Pinball Hall of Fame to close

(Topic ID: 222136)

Pinball Hall of Fame to close


By timarnold

83 days ago



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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by toyotaboy
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    #1 83 days ago

    I am saddened today to announce that our current location on Tropicana will be closing as soon as we can wind up our affairs......
    AND MOVE TO OUR NEW LOCATION ON THE STRIP!
    For a long time our current location has been to small to even serve our current customers, let alone any increase with new customers. We had explored building a new building on the vacant lot we own next door. This would solve our space problem, but still leave the problems we have with the location.
    As we have grown since the start of the project next to the theater down the street, we have noticed more and more of our business has been from tourists. Where we are now is an expensive cab ride from the strip or downtown, often costing our guests more in cab fare than they spend on games while here. Uber and Lyft have helped a little, but it is still 3.2 miles from the strip.
    Our experement putting games inside the Riveria was a way to explore what it would be like to be on the strip. We were generally happy with the way it went, but the Hotel would NOT give us any kind of a time comittment, limiting us to a year-to-year contract. When the Riv was sold and imploded, we lost all our customer goodwill we had worked so hard to build. The lesson learned was DON'T LEASE!
    For the last couple years we had been looking at other locations. We had to own, not lease. It had to be big and square and it had to be near the strip. We came close to buying a K-mart on SUnset, making several offers, but it was bought by a church with a larger ability to pay.
    We had an aggrement with the owner of a closed Albertsons supermarket just down Sunset from the K-mart, but they pulled out because we only wanted the large grocery space and not the whole shopping center.
    Then we came across the Sombrero. In 1952, when this small roadsie motel was built, this was WAY out of town on the 2 lane blacktop to Los Angeles. It operated as a motel until 2000, When it was closed and demolished. It was bought and sold as a vacant lot several times, including at the top of the Real Estate Frenzy for 18 million dollars. That buyer defaulted on the note, it was foreclosed and sold again, this time for 16 million dollars. That buyer also defaulted. The bad note was sold as part of a package of notes to a financial firm in New Jersey. They listed it for sale at 6.5 million. We started negotiating with them in good faith and we were near on a price, when they suddenly stopped talking to us and put the property in and auction.
    Here's where it gets wierd.They put a reserve on the price that was LESS than what we had already offered them. The reserve was hidden until bidding reached that amount,then all offers were legally binding and final.
    On the day of the auction, we watched as the price climbed up and up. The auction took place over the interweb with an auction guy on the phone live as a back up. At 10 minuets before end, we upped the bid to 4,350,000. The screen turned green and the reserve had been met, we were top bidder. So I figured the price would continue to climb. BUT NO OTHER BIDS CAME IN! The seller didn't even bid it up himself or with a shill to a higher number. The clock counted down to zero and we owned it. Out the door with comission and taxes,4,589,000.
    So what did we buy?
    It can be seen by googling "4915 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas". There are Loopnet listings there that will show where the lot is located with an aerial photo (Serves much better than a description). It is next to the world's largest Harley Davidson dealership, and also spitting distance from the famous Las Vegas Sign. Across the street is the Mandalay Bay. The new Raiders stadium is right across the freeway.
    It is within walking distance of the largest hotel corner IN THE WORLD. It is on a fast cheep and easy bus line that runs all the way up and down the strip and from Downtown without transfers. The location is STUNNINGLY GREAT!
    Now the downsides of this lot. As you can see by the photo, it a long and thin shape. We only have 120 feet of frontage on the strip. We will need a huge sign to be noticed by traffic passing North. We will not get any visability from Southbound traffic as the mediam is landscaped. The thin shape limits what and where we can build on the lot. The fire department needs to be able to turn a truck around in the parking lot. There is a billboard sign, seen in the photo as a shodow near the front, with an unbreakable lease that will have to be fit in. The Dewey Drive Extension to the rear of the property serves the aircraft hangers inside the secrue fence. We have a parking lot between these hangers are our rear. We are unsure at this point what our rights to the Extension or the parking lot are.
    We have approved drawings that solve most or all these issues with a 27,000 sq ft building all the way to the rear of the lot with a 96 space parking lot to the front. Draw a line about half way, and you will see where the building sits.
    Our current space on Trop is 8600 sq ft. Our old space next to the theater was 4400 sq ft. The Hit Shed is 9600 sq ft. The K-mart was 86,000 sq ft. The Albertsons was 48,000 sq ft. This space gives us the ability to more than double the amount of games with wider isleways and more restroom area.
    Now comes the tricky part. When we bought the property, we had 3.6 million cash in the bank. Because we can not sell our old building and lot on Trop until we finish construction on the Sombrero lot, we took out a bridge loan of 1 million dollars. That interest is running NOW. It will take a year to a year and a half to get thru land use, the FAA-airport issues, Building dept sign off on plans. Then we have to write a check for between 3 and 4 million for a building. (27000X125 per ft) Then the debt becomes crushing. It will swollow half or more of our cash flow, leaving us open to problems if there is a hickup in cash flow or an unexpected cost. The positive thing is that our exsisting lot and building on Trop were appraised recently for 2.7 million, this will be sold as soon as we open on the strip and these funds used to retire the bridge loan and reduce the construction loan. By common metrics we are on the high side of comfortable for debt-to-equity and debt-to-cashflow. It will also mean that we will stop almost all our charitable giving for the near future. This hurts me personally a LOT as that is why we started this project.
    This is where the pinball community comes in. Up to this point we have NEVER asked for any monitary contributions from anybody. We have 100 percent self funded by selling stuff and things. Fun night raffles, pinball machines from my and others collections, and mostly coins in games. NOW WE NEED HELP! Lots of help. Lots of YOUR help! We will only ask for contributions once. Once we get over this hump, it's back to chiritable giving and building a small reserve.
    We have decided to sell memberships in the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club. Basic membership will be 50 dollars, which will get you a shirt and a small listing on the Pinball Hall of Fame WALL OF FAME. 100 dollars will get you a shirt, a 5 disc set of PinGame Journal Promos and Clips (Thanks Jimmy!) and a larger listing on the wall. 500 and up will make you a Gold, Platinum, or Super Krell Metal membership. All donations are tax deductibale above the amount of the gifts given and will only go to help us reduce debt.
    Membership will come with benefits. Members will get an invite to Grand Opening Party and other special events not open to the public. Members will be allowed to bring in non-alcoholic beverages and take photos. The public will not. We will have a special area for members that will contain fragile and special parts of the collection, MEMBERS ONLY, no screaming kids. Members will get a regular update and pinball history items by e-mail. Technical information, advice and help with parts via e-mail are included with membership. Members get our lowest price on games for sale. There will be other things added to member benefits as we go along. Keep in mind it has been 11 days since we dropped the hammer on this whamma jamma. I will be at the new PinBerk Expo in Chicago giving a seminar on the project and begging for money in a booth on the floor (Thanks Robbie!)
    Please consider helping us out. We are ready to sign people up NOW for membership and ship shirts and DVD sets. We are avoiding the usual Kickstarter model as we have always been a do it our selfs kind of thing. You can Pay Pal with USMAil shipping info to pinballhalloffame@msn.com or send checks to Pinball Hall of Fame 2620 S. Maryland # 241 Las Vegas NV 89109. I will be posting as we go along with totals raised and progress made. We will also be selling memberships live in the museum via a special vending machine.

    #2 83 days ago

    Wow, this is a huge leap of faith, and also a hell of an opportunity. Good luck!

    #3 83 days ago

    Wow, congratulations! Very exciting to see this huge step in the life of the PHoF. Can't wait to visit the new digs in a year or two...and the old digs next month! Thanks for the update, Tim!

    #4 83 days ago

    Tell you what, that property alone will be pure gold someday.

    Congrats!

    #5 83 days ago

    Hopefully you now own the rights to the billboard lease on the site. The monthly revenue from leasing the advertising rights on that billboard will be significant. Congrats on the purchase and best of luck getting the new HOF up and running!

    #6 83 days ago

    Great location for all the out-of-town guests staying on The Strip.

    Come a long way from Fun Nights at the Big Hit Shed.

    Congrats. Bring on the membership.

    27,000 sq ft of pinball in the desert.

    #7 83 days ago

    Congratulations, Tim! Talk about moving on up. This is a big win for pinball.

    #8 83 days ago

    Congrats. Let’s all buckle up and enjoy the ride.

    #9 83 days ago

    Congratulations! This is huge! I always got there by buying a bus pass and that was always a neat part of the adventure but this will be way more convenient. I'm excited to see how it all turns out and will make a contribution soon.

    #10 83 days ago

    Wow! Was just there for Fourth of July! Loved PHOF as always. I literally always rent a car so I can go as often as I want while in town, BUT with casino charging for parking I was thinking of not doing that anymore, so this is perfect timing.

    Only one question, if you knew this was coming, searching for new property last few years, why not stop charitable giving a few years ago so you could avoid such a large bridge loan?

    #11 83 days ago

    I like the headline of your thread Tim.

    Congratulations on the forthcoming move onto the Strip. I've visited your current address there twice in the past.Got to play some machines that I'd never otherwise get to play.May you attract in many more locals and tourists,like me.

    I sincerely wish you the best.

    #12 83 days ago

    PHOF is always a must when I got to Vegas (usually once a year) I can’t wait to see my name on the wall!!

    #13 83 days ago

    Helping Tim grow the PHOF, I consider to be a civic duty. And I'm an Australian.

    #14 83 days ago

    Clickbait!!!

    You always have the vision to dream and the determination to deliver.




    Congrats Tim!
    faz

    #15 83 days ago

    One of my favorite pinball memories was showing up first thing in the morning to pick up a camera I had left the day before. You were kind and gracious and let me watch you hit the power and turn on all the machines at once. The sight and sound of all those machines coming to life is one I will never forget. Best luck with the new location can't wait to visit it.

    #16 83 days ago

    This sounds like heck of an endeavor. Best of luck Tim!

    #17 83 days ago

    PHOF is on my bucket list of things to do. Since I am in Denver it is a short hop over to Vegas. I would like to support you guys and appreciate that your are there and expanding. Congrats!

    #18 83 days ago

    Very impressed with your transparency in disclosing all these facts, specifically the financial ones. Just like when it comes to me, you should get great support from the community. Honesty is a rare commodity nowadays. Although I go to Vegas every few years, I try to stop st the PHOF when schedule allows. And I will get a membership even if I don't use it. Good luck and Thank you

    #19 83 days ago

    I'd been to the PHoF when it was in the movie theater shopping center and where it is currently housed....can't wait to see this next step taken. Congrats Tim!

    #20 83 days ago

    Donation sent!

    #21 83 days ago

    Congrats Tim! This is Huge!

    #22 83 days ago

    Good Luck... can't wait to visit.

    With the shape of that lot, it just screams for the building to be in the shape of a pinball machine.

    #23 83 days ago

    Tim,

    Donation sent! You are definitely one of the good guys on this planet. Happy to help.

    larry@flipnoutpinball.com

    100
    #24 83 days ago
    Quoted from Scorch:

    it just screams for the building to be in the shape of a pinball machine.

    Seeing how this is RIGHT next to the airport, it would be free advertising if the top of the roof was painted to look like a pinball machine. Every flight in "look, there's a giant pinball machine! We should go visit there!"

    phof_pinball_aerial (resized).png
    #25 83 days ago

    Bump toyotaboy! Absolutly right!!!!

    #26 82 days ago
    Quoted from Spitfiren8:

    Hopefully you now own the rights to the billboard lease on the site.

    That's not usually how it works. Most of the time a company like Lamar will pay a nominal fee to the property owner to stick the sign on their land so they can turn around and sell the space on the sign.

    #27 82 days ago

    After I get the OK from my wife, I will be donating (buying a membership).
    Good Luck hope you will be open by 2020.
    And hey, you are almost within "easy" walking distance (~1.5miles) to the IN&OUT Burger on Tropicana!!!
    Maybe work a deal with Billboard sign Co, to allow you to put up a sign in tandem just underneath the billboard
    to show off your PHoF location.

    #28 82 days ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Seeing how this is RIGHT next to the airport, it would be free advertising if the top of the roof was painted to look like a pinball machine. Every flight in "look, there's a giant pinball machine! We should go visit there!"[quoted image]

    That’s an awesome idea in general but I am afraid it won’t work in this case for a couple of reasons.

    1. The building is basically on the airport so it won’t be seen by anyone flying in because the airplanes will be on the ground when they are near it.

    2. It’s also on the wrong side of the airport for the general flight traffic. The majority of the airplanes land either to the West or to the south. Since the building is on the west side of the airport no passengers on landing aircraft would be able to see it. The only people that would probably see it is passengers from departing airplanes. This is because departing aircraft climb at a much higher rate than the long flat aprroaches of arriving aircraft. This means that the aircraft departing to the west would have a good view of it but......They are leaving.

    The ideal place for this kind of Advertisement is about a mile from the airport just on either side of the approach path. That way the airplane is near enough to the ground to see it and it’s more prominanet. We have a big Dallas Cowboy Star on top a warehouse coming into Dallas.

    Like I said. It’s an awesome idea and would fit perfectly with the theme and building type but in this case I just think the location is wrong. It could still be worth doing because It would be cool to take ariel pictures of it and use it in promotional material though.

    Now if you painted the end facing the airport like the front of a machine with a huge shooter rod hanging off the side with a lit up coin door With the word Pinball in the middle, you would get visibility from the passengers as they are taxiing to the gate. Hmmmm.

    #29 82 days ago
    Quoted from Lonzo:

    Now if you painted the end facing the airport like the front of a machine with a huge shooter rod hanging off the side with a lit up coin door With the word Pinball in the middle, you would get visibility from the passengers as they are taxiing to the gate. Hmmmm.

    That'd be a blast to see! Bet there are TONS of signage rules out there...

    #30 82 days ago

    BIG congratulations to Tim and his PHOF!
    This should be awesome!!!
    ~Steveo

    #31 82 days ago

    Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.

    God speed.

    #32 82 days ago

    LOL faked me out! Nice!

    #33 82 days ago
    Quoted from Lonzo:

    That’s an awesome idea in general but I am afraid it won’t work in this case for a couple of reasons.
    1. The building is basically on the airport so it won’t be seen by anyone flying in because the airplanes will be on the ground when they are near it.
    2. It’s also on the wrong side of the airport for the general flight traffic. The majority of the airplanes land either to the West or to the south. Since the building is on the west side of the airport no passengers on landing aircraft would be able to see it. The only people that would probably see it is passengers from departing airplanes. This is because departing aircraft climb at a much higher rate than the long flat aprroaches of arriving aircraft. This means that the aircraft departing to the west would have a good view of it but......They are leaving.
    The ideal place for this kind of Advertisement is about a mile from the airport just on either side of the approach path. That way the airplane is near enough to the ground to see it and it’s more prominanet. We have a big Dallas Cowboy Star on top a warehouse coming into Dallas.
    Like I said. It’s an awesome idea and would fit perfectly with the theme and building type but in this case I just think the location is wrong. It could still be worth doing because It would be cool to take ariel pictures of it and use it in promotional material though.
    Now if you painted the end facing the airport like the front of a machine with a huge shooter rod hanging off the side with a lit up coin door With the word Pinball in the middle, you would get visibility from the passengers as they are taxiing to the gate. Hmmmm.

    all probably true.. at the very least itll be seen from google maps.

    #34 82 days ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    all probably true.. at the very least itll be seen from google maps.

    True

    #35 82 days ago

    “Where we are now is an expensive cab ride from the strip or downtown, often costing our guests more in cab fare than they spend on games while here. Uber and Lyft have helped a little, but it is still 3.2 miles from the strip.”

    My experience exactly. Exciting news for Pinball!

    #36 82 days ago

    Congratulations Tim,
    best wishes on this new endeavor. Ill be a member on the wall for sure.

    Jeff

    #37 82 days ago

    A few other things I'm seeing while exploring google maps. There is a police department directly across the street (so it should be pretty safe there, criminals tend to not hang around police stations), a fire department... There's a subway, panda express, mcdonalds, indian restaurant, liquor store .4 miles away (7 minute walk). There's a motel .2 miles away (4 minute walk) if you're just looking to fly in for a day on the cheap to play pinball. There's a helicopter tourism place 1/2 a mile down the road (those customers WOULD likely see the top of the roof).

    Comparing current PHOF to new site as far as land:

    phof_old_vs_new (resized).png
    #38 82 days ago

    Congratulations. That is a tremendous accomplishment

    I go out once a year for the licensing show and spend 3-4 hrs a night. at your place. My least favorite part is finding a ride back to Mandalay. That sucks. Takes forever-forget the expense. Great move.

    #39 82 days ago

    timarnold I visited the beginning of July and played for over 3 hours. All the best on your new venture. Do you have examples of the T-shirt design?

    #40 82 days ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    There's a helicopter tourism place 1/2 a mile down the road (those customers WOULD likely see the top of the roof).

    Also any of the people on Janet Airlines.

    #41 82 days ago

    wow, that's great....I always wasted way too much money in the past on cab rides to the HOF (with a stop at In'n'Out of course). Good luck with everything!

    #42 82 days ago

    To maximize the value of the donations will you offer the option to opt-out of some of the 'gifts'. Not sure I need another TShirt or the DVD set......but I do support the PHOF (and will visit again at end of Sept).

    #43 82 days ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    Also any of the people on Janet Airlines.

    Shhhhhhh

    #44 82 days ago

    Is there any way that instead of sending cash that people could provide you with some pinball parts for you guys to save on replacement parts? I know I have a shitload of B/W parts that I wont use anymore and instead of getting a few bucks I'd rather mail it in and give you guys a break on that front?

    When do you guys forecast to open. I would make it my mission to be there on opening day and visit Vegas for the first time.

    10
    #45 82 days ago

    I first opened this thread with sadness.. only to find out you're moving and expanding.

    FANTASTIC!!!!!!

    #46 82 days ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    We have decided to sell memberships in the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club. Basic membership will be 50 dollars, which will get you a shirt and a small listing on the Pinball Hall of Fame WALL OF FAME. 100 dollars will get you a shirt, a 5 disc set of PinGame Journal Promos and Clips (Thanks Jimmy!) and a larger listing on the wall. 500 and up will make you a Gold, Platinum, or Super Krell Metal membership. All donations are tax deductibale above the amount of the gifts given and will only go to help us reduce debt.

    Tim - is said "wall" envisioned as a physical wall within the building or just something virtual? If it's something physical KAHR.US Circuits would like to be on it. I'd imagine other vendors would be interested as well.

    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED score boards for model H & model S Skee Ball

    #47 82 days ago
    Quoted from Lonzo:

    Now if you painted the end facing the airport like the front of a machine with a huge shooter rod hanging off the side with a lit up coin door With the word Pinball in the middle, you would get visibility from the passengers as they are taxiing to the gate. Hmmmm.

    And you enter through the coin return flaps!

    #48 82 days ago

    Sounds great. Hope to see you in Chicago. Is the membership a per year venture or just a one time thing for this move? Will join at some level either way, just wondering.

    #49 82 days ago

    I try to get over to the PBHOF a few times a year. To hear it is expanding is great news!

    #50 82 days ago

    I'm gonna donate. PHOF is an important stop during my every Vegas visit. Heck, if it wasn't there, I might not even go to Vegas half as often.

    It is also the most famous pinball venue of its type in the world today. For that reason alone, we need to help the banner fly high and proud... it benefits us all by keeping pinball in the public consciousness. Vegas gets visitors from all over the world.

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