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(Topic ID: 264119)

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


By pookycade

7 months ago



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    There are 1213 posts in this topic. You are on page 24 of 25.
    #1151 23 days ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    It’s about 1/3rd of the way to the goal so I really think it’s doable.
    https://gofundme.com/f/save-cabin-fever

    Love to see Ed Robertson from The Barenaked Ladies on the board as well!

    #1152 20 days ago

    https://www.facebook.com/245601559588/posts/10159143402229589/?extid=pzg01jV98kCn5zgY&d=n

    Post from AndyGeezerServices:

    Never thought I'd type this, but business for the summer period is down a whopping 90%! Winter being a dead period, Summer covers all of that, so I can do little work and still cover all financial commitments. Been in the in the arcade scene 20+ years, and in the space of 6months close to losing everything (not just covid, but also some serious/nasty personal issues over the last 2years) - all personal equipment sold pending (including the Sega Swing which started it all, anyone remember MonArc/OptiMAME?), all other bits slowly gone. Heart breaking, but keeping in the black is more important I guess. Speaking to amusements they've had just as hellish time, most not bothering to open during the week, some not re-opening at all. Also here in the UK there is a certain few individuals who will be happy to hear this news, to those who have tried to sabotage things over the years. Just need to keep my mental health strong, as last breakdown was almost the end.. Keep safe people.

    17
    #1153 20 days ago

    Well I believe I have stabilized the arcade for now. Thankful people are booking parties again which is saving us. Total crap week last week at $1K but again our target is $1200 to break even so not death knell.

    Our local Alamo is renting out their movie theater for $150 a pop which clearly indicates desperate times. When people ask I always say the only worse business to be in other than arcade/barcade is movie theater right now. I mean you are taking $40k A month rent alone for those places I suspect.

    Despite this total disaster we have pared down costs to $500 a week labor and actually paid down the debt to only a 30 year SBA loan by clearing out storage. About $2K a week in machine sales to get there. It’s kinda like spring cleaning without the spring. And it feels good to toss off our excess machines which lets all be honest, we are never ever gonna get to. Let them go back into the restoration pool.

    And we did well enough at selling off back stock that I rewarded us with an AIQ Premium on order. Did it so that it doesn’t look like we are liquidating the place, so that we stay relevant, and it’s our first new pin in 2 years. If we have to we can turn it over, but really I suspect we can cover it.

    I do want to say that it’s way easier for us to get to break even than others. I pay myself nothing, and we have an understanding landlord. So I don’t want to misconstrue this as somehow that hard work will overcome all problems. No, hard work and a helluva good cash requirement situation and a lot of luck will overcome problems.

    Now the question is can we hold here or will it get even worse. Remains to be seen for sure but we stopped the bleeding and that’s the first step.

    #1154 20 days ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    do you know the economics of it? Like, if we can get her $10k can she survive until spring?
    toronto leases can be absolutely brutal.

    We reached the first goal and extended it a bit further. The new goal might be enough to get through winter, so anything people can spare will help.

    #1155 18 days ago

    Grinkers gone

    https://www.grinkers.com/

    It is with great sadness the we must report that we have closed our doors permanently. Thank you everyone for eight great years of arcade awesomeness. The collection has been sold to a good friend, and fellow arcade collector in the Salt Lake area.

    We are very happy for the collection to be kept together, and for it to be combined with another impressive collection, including many vintage titles that Grinkers did not have. Keep your eyes peeled for amazing things happening in the Salt Lake area in 2021/22.

    In order to care for our amazing staff, we will be opening a small sandwich shop in downtown Eagle in the former Zen Bento building. Be sure to stop by for a tasty sandwich and an ice cold beverage. We may even put a couple of games in the corner. : )

    Forced covid closure + subsequent and ongoing occupancy restrictions + a landlord that stated that the prorated abatement adjustments of our lease didn't apply for covid = an unsustainable combination. We explored several different approaches to keep it going, but at the end of the day, the circumstances surrounding covid were simply not survivable.

    #1156 18 days ago

    I'm sad.

    Every time I check this thread it might be another obituary.

    LTG : (

    #1157 18 days ago

    Too bad they didn't save any pics of when they were open but I can understand if they aren't in the mood.

    I did look on Google maps and looked like a very impressive location with a lot of cool things.

    #1158 18 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    The collection has been sold to a good friend, and fellow arcade collector in the Salt Lake area.
    We are very happy for the collection to be kept together, and for it to be combined with another impressive collection, including many vintage titles that Grinkers did not have. Keep your eyes peeled for amazing things happening in the Salt Lake area in 2021/22.

    This is good to hear. I never got to visit, but I follow someone online who was a regular competitor in their Grinkfest tournaments, and it looked like an amazing place. Great to know the library of games will be showcased in a new location.

    #1159 18 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Grinkers gone
    https://www.grinkers.com/
    Forced covid closure + subsequent and ongoing occupancy restrictions + a landlord that stated that the prorated abatement adjustments of our lease didn't apply for covid = an unsustainable combination. We explored several different approaches to keep it going, but at the end of the day, the circumstances surrounding covid were simply not survivable.

    Sorry to hear this. It it a tough time to be in a customer facing business right now, and especially challenging to be in coin op.

    #1160 17 days ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    Too bad they didn't save any pics of when they were open but I can understand if they aren't in the mood.
    I did look on Google maps and looked like a very impressive location with a lot of cool things.

    They have video...

    10
    #1161 17 days ago

    I am so sad to read through this thread. To no fault of any of the operators, their places have been shut down. My contract is up at the end of the year. We only opened for a blip during the now 7 months of closure. Ive never missed a rent payment but sometimes question why I am still holding out hope to be open again. I am not sure how to proceed but ultimately I do want to have my FEC operational. It was my dream and we achieved it with great success. I believe in myself to have success again but the uncertainty of the times is without question our biggest hurdle.

    Best of luck to all that are still operating and I sincerely hope the ones that had to pause or close can come back in some form that makes them happy.

    #1163 14 days ago

    2020 has been a dog year, and this is how the dogs are reacting to it...

    -1
    #1164 9 days ago

    You could put all the disinfecting fans and filters in your arcade, all the hand wipes and washing stations, give away free masks and clean after each user, charge 50% less entry fee and it's not going to unscare the public into coming out and touching all your games buttons. People are scared stiff right now because the media tells them to be.

    This virus is going to separate the arcade wheat from the chaff.

    #1165 9 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    You could put all the disinfecting fans and filters in your arcade, all the hand wipes and washing stations, give away free masks and clean after each user, charge 50% less entry fee and it's not going to unscare the public into coming out and touching all your games buttons. People are scared stiff right now because the media tells them to be.
    This virus is going to separate the arcade wheat from the chaff.

    I would go into an Arcade right now and play every machine in there without fear.
    If it was open.

    #1166 9 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    You could put all the disinfecting fans and filters in your arcade, all the hand wipes and washing stations, give away free masks and clean after each user, charge 50% less entry fee and it's not going to unscare the public into coming out and touching all your games buttons. People are scared stiff right now because the media tells them to be.
    This virus is going to separate the arcade wheat from the chaff.

    We are wheaty as hell.

    How's bookings at the Oasis?

    -14
    #1167 9 days ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    I would go into an Arcade right now and play every machine in there without fear.
    If it was open.

    Me too. I even refused to wear a mask at my local walmart today while grocery shopping. But, the majority of the public is scared shitlles of covid because of the media telling them to be. They're only going out for necessities and they're wearing a mask. Arcading isn't a necessity right now.

    #1168 9 days ago

    On a related note, most regional and destination resort casinos are doing well. Guests playing slots, video poker and keno as well as table games. Capacity constraints are in place.

    #1169 9 days ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    We are wheaty as hell.
    How's bookings at the Oasis?

    Nic, that's good to hear. I think the wheaty "big players" like RPM will survive this but the chaff may not.

    Covid has actually helped us. We offering the entire place to guests... alone. They love it! They want a place that they can get out of the house and have fun without interacting with the public. Where else can a couple or a family get an entire 50 game freeplay arcade to themselves to use 24 hours a day?

    Even with the entire month of april being shut down, we're still making more this year than ever before. And, I completely stopped the airbnb "experience" that was becoming so popular in 2019.

    #1170 9 days ago

    So glad to hear that & can’t wait to get mine up and running. Maybe by next fall.

    Attic renovation is MASSIVE.

    #1171 9 days ago

    Last week was just godawful, $750 total. Ugh. But we all know the cyclic nature of this business. And it was beautiful fall weather. This weekend, the first cool and damp, we are having our best weekend ever since reopening. First time we have reached our new COVID capacity limits and had to waitlist. $1600 so far, and a lot of walk-in traffic which has been entirely absent. It’s honestly the most encouraging signs of life I have seen thus far. Should be clear that I don’t expect this, in fact it is entirely unexpected. But it is welcome.

    #1172 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Last week was just godawful,

    Mine was a disaster too. Really slowed down once mask wearing became mandatory awhile back, wasn't any where good after I reopened. And 47 1/2 years of experience out the window when I was closed for three months. So no knowing when I might have some business or not.

    A new game would help about now. But I don't see that happening either.

    Best wishes to everybody struggling through these times.

    LTG : )

    #1173 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Last week was just godawful, $750 total. Ugh. But we all know the cyclic nature of this business. And it was beautiful fall weather. This weekend, the first cool and damp, we are having our best weekend ever since reopening. First time we have reached our new COVID capacity limits and had to waitlist. $1600 so far, and a lot of walk-in traffic which has been entirely absent. It’s honestly the most encouraging signs of life I have seen thus far. Should be clear that I don’t expect this, in fact it is entirely unexpected. But it is welcome.

    Are you on a card reader system? If so I imagine daily numbers are easy to track. If you are on coin drop, how often do you collect? Just curious because you say the week is already your best and it’s not done, so I’m guessing maybe at least twice a week.

    I just finished up my 5th complete month since reopening. They rank 4,5,3,2,1 from oldest to newest month. So the first two were iffy, and not all that good. Since then, the last 3 months have each improved. Very little difference each month, but it was an uptick each month.

    41
    #1174 9 days ago

    Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas has been open every day since June 1st, when the Governor allowed our class-of-trade to reopen.

    The first week was really slow, then it moved up slowly until about the middle of July, where it plateaued at 30 percent to 50 percent of last years same week numbers.

    Before this, we were closed for 12 weeks. All this time we were locked inside working on machines. Most of the row of em wedge heads were removed and put in the BIG HIT SHED, they will be brought back when we move uptown. In their place we brought in a lot of Ted Zale zipper-flipper games. Those are all dialed in now and I have had about equal comments pro and con. A lot of people liked the Gottliebs, and missed them, but DAMN, those asymmetrical Ball games are fun.

    Change cups were removed. Popcorn and snack machines were emptied, cleaned and parked. Drinks in sealed containers were allowed from the soda machines, but you had to use a bendy straw to slide under your mask. A turnstile was installed on the East door for exit only and all entrance was from the West door. We have always had a huge oversupply of moving air, not because we anticipated Covid, but because ceiling fans blow across your skin and allow us to use less air conditioning, a huge expense in the hottest climate in North America. We rearranged the machines to allow us to leave the most popular games available and turned off the less popular stuff so that every second game is now dark. When you first walked in, it looked like the place was creepy dark, so we turned on the overhead florescent lights. The reaction from our regular customers was very positive. We would also allow people to play a dark machine after checking with and allowing the attendant to turn off the machines on either side. This brings us within the 6 feet of social distancing required. Some of our volunteers drifted away after the shutdown, so we cut hours from 11pm closing to 9pm,and Beth cooked dinner every night so we could run a single shift.

    About the only real problem we have has is the MASK DENIGHERS. When we first reopened, I just figured everybody would be on board for a simple, painless way to get the economy moving again and protect everybody from a deadly virus that has killed 200,000 people. Boy was I wrong. We stop them at the door and many claim they don't have to wear a mask because they are "exempt", or that they should not be required to purchase a mask from our vending machine. (In those cases, we give them a damn mask!) The they get inside and start playing. They pull the mask down or take them off. We give them one warning in the usual LOUD AND FIRM VOICE, then they have to leave. Hundreds of warnings each day and about a dozen kickouts. Many on the way out the door spout some crap about "FREEDOM!!!". BULLSHIT! Nobody is taking anything away from you overprivileged spoiled bastards. It's a public health issue ONLY! The King is not taking your land or locking you up without a trial. Grow up, shut up and do as the government tells you!

    As a whole I consider our situation to be bearable and other than the 500,000.00 it has cost us in lost revenue, painless. All our staff is fine and well. The yard cats are fed and watered every day, and the store cat is a big hit with the customers.

    The new building on the strip has been surprisingly unaffected. Since all the work is done outside or inside a building with no doors and 40 foot ceilings', there has been no sickness among the workers. No materials suppliers have been affected to the point that progress has been delayed. Still looking for completion in late December or early January. We have to vacate the existing building by May so that should give us enough time to move over from one to the other with NO loss of days.

    The pickets in front of both locations has have had little or no effect that we can see. There might be some who do not cross, but since we don't see them, we can't tell. I also think it was dirty pool of the Carpenters to call us "Child Rapists" on a banner facing the strip because a non union worker lied on his employment application several years ago at ANOTHER JOB run by the same sub-contractor. All the other unions had no problem with our unique status as the only not-for-profit on the strip and left us alone. I have no problem with the union out on the sidewalk, but calling us names is below the belt.

    We continue to get up every day and work as hard as we can to get ready to make entertainment history when we open on the Strip. We have some moments of panic and fear, but our staff is small and bound together by our mission. With luck and effort, things will be fine again soon.

    Pinball Hall of fame in Las Vegas is open, has been since June 1st.

    -1
    #1175 9 days ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    So glad to hear that & can’t wait to get mine up and running. Maybe by next fall.
    Attic renovation is MASSIVE.

    Nic, shoot me a msg if you need any advice getting up and running. After almost 4 years I have learned a few things lol. If you can offer the arcade as a bonus to your guests, you're going to be booked often! All it takes is a gimmick. You gotta stand out from the crowd.

    -29
    #1176 9 days ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    About the only real problem we have has is the MASK DENIGHERS. When we first reopened, I just figured everybody would be on board for a simple, painless way to get the economy moving again and protect everybody from a deadly virus that has killed 200,000 people. Boy was I wrong. We stop them at the door and many claim they don't have to wear a mask because they are "exempt", or that they should not be required to purchase a mask from our vending machine. (In those cases, we give them a damn mask!) The they get inside and start playing. They pull the mask down or take them off. We give them one warning in the usual LOUD AND FIRM VOICE, then they have to leave. Hundreds of warnings each day and about a dozen kickouts. Many on the way out the door spout some crap about "FREEDOM!!!". BULLSHIT! Nobody is taking anything away from you overprivileged spoiled bastards. It's a public health issue ONLY! The King is not taking your land or locking you up without a trial. Grow up, shut up and do as the government tells you! .

    Unless you're making everyone wear an N95 mask, you're wasting your time. Those cheap masks you think are protecting you aren't. The customer is always right. Maybe you can take this slow time to actually level all your games and clear the playfields of all broken & floating parts? I've been there. It isn't pretty.

    #1177 9 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    Unless you're making everyone wear an N95 mask, you're wasting your time. Those cheap masks you think are protecting you aren't. Grow up, shut up and the customer is always right. Maybe you can take this slow time to actually level all your games and clear the playfields of all broken & floating parts? I've been there. It isn't pretty.

    Again there is a COVID thread for this discussion and this ain’t that thread. Take it somewhere else. Thank you

    #1178 9 days ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    Are you on a card reader system? If so I imagine daily numbers are easy to track. If you are on coin drop, how often do you collect? Just curious because you say the week is already your best and it’s not done, so I’m guessing maybe at least twice a week.
    I just finished up my 5th complete month since reopening. They rank 4,5,3,2,1 from oldest to newest month. So the first two were iffy, and not all that good. Since then, the last 3 months have each improved. Very little difference each month, but it was an uptick each month.

    It’s great to hear that you are perking up on door receipts. We are on free play so pay once at the door. We will be moving to a card system in the next month or two of my own design so we can get individual machine statistics. $10 a machine to install these playing card sized boxes and will report coin drop from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. Has a proximity sensor too. I’m happen to pass on the design and will even offer up units if people are interested. Uses this system called MQTT and Tasmota to report back to a homebase MQTT server. Might be useful to distributors out there.

    One of my friends who runs a route a couple towns over reported a total of $26 coin drop in his machines in the last week so it’s clearly variable from locale to locale.

    F441EB00-9D11-426C-A8B2-96231F2C2034 (resized).jpeg
    #1179 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    We will be moving to a card system in the next month or two of my own design so we can get individual machine statistics. $10 a machine to install these .
    [quoted image]

    I'm not sure that it makes sense to spend more money on a business that isn't producing.

    #1186 9 days ago

    On the positive side here in the San Francisco area, Free Gold Watch has been allowed to open back up. Limited capacity and strict rules enforced, but open!

    https://www.freegoldwatch.com/home

    #1187 9 days ago
    Quoted from jbovenzi:

    On the positive side here in the San Francisco area, Free Gold Watch has been allowed to open back up. Limited capacity and strict rules enforced, but open!
    https://www.freegoldwatch.com/home

    Awesome!

    #1188 9 days ago

    Love hearing Tim's take on all of this madness. Didn't know that he was being picketed or the other stuff.

    I love PHOF. I've travelled 7 hours to Vegas dozens of times just to make playing pinball the highlight of my trip.

    I can't even imagine arguing about the mask issue. I've seen you in action with people over running kids or abusing machines. I promise never to get on your bad side.

    #1189 9 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    I'm not sure that it makes sense to spend more money on a business that isn't producing.

    If being in this business was about making financial sense I would have never opened the arcade in the first place. I designed the card system because I had fun doing so. It is rare these days I get to remember how to be an electrical engineer. Almost everyone doing this is in it for the fun and bringing joy of our hobby to a new generation. It’s still a business and has all the same crap as any other business. But nobody views this as path to riches and glory and it’s the fun of it that makes the crap tasks tolerable.

    #1190 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    It’s great to hear that you are perking up on door receipts. We are on free play so pay once at the door. We will be moving to a card system in the next month or two of my own design so we can get individual machine statistics. $10 a machine to install these playing card sized boxes and will report coin drop from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. Has a proximity sensor too. I’m happen to pass on the design and will even offer up units if people are interested. Uses this system called MQTT and Tasmota to report back to a homebase MQTT server. Might be useful to distributors out there.
    One of my friends who runs a route a couple towns over reported a total of $26 coin drop in his machines in the last week so it’s clearly variable from locale to locale.
    [quoted image]

    Derp, I knew you were a flat fee/free play location.

    I’d like some more info on your card reader creation, so please post a link here if you make a thread about it.

    #1191 9 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Mine was a disaster too. Really slowed down once mask wearing became mandatory awhile back, wasn't any where good after I reopened. And 47 1/2 years of experience out the window when I was closed for three months. So no knowing when I might have some business or not.
    A new game would help about now. But I don't see that happening either.
    Best wishes to everybody struggling through these times.
    LTG : )

    So can’t you sell one and bring in another new ? As I’ve reported we were forced to sell some pins (mostly in storage but some off the floor too - including our Adams) to get our debt load manageable. But honestly we hadn’t refreshed our pin lineup much in the last year. I used some of the proceeds to buy a new Avengers because we needed to freshen it up and also I didn’t want to give the impression it was fire sale going out of business time. The great thing about pins (as opposed to our videos which are seeming worth more as firewood or parts) is that they seem to hold their value well so that even if I have to liquidate the Avengers (unlikely but possible) I shouldn’t take that much of a haircut in doing so.

    Further I would suspect once winter hits (pandemic or not) you should kick back up some. We have always done well in winter. Of course blowing arctic air thru the place to keep circulation of fresh air is gonna be an interesting challenge, coat time I guess. But winter in Minnesota ain’t the same thing as winter in Virginia, that’s for sure

    #1192 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    So can’t you sell one and bring in another new ?

    I don't have the money difference between selling old one and buying new one.

    LTG : )

    #1193 9 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I don't have the money difference between selling old one and buying new one.

    My hope right now is PPS/CGC comes out with something soon.

    LTG : )

    #1194 9 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    My hope right now is PPS/CGC comes out with something soon.
    LTG : )

    It’s too bad that pin companies won’t place games on location at a nominal rate as some kind of advertisement to home buyers. Also too bad that operators can’t band together at some group rate discount buy. My suspicion is that places like yours encourages home pin buying, but I’ll fully admit that is just my supposition with absolutely no proof behind it

    #1195 9 days ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    Derp, I knew you were a flat fee/free play location.
    I’d like some more info on your card reader creation, so please post a link here if you make a thread about it.

    I'm looking into a card type system also. I asked the blizzard mountain owner about his. He said he programmed and sourced all the parts himself, which was pretty cool indeed. Seemed like a fun project, but I'd probably take a year implementing it, with everything I have going on. Finding something ready made seemed like a better idea. Would of never dawned on me to use an Arduino or raspberry pi for something like that.

    The only time I've used an Arduino for pinball was to do a soft shutdown on the computer for RFM/SWE1 when the power goes out. Otherwise scores don't save, had to have a battery backup on the computer and boards. This is using pinbox on a newer gen computer, not the original.

    #1196 9 days ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    It’s too bad that pin companies won’t place games on location at a nominal rate as some kind of advertisement to home buyers. Also too bad that operators can’t band together at some group rate discount buy. My suspicion is that places like yours encourages home pin buying, but I’ll fully admit that is just my supposition with absolutely no proof behind it

    I do tech support for two companies. And show off their games inside and out to people looking to buy and refer them to distributors or manufacturers.

    That generally hasn't been a benefit to my business as competitors in my area get the new titles a month ahead of me, or more. So by the time I get the game. People wanting to rush out and play it or are used to playing it elsewhere. So it just becomes another pin that if someone were here they might drop money in it, the same as pins already here. They aren't coming in just to play it.

    So I've seriously been rethinking things this year.

    LTG : )

    #1197 9 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I do tech support for two companies. And show off their games inside and out to people looking to buy and refer them to distributors or manufacturers.
    That generally hasn't been a benefit to my business as competitors in my area get the new titles a month ahead of me, or more. So by the time I get the game. People wanting to rush out and play it or are used to playing it elsewhere. So it just becomes another pin that if someone were here they might drop money in it, the same as pins already here. They aren't coming in just to play it.
    So I've seriously been rethinking things this year.
    LTG : )

    Why wouldn't you get the game ahead of the crowd since you do tech support?

    #1198 9 days ago
    Quoted from hocuslocus:

    Why wouldn't you get the game ahead of the crowd since you do tech support?

    Good question.

    I've never got an answer. It's been brought up. But nothing ever changes.

    Besides it's more fun doing tech support on a game I haven't seen yet.

    LTG : )

    #1199 9 days ago

    That sucks, seems like you could at least have the benefit of getting the game earlier then the masses. Since the first few months are when it's going to get the most play usually. I hope that changes for the next CGC release, I guess it's to late for GnR since some places already have it.

    #1200 9 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I do tech support for two companies.

    Do the 2 companies pay you ok?

    You already help so many people here, if you are just working for free for companies that needs to end.

    Techs in my area get 125.00 minimum for a house call.

    Quoted from LTG:

    I've never got an answer. It's been brought up. But nothing ever changes.

    If they are not paying you well and helping you with what you need that just sucks.

    You may do a lot better to make house calls.

    BUT, I do get it is important to enjoy what you do and money is not everything.

    I wish LTG and all the operators the best!

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