(Topic ID: 216266)

Resurrecting a failing pinmuseum business ?


By pookycade

3 months ago



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  • 163 posts
  • 69 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 days ago by pookycade
  • Topic is favorited by 19 Pinsiders

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    There are 163 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
    #151 3 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Based on everything written here I am going the social media route. We are posting more and trying to increase our presence. We shall see how that does.
    I am also taking out a few targeted ads in weekly that tourists tend to frequent. Perhaps a wasted effort, but will be curious to see if we can boost the out of town ratio and if so where that gets generated from.

    One of the cool things about "boosting" events and targeted ads on Facebook is they tell you exactly how many people click through to your post and break down the price per click. The also give you a lot of demographic info on those people, so you start to get a feel for who your audience is. For our pinball and arcade show I used targeted keywords like: pinball, arcade, videogame, games, playstation, xbox, jukebox, coin op and sometimes branch out into geek culture more because a lot of the people that like D&D, Magic the Gathering, gaming, etc. also like arcade games and pinball. I've found our demographics are both men and women with most falling between the ages of 25-50, but I usually target 18-65. Anyway, even if you don't see a big payoff instantly, it's cheap, you gain some demographic info, and it spreads the word and brings people to your Facebook page, where they may like it and start seeing your social media posts.

    #152 3 months ago
    Quoted from Brijam:

    Sad to say mine too.

    I strongly disagree, the college market is a perfect market.

    In Cambridge, MA a place called A4cade opened practically on MIT's campus (just a block away). It has been bringing in money hand over fist. 6 pins, 20 arcade games, pop a shot, skeeball, you name it.

    #153 3 months ago

    I'm up in Charlottesville several times a year. I often stay at the Omni on one side of the Mall. There is an ice rink with a few pins right across from there. I have played there, but would really like to come visit your place. Where exactly is it?

    #154 3 months ago
    Quoted from zombywoof:

    I'm up in Charlottesville several times a year. I often stay at the Omni on one side of the Mall. There is an ice rink with a few pins right across from there. I have played there, but would really like to come visit your place. Where exactly is it?

    Just hit the magnifying glass on the left here:

    https://www.pinballmap.com/charlottesville?utf8=%E2%9C%93&region=charlottesville&by_location_id=&by_location_name=

    #155 3 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Hey we respond to advice. One down, one Yelp to go. And heck maybe even an Instagram account at some point. Thanks again

    Yelp says your business is unclaimed:
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/pauls-pinball-palace-charlottesville-2

    #156 3 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    It is very nice inside. Full glass wall to the outside has amazing light and spacious. But yes physical location couldn’t be more horrible if one tried. It is not a “repeat customer” type locale except for a very select and dedicated few. I’m willing to try diffeeent things to mix it up and certainly a different place to give it another true go past this incidental trial run. Probably a millions ways NOT to run a business and we’ve found one

    I think understanding your demo of 'new' vs 'repeat' vs 'passing through' customers would help you a good bit.

    You are offering a unique product, you don't need beauty or 'all in one' benefits. But people do need to know you exist, they do need to cross the tipping point to commit to come, and they do need to want to return.

    Online discovery can overcome the 'street level' discovery... but people need to be looking to begin with.

    Do you know what the promotion abilities are on-campus? Can you pay a kid to hand out flyers at the student union a few days a month? Find similar spots it may be useful to get your idea in front of eyeballs... and hope they search your name online.

    2 weeks later
    #157 75 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Fully agree with them. Only 3 EMs (compared to 30 SS) in the house at one time and I will try to rotate them over time.

    It's been a few weeks, how is the promotional efforts going? Any improvement in attendance?

    2 weeks later
    #158 56 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Hey we respond to advice. One down, one Yelp to go. And heck maybe even an Instagram account at some point. Thanks again

    So, did any of that help? Did the business pick up?

    #159 56 days ago

    I was curious too, there were a bunch of great suggestions in this thread, I was hoping some worked out.

    1 month later
    #160 16 days ago
    Quoted from nwpinball:

    I was curious too, there were a bunch of great suggestions in this thread, I was hoping some worked out.

    There was a story about them looking to move a month ago:
    http://www.nbc29.com/story/38542798/pinball-palace

    Supposedly Aug 1 was drop dead for closing shop if they couldn't find a new location, but it looks like they found a new spot and are moving to Carlton Ave in Charlottesville (the "Belmont area") and will reopen in September.

    #161 16 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    BUT Asheville has some 1000 people per week come thru there (per their website) and no barcade that I can see

    They definitely sell alcohol. But I’m sure that’s not the only reason why they get good foot traffic. Tourists a plenty. I’ve never heard of Charlottesville VA but I’ve been to Asheville NC 3 times in the past two years.

    #163 9 days ago

    So I thought I’d update this now that the deed is finally done. Hate stories with no ending at all.

    4 weeks ago I was lining up a storage facility for the machines, unable to find a place we could afford without some significant financial pain. Heck even got on the local news with our pleas for space.

    However, as alluded to above we closed last weekend and today mostly finished moving over to a new location with actually a bit more space so I can add some video games on top of the pins. Dear god it is no fun to move 40 machines even if just a mile away.

    As happens to all new businesses we were the hot new thing for a month until we weren’t. But slowly our census kept going back up over the last two months. People found us, they kept coming. In July we had some 350 people stop by. It convinced me to continue this endeavor as we are at or maybe even a little past breakeven.

    All in all I think we’ve made a step up here. Not hidden anymore, have a pizza parlor on one side and Mexican restsruatnt on the other, and finally a coin op laundromat of all things next door. And we have parking, sweet glorious parking spaces. Place is a bit rough, a true honest to god warehouse we partially sublease from our very generous landlord, but we will give it some charm before opening again in a month. And yes we will add some alcohol for the evening crowd given that our landlord runs a microbrewery. But for afternoons it’s dry.

    My take Home advice for now for those considering this is to just keep at it. People will find you, maybe just not as fast as you want. And as long as the goal isn’t to become rich at this, it is financially feasible to do it on your own terms.

    Will update this thread further once we have the new place up.

    Thanks again for everyone’s helpful advice and support

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