(Topic ID: 264119)

The “temporarily closed or worried about having to close my arcade” thread


By pookycade

10 months ago



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    #1051 5 months ago
    Quoted from Jeffswack:

    I just purchased a family fun center that went under.
    Thats what were doing in the near term. The biggest issue is, it's very hard to make a private rental make economic sense.

    This is a time where you have to break every rule there is. Conventional pricing, etc. out the window.

    See some of my earlier posts in this thread for some ideas on creating some exclusive packages that are meant to maximize dollars with the smallest number of churn. You are creating a safe out-of-home experience for a family. There is tremendous value in that in this moment. Then find the audience that will pay it.

    All the best.

    #1052 5 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theaters are letting you have private showings:
    https://gizmodo.com/alamo-will-now-let-you-watch-movies-the-way-youve-alway-1844692525

    Local repitle-focused animal rescue place kept it's lights on by doing parties and such, but are now booking private tours. https://raysreptiles.com/
    you can also book SLOTH ENCOUNTERS and go hang out with their sloths and other animals for 90 minutes.
    Very tempting splurge...

    #1053 5 months ago
    Quoted from Jeffswack:

    I just purchased a family fun center that went under.
    Thats what were doing in the near term. The biggest issue is, it's very hard to make a private rental make economic sense.

    What’s not included in the reservation
    Tickets for each attendee.
    A required $150 minimum food purchase, which does not include tax and gratuity.

    #1054 5 months ago

    I feel bad for operators and establishment owners that really are trying to create a safe environment. Unfortunately the lack of a cohesive message with clear direction (in the US) is not helping to create the perception of a safe environment overall. There are too many individuals that are going to do whatever the hell they want and that makes social places less safe than the risk tolerances that many have. I would never drive my motorcycle again if we didn’t have traffic laws or red lights or stop signs because I recognize that my safety also depends upon the consideration of the laws by other drivers.

    Many people will not assume the extra risk to be entertained whereas they have to accept a little more risk to get groceries. Far fewer people are shopping for things that are not necessities. If the overall political direction was based upon a collective march towards reducing risk (Not eliminating because that isn’t possible) by creating healthier spaces then more people would be willing to be entertained. The government has failed at the one thing it is supposed to do which is to bring people together and unite them under a common cause. Too many politicians only care about being in power and never think about what they should be doing with the powers and privileges they were granted by their electorate.

    Good luck to all the arcade owners. I really hope you all make it to the other side.

    #1055 5 months ago
    Quoted from PBFan:

    the lack of a cohesive message with clear direction (in the US) is not helping to create the perception of a safe environment overall.

    Definitive information on what is “safe” does not yet exist. This coronavirus is new to humans. Best practices are currently a moving target. And even if a provider has best practices the public at large hasn’t been convinced they work, nor are they able to make an accurate assessment of the risk profile.

    Science takes time to provide accurate information. It’s coming, but I don’t expect a return to past societal norms. There will be a new normal and no one yet knows what that will look like.

    #1056 5 months ago

    I love both dining at restaurants and playing pinball on location. Since March I have done neither, preferring to cook or get take out and to play pinball at home. I won’t be dining out, even at 25% capacity restaurant until there is a vaccine. I’d consider playing pinball at anyplace that took precautions and enforced the rules, once it becomes easier to take and receive test results in a day. To me that looks like a December timeframe for pinball.

    #1057 5 months ago
    Quoted from Jeffswack:

    I just purchased a family fun center that went under.
    Thats what were doing in the near term. The biggest issue is, it's very hard to make a private rental make economic sense.

    Wildwood Highlands by any chance? Used to love that place when I grew up in Hampton. Saw that it was no longer operating and I’ve been curious what’s going to happen to it.

    #1058 5 months ago

    It's sad but IMO 2020 is toast, and we have to deal with that. I won't be doing anything 'non-supermarket' until 2021 earliest, and even supermarket is mostly online currently unless I absolutely have to enter a shop. Thanks to this plague, I currently have zero desire to 'socialise' ever again. Ask yourself- is it worth going on a ventilator for? Fuck that.

    #1059 5 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Definitive information on what is “safe” does not yet exist.

    Definitive information? Safe? That isn’t what my comment was referencing. It is about management of the situation. It is clear that wearing a mask properly reduces risk significantly. Does that mean safe? Certainly not 100% safe but clearly safer.

    It is about the management team having a common goal and message. If you were in a boat and everyone was rowing the same way and you determined that you were rowing in the wrong direction then a course correction is easy. If everyone was rowing in different directions (then going in any direction becomes random) and correcting course becomes much harder as nobody is on the same page.

    Nothing is 100% safe but we keeps things safer by following a coordinated set of rules. Take driving. Is it safe? IMHO yes. But people die. What is the top causes of car accidents in the US? In no particular order they are distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, reckless driving, bad weather conditions, night driving. Now we have rules against most of these and most people follow them which keeps most people safe but some people obviously don’t so they are less safe (and disobeying puts other people at risk). Some of these rule breakers think they are safe because they think they are very good drivers - sometimes they are right but mostly it doesn’t matter because in the real world shit happens when so many people are on the road with you.

    So we need a central government that better manages and coordinates the situation no matter what the direction. It is the lack of coordinated direction and message that is killing people. Look at New Zealand as a good example. Now of course it was a little easier for their government to manage - they are on an island with fewer large cities. But isn’t that what we pay politicians to do - manage difficult situations as anyone can manage simple situations (at least I used to think so).

    Keep on flipping folks.

    1 week later
    #1061 5 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    WSLS 10 was here this morning... at 4:30am! Way early, but we covered pinball, arcade games, and our shutter fan system. Then, back to bed!
    https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2020/08/20/having-fun-while-staying-safe-at-roanoke-pinball-museum-and-starcade/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=snd&utm_content=wsls10

    That is Awesome and Sincerely hope with all you have done to make this work that it rewards you with a rush of new customers Confident in a safe and enjoyable outing! Small (yet huge) steps like this can Hopefully quickly spread the word of confidence. Best of luck to you and your crew.

    #1062 5 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theaters are letting you have private showings:
    https://gizmodo.com/alamo-will-now-let-you-watch-movies-the-way-youve-alway-1844692525
    That was always my thought. If a place like an arcade is sitting empty anyways, why not turn that into a positive and create an exclusive experience where people won't share it with anyone else?

    So private rental is accounting for 1/3 of our receipts right now. Yes there is a value to having this .

    As to movie theaters don’t get me started. One can review most of their “we are keeping you safe” pages. Not one mention of the word airflow anywhere on these pages. Same goes for every other business out there. I get, you are making us wear masks and encouraging us to stand (or sit) 6 feet apart. The AIR people, what are you doing about the air in there (or any restaurant for that matter). I just sit here scratching my head. Either a) they don’t know (find that hard to believe for a large Corp) b) they aren’t being mandated to do it and their customers ain’t complaining because they know no better c) they don’t think they can afford to do anything (on which I call complete BS - if my arcade earning $1500 a week can afford to put in not one, not two, but three separate air disinfection procedures so can they, no excuse)

    23
    #1063 5 months ago

    Here is your weekly update. Things are looking more up than down. $1700 this week which is approaching our fall averages - our big season is winter and summer. So hey, that’s not too bad. Private Parties are saving us for now, I would strongly encourage this -we reserve morning sessions. We are going to try to do another radio ad ( not hugely enthusiastic but at least we will entirely track it this time to confirm ROI). All disinfection procedures are fully working. I think it’s a fools errand to try to define why receipts are good for a given week, but this is the first week we tried to return to $10 play all day, and also encouraged walk in traffic (we manually register for contact tracing purposes) . Previously you had to register online for specific 2 hour sessions. Now come whenever. What enabled this was we can now take 15 min disinfection breaks every 2 hours. How did we shorten this up ? I expanded from 10 to now 50 UVC bulbs up and running to cover every square inch of the place and just blast it for a quick disinfection. Our disinfection page is here https://www.decadesarcade.com/disinfection-measures/

    Out of the woods ? Not at all. More encouraged, glass half full ? Yes, for now.

    #1064 5 months ago

    Bishop Cidercade (https://www.cidercade.com/home) in Dallas has a pretty good crowd tonight. Plus I got to play the new TMNT.

    #1066 5 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    So private rental is accounting for 1/3 of our receipts right now. Yes there is a value to having this .
    As to movie theaters don’t get me started. One can review most of their “we are keeping you safe” pages. Not one mention of the word airflow anywhere on these pages. Same goes for every other business out there. I get, you are making us wear masks and encouraging us to stand (or sit) 6 feet apart. The AIR people, what are you doing about the air in there (or any restaurant for that matter). I just sit here scratching my head. Either a) they don’t know (find that hard to believe for a large Corp) b) they aren’t being mandated to do it and their customers ain’t complaining because they know no better c) they don’t think they can afford to do anything (on which I call complete BS - if my arcade earning $1500 a week can afford to put in not one, not two, but three separate air disinfection procedures so can they, no excuse)

    Kudos for leading the charge. Indeed, everyone should be paying attention to the room they are in and the amount of air turnover per hour... if any is being done at all!

    I am now giving masks to guests who are not wearing "qualified gear". Neck gaiters and bandanas and thin homemade fabric = not a mask.

    Also have to remind people to keep their noses covered. This is getting to be more of an issue lately.

    "Do it right, or don't do it at all"

    -2
    #1067 5 months ago
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    #1068 5 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Also have to remind people to keep their noses covered. This is getting to be more of an issue lately.

    Yeah, I'm seeing a ton of this. Not sure if it's a tiny protest, laziness, the mistaken idea that you can't breathe through a mask, or what. I can't imagine it's for comfort. Way more comfortable for me to have a mask rest on the bridge of my nose vs. crammed under my nostrils.

    #1069 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Also have to remind people to keep their noses covered. This is getting to be more of an issue lately.
    "Do it right, or don't do it at all"

    Even worse, I see a lot of people with their mask over their chin. This thing doesn't spread through chins.

    #1070 4 months ago
    Quoted from wamoc:

    Even worse, I see a lot of people with their mask over their chin. This thing doesn't spread through chins.

    This would only be acceptable if you have gills etc.

    #1071 4 months ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    [quoted image]

    The primary purpose of (cloth) ear loop masks (like the type represented by the picture of packaging seen above) is to protect other people by blocking large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter containing infectious agents that the (infected) wearer might release through coughing, sneezing, talking, and the like.

    14
    #1072 4 months ago

    Sigh. Here we go again.

    Properly wearing a face mask is one facet of a multi-faceted approach for reducing the spread of diseases like Covid-19.

    Many people use face masks incorrectly... as described by others here, they wear the mask below their nostrils or on their chin. Or even if someone is wearing a mask properly part of the time, perhaps they go to a club in close proximity to tons of people for a few hours, then carelessly remove the mask to have a snack or a smoke without washing their hands. That's not gonna end well.

    There is a very strong CYA tendency on the part of manufacturers of face masks, and rightfully so. Are the mask manufacturers going to say that the masks prevent Covid -- having no idea if you're wearing them properly, or washing your hands, or anything else -- and then be subject to a barrage of lawsuits when "wearers" of those masks contract the disease? Or will they disclaim all responsibility to try to avoid the problem? Ooh, I bet I know what answer they'll choose for their 25 cent masks.

    Just because the mask makers are denying responsibility doesn't mean that masks aren't helpful.

    -8
    #1073 4 months ago

    Corona-talk just cant be contained, I guess. You guys are fucking annoying....

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

    #1074 4 months ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Corona-talk just cant be contained, I guess.

    In everyone's defense, it's very hard to compartmentalize talking about how arcades are being decimated by something, without talking about the something. Especially when it's also the biggest news event since 2001.

    Only solution I can think of would be super-strict moderation where only arcade owners are allowed to post. Those are the only relevant, interesting posts in this thread anyway. Jackasses like me can just read and empathize.

    #1075 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Also have to remind people to keep their noses covered. This is getting to be more of an issue lately.

    Quoted from yancy:

    Yeah, I'm seeing a ton of this. Not sure if it's a tiny protest, laziness, the mistaken idea that you can't breathe through a mask, or what. I can't imagine it's for comfort. Way more comfortable for me to have a mask rest on the bridge of my nose vs. crammed under my nostrils.

    I was in the local Baskin-Robbins for about 5-6 mins the other night. This one girl serving ice cream had her mask on that way the entire time, nostrils uncovered. And the very top edge of her upper lip exposed.

    Almost considered walking out (probably would've if the other girl hadn't served me instead).

    -2
    #1076 4 months ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    In everyone's defense, it's very hard to compartmentalize talking about how arcades are being decimated by something,

    So wearing mask good? Not sure yet...

    #1077 4 months ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Corona-talk just cant be contained, I guess. You guys are fucking annoying....
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-coronavirus-containment-thread

    No, the *virus* is annoying. We are trying to stay in business and protect our guests.

    Play more pinball. Wear a mask.

    #1078 4 months ago

    Seems the “neck gaiter” issue -MAY- not be as critical as once believed. I’ve been sent a few conflicting articles. Still sorting out the data & sticking with masks until the science settles out.

    Science has a tendency to piss off those with lazy minds... because dealing with constant change is hard, and hard often loses to simplicity regardless of the truth.

    Hence, the perpetual need to fight for what’s right. Applause to all of you who do just that.

    #1079 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Seems the “neck gaiter” issue -MAY- not be as critical as once believed. I’ve been sent a few conflicting articles. Still sorting out the data & sticking with masks until the science settles out.

    From the articles I have seen, the study only tested 1 of the neck gaiters and it was made out of fleece. No other style tested was made out of fleece. Then instead of using the expected conclusion that the materials had a large part to do with it, they jumped to the conclusion that it was the style that caused it to be worse than nothing. The study was terrible science (extremely low sample sizes, not trying to rule out other variables). Pretty much the only thing you can safely assume out of the study is that different materials and styles can have an effect on mask effectiveness (something we already knew). I am a runner and use ones made out of polyester, and I have seen ones made with cotton as well. My guess is different materials have different effectiveness and will continue to use them until a reliable study shows otherwise.

    #1080 4 months ago
    Quoted from wamoc:

    Then instead of using the expected conclusion that the materials had a large part to do with it, they jumped to the conclusion that it was the style that caused it to be worse than nothing.

    The article jumped to no such conclusion. The news media, on the other hand...

    Here's (what I consider to be) the conclusion in question from the article (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/08/07/sciadv.abd3083):

    We noticed that speaking through some masks (particularly the neck fleece) seemed to disperse the largest droplets into a multitude of smaller droplets (see Supplementary Fig. S5), which explains the apparent increase in droplet count relative to no mask in that case. Considering that smaller particles are airborne longer than large droplets (larger droplets sink faster), the use of such a mask might be counterproductive.

    Note that the legend for Fig. S5 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/suppl/2020/08/07/sciadv.abd3083.DC1/abd3083_SM.pdf) specifically states "...the decrease of large and the increase of smaller particles numbers for the neck fleece". If you were correct, I'd expect this to say "neck gaiter" or similar. Please read the article before deciding what you think about its conclusions.

    #1081 4 months ago

    I like to use the candle test. Whatever you decide to wear if you can’t blow out a candle with it, it’s legit. I actually just went to my doctor and he recommended the gaiters that have a pocket for a filter in it. I haven’t been able to find one that stays on my face while I talk though.

    Mission’s gaiters are awesome, but no pocket.

    #1082 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Seems the “neck gaiter” issue -MAY- not be as critical as once believed.

    That's pretty much the only thing I wear. Those regular loop masks get super annoying after a while, when I'm working on stuff. Figure they all do about the same thing as far as coughing and droplets going everywhere. I've seen valve masks all over the place... not sure what to think about those.

    #1083 4 months ago

    Majority of Valve masks = no bueno. Their purpose is industrial, not medical.

    20
    #1084 4 months ago

    Weekly update. This is kinda like HEP, but WAYYY less cool and pretty to look at.

    The upside, shifting back to stay as long as you want with 15 minute disinfection/UV breaks every 2 hours is getting us back to more normal. We finally had walk-in traffic again. Lesson learned: forcing people into a pre-booking scenario for specific time slots is enough of a PITA that you are gonna lose customers.

    I have heard that Escape Rooms which were all the rage and required advance booking have been decimated. They have resorted to directing an avatar online remotely. Yeah, thats not gonna work. Maybe someone can direct me online when to flip the flipper.

    Despite the resumption of walk-ins we didn't quite have enough walkin traffic this weekend, 60 on Saturday and 25 on Sunday versus pre-pandemic 150+ on Saturday alone during public hours with a couple of parties before. Let me say that collecting $10 at a time is a hard way to make a living. You need on the weekend to run thru some 150 people just to break even. In this environment good luck. This week we hit $1100.

    We did finally have to make use of our 30 max in at a time waitlist. Try the app Waitlist.me, its pretty foolproof and not just geared for running a restaurant.

    The ONLY thing saving us right now is selling off machines in storage. And boy do we have alot of machines in storage (I am a closet horder). Generated some $10K this week. There is a slight feeling of ripping off ones flesh to make it work, but I'll get over it. The games were just sitting there doing nothing and anything that is either rare rare or grail I will continue to keep (famous last words). Anyway, that helps give a decent runway and make up the revenue shortfall. This is interesting for sure, but it has the upside of forcing us to be far more efficient than we were before, and honestly lets us eliminate headaches. Once I liquidate the 1200 sq ft storage that will also help drop rent by $850 a month (storage is expensive where I am).

    I am still waiting for our MO that we have been pushing about being relatively safe to come to to pay off better than it has. https://www.decadesarcade.com/disinfection-measures/ Or heck maybe its already paying off and our attendance would otherwise be even more gawdawful than it has been. Not sure. Gonna also try a radio ad again (with extensive tracking as I'm skeptical it will do anything). Unfortunately, I have concluded that objective facts about being safer to come to than crowding in with 300 other people at Walmart do not seem to register. Walmart = safe, Arcade = catch COVID

    FYI, I'm not posting any of this because I enjoy spreading our tails of misery out there, but I know that some will stumble on this thread in much the same straits as we are and at least know they aren't alone.

    As it stands right now, we have at least a year of runway before us before I decide it just isn't worth it anymore. If we can increase by just another 20% from where we are right now (which would be 30% pre-pandemic versus current 25% pre-pandemic), the actions we are taking now will guide us into a sustainable, but admittedly bare bones business. Still would you rather have 100 games on the floor and another 70 in storage and be out of business or have 90 games on the floor and be in business. The choice is obvious here.

    #1085 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    FYI, I'm not posting any of this because I enjoy spreading our tails of misery out there, but I know that some will stumble on this thread in much the same straits as we are and at least know they aren't alone.

    Be it pinball or otherwise, running a business isn't all sunshine and daises especially this year so I (and we) appreciate the overall updates of both good and bad. Hopefully the worst is over. Not a good feeling to have to sell off some stuff but you have to do what you have to do.

    #1086 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Weekly update. This is kinda like HEP, but WAYYY less cool and pretty to look at.
    The upside, shifting back to stay as long as you want with 15 minute disinfection/UV breaks every 2 hours is getting us back to more normal. We finally had walk-in traffic again. Lesson learned: forcing people into a pre-booking scenario for specific time slots is enough of a PITA that you are gonna lose customers.
    I have heard that Escape Rooms which were all the rage and required advance booking have been decimated. They have resorted to directing an avatar online remotely. Yeah, thats not gonna work. Maybe someone can direct me online when to flip the flipper.
    Despite the resumption of walk-ins we didn't quite have enough walkin traffic this weekend, 60 on Saturday and 25 on Sunday versus pre-pandemic 150+ on Saturday alone during public hours with a couple of parties before. Let me say that collecting $10 at a time is a hard way to make a living. You need on the weekend to run thru some 150 people just to break even. In this environment good luck. This week we hit $1100.
    We did finally have to make use of our 30 max in at a time waitlist. Try the app Waitlist.me, its pretty foolproof and not just geared for running a restaurant.
    The ONLY thing saving us right now is selling off machines in storage. And boy do we have alot of machines in storage (I am a closet horder). Generated some $10K this week. There is a slight feeling of ripping off ones flesh to make it work, but I'll get over it. The games were just sitting there doing nothing and anything that is either rare rare or grail I will continue to keep (famous last words). Anyway, that helps give a decent runway and make up the revenue shortfall. This is interesting for sure, but it has the upside of forcing us to be far more efficient than we were before, and honestly lets us eliminate headaches. Once I liquidate the 1200 sq ft storage that will also help drop rent by $850 a month (storage is expensive where I am).
    I am still waiting for our MO that we have been pushing about being relatively safe to come to to pay off better than it has. https://www.decadesarcade.com/disinfection-measures/ Or heck maybe its already paying off and our attendance would otherwise be even more gawdawful than it has been. Not sure. Gonna also try a radio ad again (with extensive tracking as I'm skeptical it will do anything). Unfortunately, I have concluded that objective facts about being safer to come to than crowding in with 300 other people at Walmart do not seem to register. Walmart = safe, Arcade = catch COVID
    FYI, I'm not posting any of this because I enjoy spreading our tails of misery out there, but I know that some will stumble on this thread in much the same straits as we are and at least know they aren't alone.
    As it stands right now, we have at least a year of runway before us before I decide it just isn't worth it anymore. If we can increase by just another 20% from where we are right now (which would be 30% pre-pandemic versus current 25% pre-pandemic), the actions we are taking now will guide us into a sustainable, but admittedly bare bones business. Still would you rather have 100 games on the floor and another 70 in storage and be out of business or have 90 games on the floor and be in business. The choice is obvious here.

    I just ran a FB ad for the first time in a long while. For a long time (I’ve been Tucson Pinball for about 5.5 years) I’ve been trying to grow our tiny tournament scene, but at this point, spreading the word in general might be best. My add took us from 311 page likes to 353, and after having done ads a few times I’m pretty good at targeting the specific age ranges and similar interests that I want.

    Pro tip #1, be aware that if you include the 13-17 demo it will be a huge % if your ad budget. Mine was 95% within that age range when I did it. Never again.

    Anyway, I hear ya on trying to find the best way(s) to let your local population know you exist, and that you are a fun and safe experience.

    #1087 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Walmart = safe, Arcade = catch COVID

    I don't think this is the thought process. it's more like
    Arcade = risking death to have fun
    Walmart = risking death to obtain food so my family doesn't starve

    Even if walmart is less safe than the arcade, many people who don't have the financial means to afford paying the extra $9 to have someone else deliver are going to find it necessary to go there for that reason.

    It sucks, I haven't played a ball of pinball since this started as I relied on location for my play, but the reality is I don't want to catch a disease that there is no reliable treatment for.

    #1088 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    As it stands right now, we have at least a year of runway before us before I decide it just isn't worth it anymore. If we can increase by just another 20% from where we are right now (which would be 30% pre-pandemic versus current 25% pre-pandemic), the actions we are taking now will guide us into a sustainable, but admittedly bare bones business. Still would you rather have 100 games on the floor and another 70 in storage and be out of business or have 90 games on the floor and be in business. The choice is obvious here.

    I really appreciate your breakdown of the business side here

    #1089 4 months ago
    Quoted from GolfKill:

    I don't think this is the thought process. it's more like
    Arcade = risking death to have fun
    Walmart = risking death to obtain food so my family doesn't starve
    Even if walmart is less safe than the arcade, many people who don't have the financial means to afford paying the extra $9 to have someone else deliver are going to find it necessary to go there for that reason.
    It sucks, I haven't played a ball of pinball since this started as I relied on location for my play, but the reality is I don't want to catch a disease that there is no reliable treatment for.

    Yes, being a little overdramatic here. Let me put it in more messy terms. Walmart = "Well I need to get that (name product) for (name person), guess I need to go to Walmart. " OR Lowes = "While I'm sitting around the house most of the time I should probably fix that leaky faucet and spruce up the yard some. Won't have to be in there too long." OR Arcade = "Ya know I'm just not ready yet, is this something we really have to do or can we wait until we hear there is a vaccine." OR Restaurant = "As long as I'm sitting outside I've heard its pretty safe." I'm not making fun of any of this, but I think it pretty well captures what the general sentiment is. I can't change that. Human beings are terrible at judging absolute relative risk for anything they do. Statistics just befuddle us. What I am saying is that since I had an ethical responsibility to keep people coming in as safe as I can while at my place (as a physician) we went beyond the extra mile. That process has not permeated yet into general sentiment about my business as indicated by being down 70%. And honestly, it would be silly for me to think it would. Its likely helping a little, but I don't think it was a winning business strategy yet.

    But yeah, there is a part of me that is still nevertheless irked by this all, where other big box businesses have showed no leadership here beyond posting signs in their store to stay 6 feet apart. Yes, I give Walmart credit for finally requiring masks. THAT was a big concession on their part. Especially with their rural locations that lost them a fair share of customers. I am however underwhelmed at general corporate America's response here. They play more towards servicing general sentiment than they do leading the way. Big box stores will for sure implement measures, make policy changes, but it is usually only when negative publicity hits them or they see a diminution of their bottom line. Nobody said they had to have social responsibility - they are a disembodied corporation after all - but that's kinda the problem. I think they mostly feel you need to "look like" you have social responsibility. You don't get rewarded by your shareholders for having social responsibility, just keeping up profits. Even some local theaters are seeing what they can minimally get away with to make people feel safe. "We will exit the theater single file and put two seats between you and the next patron" .... uh what about the airflow in the place, and the seat behind me... is that 6 feet apart ?

    Sorry its just a meaningless rant, and off topic, and my intention is not to start up some general COVID thread. All I will say is we spent over $10K on new safety measures, when our income is likely coming in at $60K this year. I would have done it all over again even seeing the outcome thus far. One can either say that was just stupid on our part, doesn't make financial sense (and I agree with that sentiment too). OR one can say that other than throwing their pandemic response to their marketing departments, we haven't seen corporate america really take this very seriously yet.

    #1090 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Weekly update. This is kinda like HEP, but WAYYY less cool and pretty to look at.
    The upside, shifting back to stay as long as you want with 15 minute disinfection/UV breaks every 2 hours is getting us back to more normal. We finally had walk-in traffic again. Lesson learned: forcing people into a pre-booking scenario for specific time slots is enough of a PITA that you are gonna lose customers.
    I have heard that Escape Rooms which were all the rage and required advance booking have been decimated. They have resorted to directing an avatar online remotely. Yeah, thats not gonna work. Maybe someone can direct me online when to flip the flipper.
    Despite the resumption of walk-ins we didn't quite have enough walkin traffic this weekend, 60 on Saturday and 25 on Sunday versus pre-pandemic 150+ on Saturday alone during public hours with a couple of parties before. Let me say that collecting $10 at a time is a hard way to make a living. You need on the weekend to run thru some 150 people just to break even. In this environment good luck. This week we hit $1100.
    We did finally have to make use of our 30 max in at a time waitlist. Try the app Waitlist.me, its pretty foolproof and not just geared for running a restaurant.
    The ONLY thing saving us right now is selling off machines in storage. And boy do we have alot of machines in storage (I am a closet horder). Generated some $10K this week. There is a slight feeling of ripping off ones flesh to make it work, but I'll get over it. The games were just sitting there doing nothing and anything that is either rare rare or grail I will continue to keep (famous last words). Anyway, that helps give a decent runway and make up the revenue shortfall. This is interesting for sure, but it has the upside of forcing us to be far more efficient than we were before, and honestly lets us eliminate headaches. Once I liquidate the 1200 sq ft storage that will also help drop rent by $850 a month (storage is expensive where I am).
    I am still waiting for our MO that we have been pushing about being relatively safe to come to to pay off better than it has. https://www.decadesarcade.com/disinfection-measures/ Or heck maybe its already paying off and our attendance would otherwise be even more gawdawful than it has been. Not sure. Gonna also try a radio ad again (with extensive tracking as I'm skeptical it will do anything). Unfortunately, I have concluded that objective facts about being safer to come to than crowding in with 300 other people at Walmart do not seem to register. Walmart = safe, Arcade = catch COVID
    FYI, I'm not posting any of this because I enjoy spreading our tails of misery out there, but I know that some will stumble on this thread in much the same straits as we are and at least know they aren't alone.
    As it stands right now, we have at least a year of runway before us before I decide it just isn't worth it anymore. If we can increase by just another 20% from where we are right now (which would be 30% pre-pandemic versus current 25% pre-pandemic), the actions we are taking now will guide us into a sustainable, but admittedly bare bones business. Still would you rather have 100 games on the floor and another 70 in storage and be out of business or have 90 games on the floor and be in business. The choice is obvious here.

    they have real pinball on line the small lag really makes it differnt.
    https://www.surrogate.tv/

    #1091 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Yes, being a little overdramatic here. Let me put it in more messy terms. Walmart = "Well I need to get that (name product) for (name person), guess I need to go to Walmart. " OR Lowes = "While I'm sitting around the house most of the time I should probably fix that leaky faucet and spruce up the yard some. Won't have to be in there too long." OR Arcade = "Ya know I'm just not ready yet, is this something we really have to do or can we wait until we hear there is a vaccine." OR Restaurant = "As long as I'm sitting outside I've heard its pretty safe." I'm not making fun of any of this, but I think it pretty well captures what the general sentiment is. I can't change that. Human beings are terrible at judging absolute relative risk for anything they do. Statistics just befuddle us. What I am saying is that since I had an ethical responsibility to keep people coming in as safe as I can while at my place (as a physician) we went beyond the extra mile. That process has not permeated yet into general sentiment about my business as indicated by being down 70%. And honestly, it would be silly for me to think it would. Its likely helping a little, but I don't think it was a winning business strategy yet.
    But yeah, there is a part of me that is still nevertheless irked by this all, where other big box businesses have showed no leadership here beyond posting signs in their store to stay 6 feet apart. Yes, I give Walmart credit for finally requiring masks. THAT was a big concession on their part. Especially with their rural locations that lost them a fair share of customers. I am however underwhelmed at general corporate America's response here. They play more towards servicing general sentiment than they do leading the way. Big box stores will for sure implement measures, make policy changes, but it is usually only when negative publicity hits them or they see a diminution of their bottom line. Nobody said they had to have social responsibility - they are a disembodied corporation after all - but that's kinda the problem. I think they mostly feel you need to "look like" you have social responsibility. You don't get rewarded by your shareholders for having social responsibility, just keeping up profits. Even some local theaters are seeing what they can minimally get away with to make people feel safe. "We will exit the theater single file and put two seats between you and the next patron" .... uh what about the airflow in the place, and the seat behind me... is that 6 feet apart ?
    Sorry its just a meaningless rant, and off topic, and my intention is not to start up some general COVID thread. All I will say is we spent over $10K on new safety measures, when our income is likely coming in at $60K this year. I would have done it all over again even seeing the outcome thus far. One can either say that was just stupid on our part, doesn't make financial sense (and I agree with that sentiment too). OR one can say that other than throwing their pandemic response to their marketing departments, we haven't seen corporate america really take this very seriously yet.

    Fully understand the rant and being upset granted I’m not sure the comparison of people choosing to go Eat or maintain their home is comparable to the necessity to go play a pinball machine?? I will venture out prepared to obtain food for my family (necessary risk), I will not however lock myself in an escape room because it’s something I must do. Hope things turn around soon.

    #1092 4 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Fully understand the rant and being upset granted I’m not sure the comparison of people choosing to go Eat or maintain their home is comparable to the necessity to go play a pinball machine?? I will venture out prepared to obtain food for my family (necessary risk), I will not however lock myself in an escape room because it’s something I must do. Hope things turn around soon.

    They absolutely 100% aren’t comparable. Fully agreed. If they were comparable then we wouldn’t be off 75% of our normal attendance. People would instead be coming anyway. Paradoxically the fact they are willing to pack the entire Walmart parking lot and eat inside restaurants is a good sign for us. We are at the bottom of Maslows hierarchy of needs. And until the Walmart and restaurant and indoor gym (Planet Fitness seemed to have decent attendance tonight) boxes get checked off we don’t have a chance. The world is unfair. I’ll just have to get over it

    #1094 4 months ago

    I'm glad this is finally getting traction. A bit late, unfortunately... but better late than never.

    Paul was quick to get on the bandwagon too. All arcade operators need to consider this. Customers want to know they are being protected and specifically how this is being done.

    I'll be giving this topic a revisit during my panel at Pinball EXPO (virtual edition) next month. It'll cover RPM, "Nic's North American Pinball Tour", what's next, etc.

    #1095 4 months ago

    He absolutely was ! We went with air purifiers first, but once I saw what he was doing it was obvious we needed to make that a major focus. And then when I couldn’t afford as many purifiers as I thought the place likely needed he came thru again. We are way ahead of the curve in our town, but Nic SET the curve.

    18
    #1096 4 months ago

    F00A5749-0C6E-48C9-9EA8-C93A17B7E6EC (resized).jpeg

    Governor Northam stopped by our building today. Had an opportunity to briefly talk about our ventilation strategy.

    It’s catching on, slowly but surely.

    Anyway, back to business. August was notably better than July. But I don’t see enough mask adherence across the city in general... which is worrisome.

    #1097 4 months ago

    Ooof guess we're not doing cross border pin tourism for a while still.
    Almost every pinhead I know used to visit USA at least once a year for a pinball trip.

    20200905_002848 (resized).jpg
    #1098 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    [quoted image]
    Governor Northam stopped by our building today. Had an opportunity to briefly talk about our ventilation strategy.
    It’s catching on, slowly but surely.
    Anyway, back to business. August was notably better than July. But I don’t see enough mask adherence across the city in general... which is worrisome.

    You go Nic !

    Also see this which quotes researchers at Virginia Tech: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/07/910499236/researchers-say-fresh-air-can-prevent-aerosol-transmission-of-the-coronavirus

    #1099 4 months ago

    And back to our regularly scheduled program. Labor Day holiday with beautiful weather outside is for sure not prime indoor arcade time. Odd that as a business you hope for rainy days with awful weather on the weekend. About broke even this week ($1000), and with sale of another $5000 of machines (again almost all of it backlog storage so its productive to liquidate it), we will be fine for a while. But boy this doesn't leave much room for non-essential spending and that's really not so much fun. I would say for now we are stable bad, and thats ok.

    #1100 4 months ago

    "stable bad"... yep. Heard that. We're squeaking by, but boy do I miss the momentum we had. It was getting really good.

    Today Explained nailed it (We need to talk about ventilation): https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/today-explained/e/77424831

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