘museum’. And then put all the playable stuff into a section called the ‘arcade’. Seems like a simple change would organize the place better and better set expectations.

    Was thrilled to get to play Thunderbirds and Spinal Tap! Totally met my expectations in a not good way.

    12
    #10 10 months ago

    Wasn't this place just constructed in like the last year or so? How has it all gone to shit so fast?

    Quoted from CastleRockIM:

    I was there earlier this year and it was not just the games that were Out of Order. 3 out of 5 stalls....down
    [quoted image]

    15
    #11 10 months ago
    Quoted from CastleRockIM:

    I was there earlier this year and it was not just the games that were Out of Order. 3 out of 5 stalls....down
    [quoted image]

    I was there yesterday, only two stalls down. That's improvement!

    30
    #12 10 months ago
    Quoted from CastleRockIM:

    I was there earlier this year and it was not just the games that were Out of Order. 3 out of 5 stalls....down
    [quoted image]

    Check the stalls, pretty sure you will find Otaku.

    #13 10 months ago
    Quoted from ElectroMagnetic:

    Check the stalls, pretty sure you will find Otaku.

    Tough, but fair

    36
    #14 10 months ago

    I live an hour and a half away from PHOF and used to go once or twice a month. I've been to every location through the years and it's getting more and more difficult to defend them. My last trip there was just sad. 75% of the pins were dark and a few of the ones that weren't had issues.

    I wish Tim would allow pin enthusiasts to service the games. A buddy of mine with pinball tech skills offered to spend a couple of days fixing pins for free and was turned down.

    17
    #15 10 months ago
    Quoted from PismoArcade:

    I live and hour and a half away from PHOF and used to go once or twice a month. I've been to every location through the years and it's getting more and more difficult to defend them. My last trip there was just sad. 75% of the pins were dark and a few of the ones that weren't had issues.
    I wish Tim would allow pin enthusiasts to service the games. A buddy of mine with pinball tech skills offered to spend a couple of days fixing pins for free and was turned down.

    That’s the common answer. Tim is still too obsessed with cost controls and micromanaging the place. Even you donate your time, AND the parts to fix everything for free, Tim will probably say no.

    The hardest part about my arcade is letting other people handle things. I worry about them being damaged, but then I take a deep breath and remember operators throughout time have been cobbing these things to high hell.

    #16 10 months ago

    Could it be that with so little foot traffic coming in that it's just easier to shut them off and say "there broken" then to have all of them on and running up the electric bill even higher...? Same thing with the toilets perhaps, as it's less to clean each day? Just a thought.

    John

    #17 10 months ago
    Quoted from DadofTwins:

    Wasn't this place just constructed in like the last year or so? How has it all gone to shit so fast?

    Always has been, now it’s just in a different location with more broken stuff.

    #18 10 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    Could it be that with so little foot traffic coming in that it's just easier to shut them off and say "there broken" then to have all of them on and running up the electric bill even higher...? Same thing with the toilets perhaps, as it's less to clean each day? Just a thought.
    John

    Who says they don’t get foot traffic? When we were there it was busier than any of the casinos we walked through - but it wasn’t summer time.

    LV power is the cheapest around.

    #19 10 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    Could it be that with so little foot traffic coming in that it's just easier to shut them off and say "there broken" then to have all of them on and running up the electric bill even higher...? Same thing with the toilets perhaps, as it's less to clean each day? Just a thought.
    John

    I imagine it's the opposite

    #20 10 months ago

    They were pretty packed last night.

    #21 10 months ago

    Traveled out to the old PHOF from Ohio and was disappointed to find the games I wanted to play were out of order. Then heard they were going to build a big new PHOF with hundreds of more machines, I thought, that means that many more games out of order. Yep, it's come to pass.

    #22 10 months ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    The hardest part about my arcade is letting other people handle things. I worry about them being damaged, but then I take a deep breath and remember operators throughout time have been cobbing these things to high hell.

    Have the power to let power go
    Makes life a little easier

    49
    #23 10 months ago

    It's almost as if all that matters to Tim is that he's sitting on $10M of prime real estate that his customers paid for over the 17 years he's run the joint, rather than donating it. All the while, thumbing his nose at the government, as he didn't have to pay income taxes, salaries, and payroll taxes while doing it. Even got some of you guys to pony up more $$ to fund the last couple 100,000 for the project under the veiled threat that games would otherwise end up on the street. Still refuses to pay for/accept volunteer tech help. It seems everyone fails to see that his explanatory comeback posts are mostly excuses.

    22
    #24 10 months ago

    The PHOF isn't the only Museum with this issue. Electromechanical Pinball in Pawtucket, RI bills itself as a museum, and just expanded their space to more than double the size. However, they're not really keeping the games running, they're hoarding them. They have duplicates of a bunch of games (Bally Star Trek, Addams, etc). More than 50% of the 150+ titles are turned off, and the ones that are turned on have critical gameplay features that don't work (Rudy's mouth won't open so no multiball). It sucks. I live 2 miles from a location with 150 games and I NEVER go because what's the point if the games are all broken. Meanwhile these games could be in collectors hands or on location at a smaller place where they could be serviced and working right; if they weren't being hoarded at a "nonprofit" museum.

    Pinball machines require a shitload of maintenance. If you are going to run a space open to the public, you need techs. Plural. And you can't be a hoarder or a control freak. You need business sense.

    Added 8 months ago:

    It’s complicated. I’ve struck out this post because I am not proud that I didn’t send this feedback straight to the owners

    12
    #25 10 months ago

    So what you're telling me is Tim Arnold has enough bad juju take out not only hundreds of amusement machines that were supposedly all working, but also urinals and toilets in a facility that is only a year old? Like, how does that even happen? They're freaking toilets. I can understand if people clog them but I don't get multiple urinals being out of order as well. It's like everything this guy touches breaks in a matter of months, and he doesn't want anyone to fix them. That has to be the most frustrating business model to try and wrap your head around.

    #26 10 months ago

    By no means defending Tim or other operations personnel just trying to wrap my brain around WTF is happening under roof. I thought the same things about the lavoratory setting, less to maintain. But that makes no sense with the actual pins, that's what brings in foot traffic/funds to assist keeping the doors open. Put yourself in Tim's shoes, if some dude walked up to you and offered to help tool on your prized collection what would be your first impression! If he's a control freak and insists on having part of all maintenance, is he just over his head with the actual number in the collection? Is he having personal/health concerns?

    #27 10 months ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    So what you're telling me is Tim Arnold has enough bad juju take out not only hundreds of amusement machines that were supposedly all working, but also urinals and toilets in a facility that is only a year old? Like, how does that even happen? They're freaking toilets. I can understand if people clog them but I don't get multiple urinals being out of order as well. It's like everything this guy touches breaks in a matter of months, and he doesn't want anyone to fix them. That has to be the most frustrating business model to try and wrap your head around.

    Those urinals might have automatic flushing when you're done. If they break the whole toilet would probably smell a lot of urine after someone did number one.

    #28 10 months ago
    Quoted from Squeakman:

    They were pretty packed last night.

    You have your answer then. People change what they are doing when they are forced to do so economically. He doesn’t have that problem.

    13
    #29 10 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    You have your answer then. People change what they are doing when they are forced to do so economically. He doesn’t have that problem.

    He’s on coin drop so they can be packed but not making any money.

    We had a hard time spending $20 with 4 people. Was willing to spend way more than that if the machines were in better shape.

    20
    #30 10 months ago

    I'm glad I got to enjoy it at the Tropicana location when circus was working.

    No one should be volunteering to fix the games for free here let alone anywhere, it will ALWAYS go unappreciated by pretty much everyone, there is zero glory in that. Let Tim go out of business and then everyone will have their wish of a mass selloff.

    One day that place will be a classic car museum.

    22
    #31 10 months ago
    Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

    No one should be volunteering to fix the games for free here let alone anywhere

    I dunno i just helped some dude that has an arcade near me do some flipper rebuilds on a TFTC he was gifted, his first pin! I felt glorious

    #32 10 months ago

    The place is pretty busy with tourists. Plenty of coin drop even though most machines are off. When I was last there it was packed.

    #33 10 months ago

    Yeah, when I went there last year it was packed. Tim only seems to care for the EMs. None of the solid state games play well. Even the brand new games play like ass, so you know the coin drop must be huge. Lately though even his beloved EMs are either turned off or play poorly. If he would just cut his donations to that scam Salvation Army charity by 25% and hire a few techs, I’m sure he could right the ship.

    #34 10 months ago

    I was there like 5 years ago and it was pretty good. Not mind blowing, but pretty good. Shame they seemingly absolutely suck, now.

    42
    #35 10 months ago
    Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

    No one should be volunteering to fix the games for free here let alone anywhere, it will ALWAYS go unappreciated

    I've had some help through the years.

    And I really appreciated it.

    LTG : )

    #36 10 months ago

    Popcorn 2.gifPopcorn 2.gif

    38
    #37 10 months ago

    I called this way back when Tim proposed moving to a bigger, better building. His former location was a disaster with xx amount of pins. When I saw his grand plans for the current PHOF, I KNEW he'd go this route. He now has xxx amount of pins in the new location with an even bigger proportion of pins down.
    I truly feel he's actually gotten too big. With his mindset and undiagnosed (In my opinion) mental issues, the place is doomed to failure. I'm sorry, that's just how I see it. He's a misanthrope (publicly uttered) so what in holy hell is he even doing this for?
    Control freaks who micro-manage EVERY single aspect of their business are frustrating. They don't realize that they're destroying themselves and everything they've created.
    No one asked, but what the PHOF needs to do, and soon, mind you, is to hire a full-time tech crew, and NO I don't mean some formerly homeless Salvation Army refugee, pay them monthly and sit back and enjoy your magnum opus.

    #38 10 months ago

    “misanthrope”
    Spot on!

    11
    #39 10 months ago

    Even if he were to start hiring techs, it sounds like Tim Arnold would be a shitty boss.

    #40 10 months ago

    Tim here at the PHOF.

    We have had a variety of operational and corporate issues since the opening of the new building that have kept us occupied doing things that do not involve improving the quality of our product.

    THE BUILDING- The contractor and the Clival Engineer made several large and tragic mistakes that have left us without clear title and a straight property line. We also got sued by a Real Estate Firm that thought they were due a commission on the purchase of the dirt lot. The billboard Company that we inherited when we bought the property sued us for blocking the visibility of his with our large sign on the street. The plumbing sub-contractor used fixtures that were below the quality called for in our contract and refuses to make it right.

    We have also been in a legal fight with the State Tax Commission on a Sales Tax rebate due us on construction materials we paid for in the building of our new place.

    These are NOT the kind of problems you can put off or in any way delay. They demand your complete attention, including many days of depositions, a 3 day trail and endless meeting. The mistake was in no way our fault, and an insurance has so far paid several million dollars in damages but we have reached an impasse with a small piece of land in the far corner of the lot that the the owner is not willing to settle on. All this time has taken our eyes off the prize, time needed for maintenance and repair of our games.

    We also suffered a 12 week complete shutdown due to Covid lock-down and a slow ramp up after it was lifted. Then we had a HUGE rush of business as people who had pockets of Covid relief money all wanted to play all at once.

    We have also had problems getting people WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING to fix machines. I hesitate to let a person who can not speak clearly or write legibly and has NO knowledge of basic mechanical skills loose on an expensive and complicated piece of equipment. The skilled helpers we do have all pitched in and worked extra hard, but we still had more machines going into the dead game bank than we had coming out for a long time. I have trained 3 people since we opened to do flipper and bumper repairs and they all three left due to legitimate life changes reasons. The constant noise and interruptions from customers is also physically and mentally DRAINING. Clay now lives part of the year in Vegas, and flatly will NOT help here during the hours we are open. It is also not practical to lift each machine up and move it to an isolated area each time they need repair. The cabinets are old and weak and trying to wheel anything thru a mass of people is difficult and dangerous.

    My wife's mother died, and Charlotte has been unable to help at all for almost a year because she was there giving aid and comfort and taking care of the estate. Beth has also had family and minor health issues. Pirate John was out for back surgery for almost 6 months and just returned this week on a part time limited basis. All this along with the usual comings and goings of the non-technical staff add up to a "Chronic shortages and quality issues with staffing at all levels of the retail industry" (The Wall Street Journal)

    But through it all, one thing has stayed constant, our level of dedication and commitment to what we are and what we believe in. NEVER was there talk of quitting, cutbacks or surrender. I ask the pinball community for a little understanding during a time in my 53 years in this business that can only be described as a PERFECT STORM of trouble. I would also like you to consider what we call "Embrace the funk!". Many people accuse us of being unprofessional, ass-backwards, or worse. But there is NO WAY any normal business model could have worked in a world WHERE NOTHING MAKES SENSE. Think of all the arcades, funlands, museums that have failed since 2006 when we went full time with this project. We have survived and THRIVED because we do a lot of things differently. At times, it may seem more like a bunch of guys with some pinball machines in an old auto-parts store and not a proper museum, but I would remind you that this industry has only recently obtained status as a legitimate form of entertainment. For most of it's life, coin operated games were a "bandit industry", run by fools and criminals on the fringes of society. "The funk" is baked-in to our past.

    What is going to happen next? I look forward to a slow but measurable improvement of our quality as problems described above fall away. Traffic will return to a more predictable and normal level as the effects of Covid and interest hikes smooth out huge swings in demand. Spot shortages of supplies and labor will lessen, the cats will stop fighting each other, and the sun will shine again.

    #41 10 months ago

    Might hafta revive Uncle Pinball's Podcast for this topic! Hmmm.
    Hey Tim. I know what I'm doing (especially EMs and Em arcades) and have been jonesing to head back to Vegas for awhile.

    Uncle Pinball

    10
    #42 10 months ago

    Thanks for the post Tim. Hopefully you right the ship. But maybe instead of relying on low paid or even unpaid techs, dip into those deep pockets and pay handsomely for some quality techs. Start with Clay. Pay him instead of giving money to that trash charity.

    #43 10 months ago
    Quoted from Squeakman:

    They were pretty packed last night.

    Probably why they do not care about condition. People keep paying. Why spend more if the cash flow is ample to them?

    19
    #45 10 months ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    Clay now lives part of the year in Vegas, and flatly will NOT help here during the hours we are open.

    Then give him the alarm code and a door key to work on machines when you are closed. I do not work on my games when the bar is open unless required (pic for example)

    6D682457-F7FA-4812-8EE1-1C5B61EC0CE8 (resized).jpeg6D682457-F7FA-4812-8EE1-1C5B61EC0CE8 (resized).jpeg
    44
    #46 10 months ago
    Quoted from Chrizg:

    Then give him the alarm code and a door key to work on machines when you are closed. I do not work on my games when the bar is open unless required (pic for example)
    [quoted image]

    thats how all my games look, its fine.

    #47 10 months ago
    Quoted from DadofTwins:

    Wasn't this place just constructed in like the last year or so? How has it all gone to shit so fast?

    Building Construction started in early 2020. Soft opening was in mid-April, 2021.

    -1
    #48 10 months ago
    Quoted from vicjw66:

    Yeah, when I went there last year it was packed. Tim only seems to care for the EMs. None of the solid state games play well. Even the brand new games play like ass

    I like old games and newer games but if I had my own place like this I think I'd just stick to EMs anyway. Much easier and cheaper to get them going and keep them going.

    70
    #49 10 months ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    Tim here at the PHOF.
    We have had a variety of operational and corporate issues since the opening of the new building that have kept us occupied doing things that do not involve improving the quality of our product.
    THE BUILDING- The contractor and the Clival Engineer made several large and tragic mistakes that have left us without clear title and a straight property line. We also got sued by a Real Estate Firm that thought they were due a commission on the purchase of the dirt lot. The billboard Company that we inherited when we bought the property sued us for blocking the visibility of his with our large sign on the street. The plumbing sub-contractor used fixtures that were below the quality called for in our contract and refuses to make it right.
    We have also been in a legal fight with the State Tax Commission on a Sales Tax rebate due us on construction materials we paid for in the building of our new place.
    These are NOT the kind of problems you can put off or in any way delay. They demand your complete attention, including many days of depositions, a 3 day trail and endless meeting. The mistake was in no way our fault, and an insurance has so far paid several million dollars in damages but we have reached an impasse with a small piece of land in the far corner of the lot that the the owner is not willing to settle on. All this time has taken our eyes off the prize, time needed for maintenance and repair of our games.
    We also suffered a 12 week complete shutdown due to Covid lock-down and a slow ramp up after it was lifted. Then we had a HUGE rush of business as people who had pockets of Covid relief money all wanted to play all at once.
    We have also had problems getting people WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING to fix machines. I hesitate to let a person who can not speak clearly or write legibly and has NO knowledge of basic mechanical skills loose on an expensive and complicated piece of equipment. The skilled helpers we do have all pitched in and worked extra hard, but we still had more machines going into the dead game bank than we had coming out for a long time. I have trained 3 people since we opened to do flipper and bumper repairs and they all three left due to legitimate life changes reasons. The constant noise and interruptions from customers is also physically and mentally DRAINING. Clay now lives part of the year in Vegas, and flatly will NOT help here during the hours we are open. It is also not practical to lift each machine up and move it to an isolated area each time they need repair. The cabinets are old and weak and trying to wheel anything thru a mass of people is difficult and dangerous.
    My wife's mother died, and Charlotte has been unable to help at all for almost a year because she was there giving aid and comfort and taking care of the estate. Beth has also had family and minor health issues. Pirate John was out for back surgery for almost 6 months and just returned this week on a part time limited basis. All this along with the usual comings and goings of the non-technical staff add up to a "Chronic shortages and quality issues with staffing at all levels of the retail industry" (The Wall Street Journal)
    But through it all, one thing has stayed constant, our level of dedication and commitment to what we are and what we believe in. NEVER was there talk of quitting, cutbacks or surrender. I ask the pinball community for a little understanding during a time in my 53 years in this business that can only be described as a PERFECT STORM of trouble. I would also like you to consider what we call "Embrace the funk!". Many people accuse us of being unprofessional, ass-backwards, or worse. But there is NO WAY any normal business model could have worked in a world WHERE NOTHING MAKES SENSE. Think of all the arcades, funlands, museums that have failed since 2006 when we went full time with this project. We have survived and THRIVED because we do a lot of things differently. At times, it may seem more like a bunch of guys with some pinball machines in an old auto-parts store and not a proper museum, but I would remind you that this industry has only recently obtained status as a legitimate form of entertainment. For most of it's life, coin operated games were a "bandit industry", run by fools and criminals on the fringes of society. "The funk" is baked-in to our past.
    What is going to happen next? I look forward to a slow but measurable improvement of our quality as problems described above fall away. Traffic will return to a more predictable and normal level as the effects of Covid and interest hikes smooth out huge swings in demand. Spot shortages of supplies and labor will lessen, the cats will stop fighting each other, and the sun will shine again.

    Heavy on excuses and light on solutions. Sounds like the same story I’ve heard for the last couple years and nothing has changed for the better.

    #50 10 months ago

    I judged before reading Tim's post. It's easier to understand now how hard he's really trying, and his big passion for pinball.
    I agree though that moving pins with bigger issues to the back area would be a lot better. It'll make it easier for someone to fix them without the customers around, and ear protection will kill any noice.

    When you're up and running with only fully functional games in the public area, keep it that way by introducing a reward system where you give the customer one or a few free plays if they point out a game issue. It'll make it easier to keep the games in good shape, instead of having to go through each and every one of them constantly. Win-win.

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