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(Topic ID: 274752)

The death of arcade bars?


By thinkpol

78 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 253 posts
  • 106 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 62 days ago by mrm_4
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Will most "barcade" pinball locations survive until the COVID-19 pandemic is over?”

    • YES, they will still be here in some form 89 votes
      31%
    • NO, many will be forced to close 201 votes
      69%

    (290 votes)

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    There are 253 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 6.
    #51 77 days ago

    Is "Covid-19 Is Real, Protect Yourself" the "Winners Don't Do Drugs" of today???

    Back in my day we had a crack cocaine epidemic AND WE LIKED IT. Kids these days don't understand how good they have it with this global pandemic!

    /s

    #52 77 days ago

    Restaurants are closing as well.
    Doesn’t mean people don’t want to eat.

    People still want to go out and play (I know I do). It just isn’t feasible for me at the moment.

    Sad truth is that not all businesses will fair this the same. As others have said, some will survive, some will not and others will open in the future to fill the void left by those that closed.

    11
    #53 77 days ago

    In recent weeks I’ve come around that it looks like this covid thing has affected society’s mindset enough that it will take at least a year or more before things get back to normal.

    I’ve learned the hard way before that it can be important to know when to cut your losses instead of slow bleeding over long periods when it comes to business. Therefore it might be prudent for barcades to just close up and put games in storage for a year or two and then come back when we get back to some normalcy. I say this not to be a downer but rather to save money for owners who could lose it all over long term bleeding.

    And of course this has nothing to do with how real the danger is to play a game of public pinball but rather that most won’t be returning for some time either from fear or because they’re broke from having lost their job.

    I could be wrong and want to be wrong but this is my guess at this point. I think barcades will open again somwday but unfortunately most will be done in a year or so.

    #54 77 days ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    In recent weeks I’ve come around that it looks like this covid thing has affected society’s mindset enough that it will take at least a year or more before things get back to normal.
    I’ve learned the hard way before that it can be important to know when to cut your losses instead of slow bleeding over long periods when it comes to business. Therefore it might be prudent for barcades to just close up and put games in storage for a year or two and then come back when we get back to some normalcy. I say this not to be a downer but rather to save money for owners who could lose it all over long term bleeding.
    And of course this has nothing to do with how real the danger is to play a game of public pinball but rather that most won’t be returning for some time either from fear or because they’re broke from having now job.

    This is correct. I have taken the approach that when it costs more to be open than just stay closed (and just pay storage fees on games) I will do that. But a year is not an unreasonable and perhaps even likely underestimate. Landlords who are not willing to renegotiate rent risk having an unoccupied hole in the wall. Nobody in their right mind will be opening up in a new space or recently vacated space at this time.

    #55 77 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    just pay storage fees on games

    I can help with that. I can offer lower cost storage than you renting a mini warehouse or anything else.

    But for real, instead of looking at renting storage to store games, why not rent them out for home use and make a few bucks?

    #56 77 days ago
    Quoted from JohnnyPinball007:

    I can help with that. I can offer lower cost storage than you renting a mini warehouse or anything else.
    But for real, instead of looking at renting storage to store games, why not rent them out for home use and make a few bucks?

    On paper this sounds like a fantastic idea. In reality it’s a back breaker. Hauling around 200 lb machines and then setting up and hoping they survive transit, all to earn maybe max $250 per machine a month just isn’t worth it. On a time effort dollars basis would rather just pay storage fee which involves money yes, but no actual ongoing effort. Hats off to those who make it work bringing their games to people. My suspicion though is that most have no interest in paying what a break even rental fee would be to have these games in their home.

    #57 77 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Read post #29, maybe Robin did ? It is still in the URL.

    No, I don't think any of us touched it. As far as I'm aware, it's not illegal to use "barcade" in a thread title.

    I have read about the barcade trademark owners going after businesses that use the word "barcade" in their business name in order to protect the barcade brand. I doubt it's worth the lawyer time for a thread title, though.

    #58 77 days ago
    Quoted from Coindork:

    Restaurants are closing as well.
    Doesn’t mean people don’t want to eat.
    People still want to go out and play (I know I do). It just isn’t feasible for me at the moment.
    Sad truth is that not all businesses will fair this the same. As others have said, some will survive, some will not and others will open in the future to fill the void left by those that closed.

    1 person wraps the cutlery, 1 person...apparently hot food is risialiant. Imagine 1000 people touching an arcade game in a day, not looking good.
    I bought 2 storage containers for $2k each and stored em in a buddy's insulated warehouse on his farm till this is over.

    #59 77 days ago
    Quoted from Lamberger:

    1 person wraps the cutlery...1 person...apparently hot food is risialiant. Imagine 1000 people touching an arcade game in a day, not looking good.

    And that’s why in not out playing location Pinball at the moment. My desire is there, but until things get better I’m abstaining.
    Was simply commenting that once this is all behind us there will still be a desire for people to play location games. It’s not a passing fad.

    #60 77 days ago
    Quoted from Coindork:

    And that’s why in not out playing location Pinball at the moment. My desire is there, but until things get better I’m abstaining.
    Was simply commenting that once this is all behind us there will still be a desire for people to play location games. It’s not a passing fad.

    It's a little different than restaurants... I would compare it to amusement parks.
    I'm watching Disneyland... and what they come up with for a solution.

    #61 76 days ago
    Quoted from unlockpinball:

    The market leader is Free Play Arcade located in Texas. Many locations, understands the market, great business model, and the CEO is an attorney. Guru of foreseeability.

    They closed their Denton location.

    #62 76 days ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    They closed their Denton location.

    Free Play Arcade has a YouTube channel that discusses current happenings, auctions, and arcade news. Channel has recently been quiet.

    Arcades have to look at alternative revenue streams such as rent/lease out games.

    Any arcades get PPP money?

    #63 76 days ago

    Long before Covid, we lost our locations. We had 2 of the best. Pinball Wizard in Pelham, NH. Lanes & Games in Cambridge, MA. Both of them went out of business because of real estate costs. It’s just a tough business. And I won’t be going to any kind of arcade until this “issue” is totally solved.

    #64 76 days ago
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    #65 76 days ago

    Not a mask or hand sanitizer in sight those were the good old days.

    #66 76 days ago

    Very sad to see that the Silverball Salon in Rochester, NY closed their doors yesterday. (run by Bruce Nightingale of Slam Tilt podcast.)

    He had just ranted on this weeks podcast that the restrictions in NY were a big problem for his bars recent reopening, but I forget the details he motioned.

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    #67 76 days ago
    Quoted from Coindork:

    And that’s why in not out playing location Pinball at the moment. My desire is there, but until things get better I’m abstaining.
    Was simply commenting that once this is all behind us there will still be a desire for people to play location games. It’s not a passing fad.

    This is the problem. We have ostensibly made our location safer to be at than any store you can possibly go to (required and policed mask wearing, UVC sanitation, high rate outside ventilation, hospital grade air purifiers, antiviral coatings on all games. People still go to the unsafe stores because they feel they have to. People do not come out to amusement places because they feel it is unsafe. No amount of mitigation is gonna solve this mindset. What we need is all the bikers attending Sturgis to come, but they don’t want to wear masks. No middle ground here apparently, and no bringing science into how to make an indoor space safe is gonna overcome built in mindset and bias. None of that is a complaint, just a statement of reality

    #68 76 days ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    Title removed the word "barcade". Is Barcade (the registered trademark holder) still sending cease & desists every time that portmanteau is used?

    Hi, Joe C. here (I used my old account for the OP) I'm not entirely sure why, but the Pinside admins originally removed the word "Barcade" from the posting title. They didn't notify me or give any clear reasoning why... I'm not quite sure why mentioning a copyrighted company by name like Nike, McDonalds, Apple is forbidden, but whatever, it's their site, their rules... I changed the title to "arcade bars"

    Thank you to everyone for keeping this page free from engaging in political rancor or un-founded conspiracy theories. By definition of anyone being on this site we all LOVE pinball and want to support it in the most positive way possible. To what degree you choose to safely support your local pinball location is up to you, but please consider doing as much as you can. I earnestly hope that pinball isn't going anywhere (pinball came back after many set-backs including WWII in which no new pinball machines were made for several years). Let's keep holding onto that torch so that one day a new generation can enjoy pinball as much as we do.

    #69 76 days ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    Why did you change it from “the death of barcades” to “the death of” to “the death of arcade bars”? Just curious.

    I didn't. Mods removed it I guess... I dunno. I didn't get any reason why. Weird.

    #70 76 days ago

    It was weird when it was left blank at “Death of “ for hours

    #71 75 days ago

    I run a private pinball club so we rely on monthly dues instead of walk ins. With membership, fortunately the club is a pretty tight knit community and we have appointment only slots for members and (for now) most are keeping their memberships current. We are also entirely volunteer operated so I feel pretty lucky to be in this spot right now. Low overhead. We just need a certain number of memberships each month to pay the rent/utilities/machine maintenance/etc. Still, I wonder how much fun it’s going to be for people after a while without interactive leagues and tournaments. We’ve got ideas and plans for covid safe competition, but it’s not the same. We’re having a tournament this Sunday that is basically a speed run through 10
    Machines -6 people score the most points in 5 minutes on each machine. Then they gtfo, cleaning ensues, and the next 6 people come in and do the same thing. It’s like...4 shifts of 2 hours and there's no interactive play, so it’ll be interesting to see if people have fun. I think the race the clock aspect will add a little adrenaline and you’re with others in the same room
    Experiencing that. ‍♀️ I don’t know... maybe we are all f*cked.

    #72 75 days ago
    Quoted from LamF:

    I don’t know... maybe we are all f*cked.

    2020 in a nutshell

    #73 75 days ago
    Quoted from GamesbyAPK:

    I can’t believe they opened schools in tn. The numbers are going up there not down!

    it is really not that bad, not a death sentence. My daughter has been in summer camp with tons of kids since early May and NO ONE got sick. She also does gymnastics and plays softball and NO kids got sick. She starts school Wednesday full time in class NO virtual. I am happy about it, the kids need social interaction. Suicide and mental illness problems have sky rocketed since all this bologna started. Everyone staying home and wearing mask is NOT going to prevent people from getting. We are just delaying the inevitable. If this thing had a 50% death rate then it would be a different story.

    -1
    #74 75 days ago
    Quoted from alexanr1:

    It will all magically disappear as soon as the election is over....

    YEP

    #75 75 days ago

    Covid 19 is an amazing virus. It wont infect you at a Wallmart or a Lows a Home Depot a grocery store or a riot but it will most certainly jump on you in a bar or movie theater a church or a political rally or a voting booth.

    #76 75 days ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    Covid 19 is an amazing virus. It wont infect you at a Wallmart or a Lows a Home Depot a grocery store or a riot but it will most certainly jump on you in a bar or church or a political rally or a voting booth.

    yea, it is a smart and crafty SOB.

    #77 75 days ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    it is really not that bad, not a death sentence. My daughter has been in summer camp with tons of kids since early May and NO ONE got sick. She also does gymnastics and plays softball and NO kids got sick. She starts school Wednesday full time in class NO virtual. I am happy about it, the kids need social interaction. Suicide and mental illness problems have sky rocketed since all this bologna started. Everyone staying home and wearing mask is NOT going to prevent people from getting. We are just delaying the inevitable. If this thing had a 50% death rate then it would be a different story.

    Agreed. You either have had it, have it or will get it. There is no getting around it. Vaccines dont fully stop the flue and they wont stop this either.

    I agree with school starting with the kids actually being there but the schools will be shut back down when a few cases pop up. Its funny that they dont shut them down when the flue rampages through a a school.

    -4
    #78 75 days ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    Agreed. You either have had it, have it or will get it. There is no getting around it. Vaccines dont fully stop the flue and they wont stop this either.
    I agree with school starting with the kids actually being there but the schools will be shut back down when a few cases pop up. Its funny that they dont shut them down when the flue rampages through a a school.

    Many TN counties shutdown over the flu last year. So many teachers got it and there was not enough substitutes to go around so they shut schools down for a week. I am sure it will happen with COVID as well. Just going to be part of it for a while. The more people who get it the better as far as I am concerned. Get this herd immunity going and be done.

    25
    #79 75 days ago

    Yay the “we been banned from the COVID thread here’s a bunch of bullshit that shows why” crew is here.

    Love these reunion shows.

    11
    #80 75 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    antiviral coatings on all games

    What does this mean? What is an antiviral coating?

    Quoted from pookycade:

    People still go to the unsafe stores because they feel they have to.

    I go to stores because I need to eat. I buy as much as I can to space out these trips. I plan them to be with the smallest crowd I can. If the store was open 24 hours a day, I'd be going at 3 AM so I wouldn't be around people. And I'm pissed off that my local store got rid of their distancing paths, so now you have to stand in register lines again, and those block the end of the isles. I'm all business in the store. And I've walked out of them when things got crowded and I felt I could not socially distance.

    Quoted from pookycade:

    People do not come out to amusement places because they feel it is unsafe.

    Unlike food, amusement is not a necessary thing. It might be necessary for the owner of the amusement place, but not for me. Believe me, I want to start going to them again.

    Quoted from pookycade:

    no bringing science into how to make an indoor space safe is gonna overcome built in mindset and bias.

    If everything could be as safe as you say, the transmission rates would fall rapidly. But not everyone agrees, and that is the problem. We have made this all a personal choice instead of applying science. People like me are not going to go out for amusement until this has passed.

    -8
    #81 75 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    People like me are not going to go out for amusement until this has passed.

    But it will never pass. It will always be her now. You do know that the common cold is a covid virus right? You cant stop living because you might die from something.

    12
    #82 75 days ago

    Relax
    Life will return to normal Q1 of 2022

    Then Q4 a huge meteor will destroy earth.

    10
    #83 75 days ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Relax
    Life will return to normal Q1 of 2022
    Then Q4 a huge meteor will destroy earth.

    We were warned...

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    #84 75 days ago

    Why 2022?

    That is a Stern meteor, it will fall apart before it hits earth.

    #85 75 days ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    But it will never pass. It will always be her now. You do know that the common cold is a covid virus right? You cant stop living because you might die from something.

    and he is the one who wants to apply science, but yet thinks this virus is going to just stop one day. LOL.

    #86 75 days ago

    Could be 2023 too but why risk it?

    #87 75 days ago

    I was in Dallas recently and made a point to go out and support an arcade bar/cider brewery that I rather like. If we don't support these businesses then they may close forever. I just made sure to wear a mask, take advantage of the hand sanitizer there, and don't touch my face. Just like everywhere else I've had to go for work this last half of a year.

    #88 75 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    What does this mean? What is an antiviral coating?

    An operator friend of mine uses a product called biocide. I have not tried it so I cannot comment on how it works. Definitely worth looking into.

    https://www.betson.com/arcade-cleaning-safety/

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    #89 75 days ago

    I'm really hoping my local barcade doesnt end up closing. It's located in a college town so with colleges going mostly online right now I'm sure thats going to impact them, that and the fact that all they can do right now is serve drinks and food and the arcade part still hasnt opened.

    11
    #90 75 days ago

    This sucks. Lots of locations I’ve frequented are going out of business. Flat Top Johnny’s; Pizza J, our local Rhode Island club. Some days I don’t even want to go into the basement to play my own games because it’s too depressing to think of the friends and places and games I’m missing out on.

    I miss pinball so much. Shit I spent most of my vacation time from work traveling to events. Pinball is a big part of my life outside of work and family. My heart breaks for people who make a living off of pinball, for real. The problem is the FEC industry and small bar business just don’t have the political pull; even in good times they’re often going out of business. I wish we had a stronger response for these independent operators and bar owners; otherwise all that’s going to be left are big corporate names who don’t put pinball in their chain restaurant/ bars.

    I’m not going to spend hours inside right now close to others when there’s a pandemic; even though I love pinball. I have a six year old son; I have older parents. I would be putting them at unnecessary risk for a disease which we don’t have good treatment options.

    #91 75 days ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    which we don’t have good treatment options.

    Isn’t that chloroform stuff knocking it out?

    #92 75 days ago
    Quoted from Coz:

    An operator friend of mine uses a product called biocide. I have not tried it so I cannot comment on how it works. Definitely worth looking into.

    I did. Seems to keep mold from returning for 30 days. Doesn't keep COVID from spreading.

    LTG : )

    #93 75 days ago

    I feel bad for the places that have to close or are having to sell off a lot just to stay above water, but I simply have no interest in going anywhere that isn't the grocery or hardware store.

    I have games at the house and I like hanging out with my wife (and they money we've saved by not going out). Most of my pinball friends are in a similar situation, so even if I did go out most of them won't want to join. I know some personal collectors with new toys, but none of the ops I know have any plans for new stuff. No friends, no new games, no TreyBo69.

    Honestly it's getting to the point where I'm not making any 2021 plans either. A lot could change, but I just don't see anything positive on the horizon. Hell I wish the cynical people thinking that this will "disappear" after the election are right. (I think they're wrong for a lot of reasons, but I'd love to be pleasantly surprised)

    14
    #94 75 days ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    The more people who get it the better as far as I am concerned. Get this herd immunity going and be done.

    The medical community disagrees with you 100%. Science is based in facts, not opinions or feelings.

    Anyway, the proper place to discus your medical opinions is here:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-coronavirus-containment-thread

    #95 75 days ago
    Quoted from Neal_W:

    The medical community disagrees with you 100%. Science is based in facts, not opinions or feelings.
    Anyway, the proper place to discus your medical opinions is here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-coronavirus-containment-thread

    Holy crap, that thread is still open?!!!

    #96 75 days ago

    Stay hopeful
    We don’t hear everything going on
    Most of what we hear is negative and that’s what sells for the media.

    Once Covid over it will still always be something fun for people/family friends to do.

    Covid probably won’t be the last we see so we just need to handle it better.

    #97 75 days ago
    Quoted from alexanr1:

    It will all magically disappear as soon as the election is over....

    Lol, you got that right!

    Of course arcade bars will be back, stronger than ever.

    2021 is going to be a great rebound year.

    The folks that can hunker down and survive to make it to the other side will reap the benefits of pent up demand.

    There will be many more that spring up to replace the ones that sadly don't make it.

    #98 70 days ago

    Note to mods: I’d like to apologize to the moderators for making more work for them. And it’s ok, I’ll quietly accept whatever punishment is deserved for committing a personal attack or discussing prohibited subjects.

    Quoted from zr11990:

    But it will never pass. It will always be her now. You do know that the common cold is a covid virus right? You cant stop living because you might die from something.

    You are an idiot.

    #99 70 days ago

    The weird thing about your picture is that I’m releasing a book of photography that captures the last year of this era. Just sent the promo ‘zine to the printers (not a plug). It’s Spooky to look back and edit this footage. A;l these people coughing and touching each other’s noses....

    Not a plug. They’re pretty much all spoken for.

    The point being that what was normal (across the board) is ‘the good old days’ (across the board), and editing thousands. Of frames of documentary images is weird. Sorrow, nostalgia, etc.

    This explains it.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CDzsMaND2Ko/?igshid=1qmrs8bqq7522

    AC54BA28-B1C1-4824-B374-EBD1F4E7EF0F (resized).jpeg0AC636C3-9DAE-4D38-9D5C-F71D455B8B75 (resized).jpeg1931F659-0679-4E2F-916E-8AA808439874 (resized).jpeg

    #100 70 days ago
    Quoted from CLEllison:

    This would be SOOOOOO much cheaper than this bullshit $600 a week for everyone.

    I didn't realize that 'everyone' was getting $600 a week. I own a small business, was fortunate enough to qualify for PPP, but I'm still getting my $700 per month paycheck. No unemployment, no other help. Not an 'essential' business, but we're managing to keep our heads (barely) above water.

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