(Topic ID: 264119)

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

By pookycade

4 years ago


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    #1501 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    I guess I'm too 'old school' and cheap. [quoted image]

    I refuse to use drinking fountains. On the rare occasion when I did, I could pretty much always came away from it with a cold or sore throat later in the day or the next day. Yecch.

    #1502 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Try searching for glass bottled spring water.

    Simply nothing better than glass as a container.
    I no longer like aluminum, too many residuals from the manufacturing process.

    Sorry, PLASTICS HAVE TO GO.

    #1503 2 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Simply nothing better than glass as a container.
    I no longer like aluminum, too many residuals from the manufacturing process.
    Sorry, PLASTICS HAVE TO GO.

    I prefer glass for most beverages if possible. Less likely for the container's materials to leech into the drink.

    That's why you can't let cheap plastic water bottles sit for too long. The plastic starts contaminating water after a while and makes it taste gross.

    Decent reusable plastic bottles are usually fine for a few years, though.

    The downside to glass is that it's usually bulkier, heavier, and more expensive.

    #1504 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    The downside to glass is that it's usually bulkier, heavier, and more expensive.

    The efficient system used for drink bottles in the 60's is the standard. Buy a Coke in the bottle, return the empty, get 2 cents.
    Return crates in front of gas stations, really everywhere.
    Incentives to collect and return.
    Bottle washing automation that (mostly) ensured a clean drink.
    I really hate plastics, of all kinds though I recognize the benefits in some cases (Medical).

    #1505 2 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Bottle washing automation that (mostly) ensured a clean drink.

    Unless one with a mouse or something slipped through the inspectors.

    LTG : )

    #1506 2 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    The efficient system used for drink bottles in the 60's is the standard. Buy a Coke in the bottle, return the empty, get 2 cents.
    Return crates in front of gas stations, really everywhere.
    Incentives to collect and return.
    Bottle washing automation that (mostly) ensured a clean drink.
    I really hate plastics, of all kinds though I recognize the benefits in some cases (Medical).

    It is great except for all the fuel it takes to carry heavy glass back and forth.

    The best delivery system is the pipes already in every building. Packaged water in any container is stupid.

    #1507 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I refuse to use drinking fountains. On the rare occasion when I did, I could pretty much always came away from it with a cold or sore throat later in the day or the next day. Yecch.

    Heck, I still drink out of the garden hose straight from a well. After 60 + years, I must have built up a good immune system!

    #1508 2 years ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Get one of these and sell logoed refillable bottles/yeti thingies.
    And don't forget the cold cuts!
    [quoted image]

    Before I recently retired, they remodeled the facility and stuck in something similar so people could fill up water containers with 'clean and filtered' water. And of course....never bothered to change the filter for ages even after the 'change filter' light was lit. That filter was probably a cesspool! Straight out of the tap is fine by me.

    #1509 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Unless one with a mouse or something slipped through the inspectors.
    LTG : )

    “Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours - a COP - had some, and HE PUKED. And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he'll press charges.”

    #1510 2 years ago
    Quoted from PlanetExpress:

    “Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours - a COP - had some, and HE PUKED. And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he'll press charges.”

    No, for real. At my Father's arcade every once in a great while we'd find something in a bottle. Usually Mountain Dew, it was easiest to see when loading the pop machine. This would be mid to late 1960's.

    I had one with a plastic straw in it I saved. No idea where it ended up. When I lost the house a lot of stuff disappeared.

    Those days we didn't think of suing.

    LTG : )

    #1511 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    Heck, I still drink out of the garden hose straight from a well. After 60 + years, I must have built up a good immune system!

    I have no problem with a garden hose. 50 people all haven't licked it before I got there.

    #1512 2 years ago
    Quoted from PlanetExpress:

    “Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours - a COP - had some, and HE PUKED. And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he'll press charges.”

    Great flick! They don’t make em like they used to.....

    #1513 2 years ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Packaged water in any container is stupid.

    I find them useful when traveling.

    When you're done, you just toss it and don't have to keep carrying it around.

    Some places won't let you in with containers/bottles/drinks, so tossing out a plastic bottle isn't going to be any great loss (unlike a refillable bottle).

    Otherwise, no, I don't use plastic bottles on a day-to-day basis. I filter my own tap water.

    #1514 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I have no problem with a garden hose. 50 people all haven't licked it before I got there.

    There's all the contaminate from being just brought out of the ground, not being sanitized, no chlorine. A hose that's been setting around for months, setting out in the open? We all seem to survive drinking from an occasional water fountain and eventually die from other issues. Drinking from a water fountain (or hose in my case) is not a real worry w/me.

    But no issues about you being worried about other people and water fountains, completely understand your comment. Just not a concern on my end, we all have different priorities in life.

    #1515 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    There's all the contaminate from being just brought out of the ground, not being sanitized. A hose that's been setting around for months, setting out in the open.

    Well sure--I don't think I've used a garden hose in that situation. Usually it's been a hose that's already been watering the garden or cooling people off all summer, so it's already had quite a bit of water flowing through it.

    #1516 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Well sure--I don't think I've used a garden hose in that situation. Usually it's been a hose that's already been watering the garden or cooling people off all summer, so it's already had quite a bit of water flowing through it.

    I live out in the boonies. There's probably cow pee and fertilizer to a certain extent coming out of the hose that I drink from! Flowers seem to like it tho!

    #1517 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I refuse to use drinking fountains. On the rare occasion when I did, I could pretty much always came away from it with a cold or sore throat later in the day or the next day. Yecch.

    As someone who traveled by air several times a month for 30+ years, I've used drinking fountains in office buildings, factories and airports thousands of times. Never a problem and I saved thousands of dollars. Even while on an expense account, I treated the money as if it were my own.

    #1518 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I refuse to use drinking fountains. On the rare occasion when I did, I could pretty much always came away from it with a cold or sore throat later in the day or the next day. Yecch.

    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I have no problem with a garden hose. 50 people all haven't licked it before I got there.

    I think you're doing drinking fountains wrong. No licking is necessary to obtain the water. I'm sure the fountain appreciates your extra effort though.

    #1519 2 years ago

    I believe the environmental impact between aluminum and glass leans toward aluminum as the [slightly] more efficient option.

    However our startup model required us to shy away from glassware, a water refill station was considered. I harbored fears of cross contamination with a refill station, either from splash back or from the lip of a cup contacting a cross-touch surface. Perhaps unfounded, and perhaps cross contamination can be eliminated by devices such as FloWater and the like.

    Until we are able to invest in glassware service, I’m fine slanging Death.

    #1520 2 years ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    I think you're doing drinking fountains wrong. No licking is necessary to obtain the water. I'm sure the fountain appreciates your extra effort though.

    LOL

    Of course I know that.

    I've seen more than a few people put their whole mouth on the faucet. Yuck.

    #1521 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I've seen more than a few people put their whole mouth on the faucet. Yuck.

    Mostly kids, who have the most germs.

    2 weeks later
    #1522 2 years ago

    We’ve seen a slowdown in attendance (school season) and a noticeable increase in mask wearing. But still trickling in a good number of guests on most days.

    Our ventilation system is still chugging away which is a relief, but we are remaining defensive. If this isn’t Delta peak, we’re pretty close to it and expecting to remain as such until at least mid-October.

    Upgraded the fridge. Fun new custom marquee. Also moved the Arnold Palmers to the $2 shelf up top. Mannequins have appeared.

    19C29A43-E7DC-4936-A608-01E5A7E8BAC5 (resized).jpeg19C29A43-E7DC-4936-A608-01E5A7E8BAC5 (resized).jpeg

    3 months later
    27
    #1523 2 years ago

    End of year update. We are on solid ground once again. $3-4K a week on a steady basis. Parties have come back finally. Still haven’t caught up to the $6K a week we did in January 2020 when it looked like a breakout year was imminent. But we’ve pared down our expenses so much that it’s all the same. Amazing how a business crash forces one to reassess how we spend money.

    Given decent revenue I have started buying again, Godzilla being the latest. Adding a few EM non pins to the collection as well to round it out. But we are at capacity space wise so if one comes in another goes out.

    I continue to be surprised by the ongoing collateral fallout from the pandemic. Businesses I thought were solid were not, and still went down. And I am still waiting for lots of unoccupied spaces to open with new businesses.

    I want to be clear that we probably lost $75K total 2020, maybe net $10K positive 2021. Doesn’t show on the books as we liquidated machines to make up the difference. Kinda mad given that I seemed to have sold at the bottom of the pin market but oh well. I didn’t need another 30 pins in storage doing nothing anyway. Also we faced a very special situation where I just had to pay employees, rent, and insurance. If I had to draw income from this we would have closed. So my experience is definitely a your mileage may vary lens to view all of this.

    We still have both our ventilation and mask measures in place. We had some pushback early on with reinstating masks but with COVID numbers crossing the 200K a day realm nobody is complaining much now. We probably benefit from being one of the safest places you can go indoors. I was a little worried we would see either decreased attendance or some new shutdown but I think a world weariness has set in with an acceptance this is endemic like the flu at this point. All I can do now is my best to provide a reasonably safe place to go indoors during the winter.

    The goal will be to end masks probably about March when this terrible wave ends. Some models project a large rise and then crash in numbers late January.

    I have given my employees the option to close during these ridiculously high COVID numbers, but the comment back is that it’s probably safer in the arcade than around family at this point. That’s probably true.

    Anyway, it’s been an interesting ride. Glad we made it out the other side. I am sure challenges still lay ahead as we see if we can grow this business. I never counted on riches from opening an arcade, but it would be nice after 3 years to at least see a dime. Maybe this year, maybe not.

    10
    #1524 2 years ago

    I'll chime in as well. The Richmond Pinball Collective, this quarter, has the highest number of members we've ever had. Things are doing pretty well on the financial end relative to our pre-pandemic state. We have regular tournaments and leagues. We dropped our mask mandate for a little bit per Covid numbers being down. When delta ramped up, we brought the mask mandate back and have continued it since. Hopefully the numbers will go back down so we can remove the mandate. No one has gotten sick through our club and we trying to keep it that way.

    #1525 2 years ago

    I’m glad everyone is surviving!

    We have been crazy busy since the end of September. Fall is huge tourist season. It will slow a bit the second week of January until spring break season starts in March.

    Generally Blue Ridge is a mask free zone, probably less than 1 in 20 wear one. Our space gets crowded when we are busy an no one seems freaked out about anything.

    5 months later
    #1526 1 year ago

    Now that the pandemic appears to be finally winding down, most of our arcades survived, and we had at least one new one open up (Cidercade) during the pandemic. Unfortunately, we lost our EightyTwo late last year (October, I think?), which is unfortunate as I was looking forward to it taking off and providing more choices.

    I remain optimistic about new locations opening up later in 2022 (we could always use more pinball in a city like Houston) but realistically it's hard to expect much until the pandemic really is completely over.

    #1527 1 year ago

    Every month in 2022 thus far has been a record-breaker in terms of attendance at RPM. Woohoo!

    We're keeping our background ventilation system in place until covid mutates into a weaker endemic form, like flu. At which point we will switch to full HEPA filtration (our space is only 3500 sqft so it is affordable to achieve this).

    It suffices to say that the Prohibition Era-rule of survival held up: Businesses which survive an industry-wide catastrophe usually become the trendsetters afterward.

    1 year later
    26
    #1528 9 months ago

    Decades opened some 5 years ago originally as Paul’s Pinball Palace. We suffered literally ever sling and arrow you could throw at us since that time. First, it wasn’t ever supposed to be a business, just a hangout for our pinball league, then some pop up pinball for the public. Lost our first lease after 4 months when they knocked the building down (to be fair we knew this was coming, just not when). We were about to close when we got offered a last minute lifeline in a dusty warehouse. Just as we were making it into a home, finally inching above the red in our new location, COVID hit. $30k of machines sold just to pay expenses. If I recall during the Covid reopening we hit a low of $700 for one week. I had to cancel Friday night hours because we made less than it cost to pay employees to be open.

    This January to add insult to injury, we got booted out of our warehouse location to make way for a conversion to ghost kitchens of all things. It was looking grim, and I was scoping out storage facilities to put it all on ice.

    But this is not a story of paradise lost, a dream destroyed, 5 years of struggle (during which time there had been $0 ROI). Nope, we crawled up from the depths of possible non-existence, finding a new home on our city’s downtown mall. I’ll admit, I was more than a little worried given that we had moved into the high rent district whether we could hack it or not. It could easily have been one of those broadway plays that closes opening night.

    But we had several things going for us: 1) a great landlord who wanted us to succeed to make our downtown mall a better place to be for everyone (like most downtown malls it is mostly restaurants and high end shops). 2) a superb manager who kept our finances straight and poured hours into redesigning our layout and making sure our social media presence stayed visible while we were closed. 3) Luck, yes lots and lots of luck. Right location, right timing, right people.

    My goal for our reopening was to simply move sideways - at least keep us in the black and viable. I do not know what our future is here, but in the 3 months we have been re-openned we have more than doubled our preexisting business. We had 75 people lined up waiting to get in at opening this weekend. Will that continue. I hope, but I will also have backup plans if it doesn’t.

    What’s my take home ? Perseverance to exist, great personnel who all have a passion for what we do, combined with fortuitous luck can take you places. You just have to be patient, in it for the long haul, and let it unfold organically. And yeah luck, don’t ever forget luck. You aren’t as smart as you think you are, your decision making isn’t nearly as good as you believe it is.

    #1529 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Decades opened some 5 years ago originally as Paul’s Pinball Palace. We suffered literally ever sling and arrow you could throw at us since that time. First, it wasn’t ever supposed to be a business, just a hangout for our pinball league, then some pop up pinball for the public. Lost our first lease after 4 months when they knocked the building down (to be fair we knew this was coming, just not when). We were about to close when we got offered a last minute lifeline in a dusty warehouse. Just as we were making it into a home, finally inching above the red in our new location, COVID hit. $30k of machines sold just to pay expenses. If I recall during the Covid reopening we hit a low of $700 for one week. I had to cancel Friday night hours because we made less than it cost to pay employees to be open.
    This January to add insult to injury, we got booted out of our warehouse location to make way for a conversion to ghost kitchens of all things. It was looking grim, and I was scoping out storage facilities to put it all on ice.
    But this is not a story of paradise lost, a dream destroyed, 5 years of struggle (during which time there had been $0 ROI). Nope, we crawled up from the depths of possible non-existence, finding a new home on our city’s downtown mall. I’ll admit, I was more than a little worried given that we had moved into the high rent district whether we could hack it or not. It could easily have been one of those broadway plays that closes opening night.
    But we had several things going for us: 1) a great landlord who wanted us to succeed to make our downtown mall a better place to be for everyone (like most downtown malls it is mostly restaurants and high end shops). 2) a superb manager who kept our finances straight and poured hours into redesigning our layout and making sure our social media presence stayed visible while we were closed. 3) Luck, yes lots and lots of luck. Right location, right timing, right people.
    My goal for our reopening was to simply move sideways - at least keep us in the black and viable. I do not know what our future is here, but in the 3 months we have been re-openned we have more than doubled our preexisting business. We had 75 people lined up waiting to get in at opening this weekend. Will that continue. I hope, but I will also have backup plans if it doesn’t.
    What’s my take home ? Perseverance to exist, great personnel who all have a passion for what we do, combined with fortuitous luck can take you places. You just have to be patient, in it for the long haul, and let it unfold organically. And yeah luck, don’t ever forget luck. You aren’t as smart as you think you are, your decision making isn’t nearly as good as you believe it is.

    Just so happy for everyone involved! Our local pinball place “The Flipside” seems to be firing on all cylinder post Covid. The owners and their staff are simply amazing. Here is to even more good news coming for you in 2024.

    #1530 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    What’s my take home ? Perseverance to exist, great personnel who all have a passion for what we do, combined with fortuitous luck can take you places. You just have to be patient, in it for the long haul, and let it unfold organically. And yeah luck, don’t ever forget luck. You aren’t as smart as you think you are, your decision making isn’t nearly as good as you believe it is.

    Glad you keep the ball rolling. Best wishes on a promising future.

    LTG : )

    #1531 9 months ago

    I enjoyed reading this thread during the pandemic. From what you wrote then it was clear that you were working hard both to keep your arcade afloat but also to do so in a way that kept people safe. Super glad to hear that your hard work has been paying off, and I hope that continues!

    #1532 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    ...finding a new home on our city’s downtown mall. I’ll admit, I was more than a little worried given that we had moved into the high rent district whether we could hack it or not. It could easily have been one of those broadway plays that closes opening night.
    But we had several things going for us: 1) a great landlord who wanted us to succeed to make our downtown mall a better place to be for everyone (like most downtown malls it is mostly restaurants and high end shops)...

    As someone who has not been in a mall in years, but who has fond memories of them (arcades as well as shopping) I often drive by the local nearly dead malls and think how these spaces could evolve - gyms, yoga studios, libraries, and yeah, arcades. A lot of community oriented places that might not bring in a lot of rent but might generate traffic to keep retailers open.

    So kudos to you for evolving!

    #1533 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    And yeah luck, don’t ever forget luck. You aren’t as smart as you think you are, your decision making isn’t nearly as good as you believe it is.

    Great words here. I love this. So true.

    #1534 9 months ago
    Quoted from JudeRussell:

    As someone who has not been in a mall in years, but who has fond memories of them (arcades as well as shopping) I often drive by the local nearly dead malls and think how these spaces could evolve - gyms, yoga studios, libraries, and yeah, arcades. A lot of community oriented places that might not bring in a lot of rent but might generate traffic to keep retailers open.
    So kudos to you for evolving!

    Just to clarify, the "downtown mall" in Charlottesville is an actual street lined with historic buildings that has been closed off to vehicle traffic (as opposed to a Dawn of the Dead-style shopping mall).

    f065c571-4d48-42b0-bb09-3c0eba12b3f0_e45adf5f6bc0c5c2a30a39868f44eab6 (resized).jpgf065c571-4d48-42b0-bb09-3c0eba12b3f0_e45adf5f6bc0c5c2a30a39868f44eab6 (resized).jpg
    #1535 9 months ago
    Quoted from EternitytoM83:

    Just to clarify, the "downtown mall" in Charlottesville is an actual street lined with historic buildings that has been closed off to vehicle traffic (as opposed to a Dawn of the Dead-style shopping mall).[quoted image]

    Even better! Great location!

    #1536 9 months ago
    Quoted from SadSack:

    Do you personally know a single healthy person under 60 this virus has killed? No.

    It was interesting going back and reading through this thread. This particular post really stuck out to me, as I lost 2 cousins (ages 48 and 50) and a friend (aged 46)…all otherwise healthy…to COVID. They had gone down that MAGA/Qanon rabbit hole in recent years and considered the pandemic to be “fake news”, and of course, never took any type of precautions to stay safe or got vaccinated.

    (COVID also ended up being the final nail in the coffin for my father in April of ‘21, because it prevented him from getting heart-related procedures done while in the hospital.)

    #1537 9 months ago
    Quoted from Fatsquatch:

    It was interesting going back and reading through this thread.

    Topic threads like these taught me a lot about people.

    #1538 9 months ago

    Thank you to the OP for the update! I love when good things happen to good people. I've been following your story and am very happy for you.

    Such a contrast from the other arcade owner that stiffed the landlord, treated longtime Pinside hobbiests with contempt and eventually had to close down.

    #1539 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Decades opened some 5 years ago originally as Paul’s Pinball Palace. We suffered literally ever sling and arrow you could throw at us since that time. First, it wasn’t ever supposed to be a business, just a hangout for our pinball league, then some pop up pinball for the public. Lost our first lease after 4 months when they knocked the building down (to be fair we knew this was coming, just not when). We were about to close when we got offered a last minute lifeline in a dusty warehouse. Just as we were making it into a home, finally inching above the red in our new location, COVID hit. $30k of machines sold just to pay expenses. If I recall during the Covid reopening we hit a low of $700 for one week. I had to cancel Friday night hours because we made less than it cost to pay employees to be open.
    This January to add insult to injury, we got booted out of our warehouse location to make way for a conversion to ghost kitchens of all things. It was looking grim, and I was scoping out storage facilities to put it all on ice.
    But this is not a story of paradise lost, a dream destroyed, 5 years of struggle (during which time there had been $0 ROI). Nope, we crawled up from the depths of possible non-existence, finding a new home on our city’s downtown mall. I’ll admit, I was more than a little worried given that we had moved into the high rent district whether we could hack it or not. It could easily have been one of those broadway plays that closes opening night.
    But we had several things going for us: 1) a great landlord who wanted us to succeed to make our downtown mall a better place to be for everyone (like most downtown malls it is mostly restaurants and high end shops). 2) a superb manager who kept our finances straight and poured hours into redesigning our layout and making sure our social media presence stayed visible while we were closed. 3) Luck, yes lots and lots of luck. Right location, right timing, right people.
    My goal for our reopening was to simply move sideways - at least keep us in the black and viable. I do not know what our future is here, but in the 3 months we have been re-openned we have more than doubled our preexisting business. We had 75 people lined up waiting to get in at opening this weekend. Will that continue. I hope, but I will also have backup plans if it doesn’t.
    What’s my take home ? Perseverance to exist, great personnel who all have a passion for what we do, combined with fortuitous luck can take you places. You just have to be patient, in it for the long haul, and let it unfold organically. And yeah luck, don’t ever forget luck. You aren’t as smart as you think you are, your decision making isn’t nearly as good as you believe it is.

    Great to hear you are thriving on the mall! We need to come down and check out the new space.

    #1540 9 months ago
    Quoted from EternitytoM83:

    Just to clarify, the "downtown mall" in Charlottesville is an actual street lined with historic buildings that has been closed off to vehicle traffic (as opposed to a Dawn of the Dead-style shopping mall).[quoted image]

    That's a great location for casuals because they are already there with strolling/shopping/dining in mind, basically not just to stop and pick up a single item or something. Of course, if you wanted to run leagues or something regular, parking/access might be more of an issue if it's always full of tourist types.

    #1541 9 months ago

    I stopped by on my way home from Allentown and got to see the new space just after it opened.

    Great people and a great collection. I'm sure they'll do great.

    #1542 9 months ago

    I need to pay Decades a visit. Haven't seen the new location yet. While it is scary to pay more in rent... the advantage of being in a fun walkable area with lots of visitors to tempt inside is a better play than the "desert island strip mall/industrial park" strategy (unless it's a brewery).

    #1543 9 months ago

    What are the downsides to mall locations? I assume noise would be a problem.
    A lot of malls built in the 80s that seem perpetually half full here and wish they could have pinball arcades...
    Are the leases still too ridiculous at the struggling malls?

    #1544 9 months ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    What are the downsides to mall locations? I assume noise would be a problem.
    A lot of malls built in the 80s that seem perpetually half full here and wish they could have pinball arcades...
    Are the leases still too ridiculous at the struggling malls?

    High rent, low foot traffic, restrictive hours. There aren't thousands of kids running around malls like they were in the 80's. The demographics are all wrong.

    Someone tried it here in ATL recently and it didn't last long.

    #1545 9 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    restrictive hours

    If you’re inside of a traditional mall with commons in front, and back hallway etc. You need to be open between X and X hours with the rest of the businesses. Of course that’s a silly rule to enforce with a straight face with the abundance of vacancies.

    Some places you need to be out of there an hour after closing to the public and can’t be there earlier than an hour before opening.

    So when it comes to fixing games uninterrupted you better be quick about before or after. Or have a large enough back room to bring games back to which means a larger unit which will be more expensive.

    #1546 9 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    High rent, low foot traffic, restrictive hours. There aren't thousands of kids running around malls like they were in the 80's. The demographics are all wrong.
    Someone tried it here in ATL recently and it didn't last long.

    100%. Until malls can be re-vivified with a whole new vision incorporating places to play, live, exercise, work, and shop… there is a reason why they are dying… and you don’t want to anchor your entertainment venue to that.

    Pinball has always been a “crime of opportunity”… pilfering coins from wandering strangers with some time to kill. That’s why they existed on boardwalks, piers, places with heavy turnover of new foot traffic. Including malls when they used to be the “Amazon.com” of the world before the internet.

    Annnnd that’s why in my opinion THE VERY BEST play right now for someone wanting to give operating a try is in a brewery. They have ample space (which you won’t have to pay for), an excellent turnover of new people with time to kill, and the breweries themselves want to offer a unique and fun diversion to lure people away from the bars to their location.

    Breweries, folks. Each brewery across America should have some pins. It’s up to us, no joke.

    #1547 9 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    High rent, low foot traffic, restrictive hours.

    The restrictive hours are rough. Tried to buy new shoes for my kid around 10 AM on a Saturday, but the interior stores didn't open until 11:00. Went back around 6:30 PM, and the shoe store gate was already pulled down for 7 PM closing time. On a weekend.

    I live five minutes from that mall, but three minutes from a massive Amazon distribution center. The war has been lost. Most malls should just go ahead and board up, stop the charade. Fewer people go, so hours cut get, so even fewer people go, so the hours get cut more... game over.

    #1548 9 months ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    The restrictive hours are rough. Tried to buy new shoes for my kid around 10 AM on a Saturday, but the interior stores didn't open until 11:00. Went back around 6:30 PM, and the shoe store gate was already pulled down for 7 PM closing time. On a weekend.
    I live five minutes from that mall, but three minutes from a massive Amazon distribution center. The war has been lost. Most malls should just go ahead and board up, stop the charade. Fewer people go, so hours cut get, so even fewer people go, so the hours get cut more... game over.

    All started during covid where lots of stores closed and never opened again! Still having trouble finding employees, and the one's I see working just want to be on their phones all day. How can you earn a living acting like that?

    There is one mall nearby that's been opening kids like attractions and seems to be bringing more people in. There's been a Legoland there for a few years, a carousel has been there forever, couple other things I can;t think of. An arcade has opened there this past year that is redemption stuff, but also has about 9 or 10 pins there that are in decent shape.

    Things slowly coming back!!

    #1549 9 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    100%. Until malls can be re-vivified with a whole new vision incorporating places to play, live, exercise, work, and shop… there is a reason why they are dying… and you don’t want to anchor your entertainment venue to that.
    Pinball has always been a “crime of opportunity”… pilfering coins from wandering strangers with some time to kill. That’s why they existed on boardwalks, piers, places with heavy turnover of new foot traffic. Including malls when they used to be the “Amazon.com” of the world before the internet.
    Annnnd that’s why in my opinion THE VERY BEST play right now for someone wanting to give operating a try is in a brewery. They have ample space (which you won’t have to pay for), an excellent turnover of new people with time to kill, and the breweries themselves want to offer a unique and fun diversion to lure people away from the bars to their location.
    Breweries, folks. Each brewery across America should have some pins. It’s up to us, no joke.

    Just for sake of (not an actual)argument. Brewery hours are sometimes pretty restrictive. One long time operator friend of mine didn't want to set them for that reason. HOWEVER, I still agree with you because I think they can be good locations for a variety of other reasons. True arcade bars do typically have the edge in regards to flexibility of open hours. The rub there is they require a much bigger outlay of cash to start up, even if you are just supplying the amusements. It's much easier to try throwing a couple of pins in a business that is already fully selfsustained, that views the pins as a little extra income or an attraction to sell more beer.

    #1550 9 months ago

    I’ve got pins in three local breweries here (luckily all of which are within 1/4 mile of each other).

    Spitball estimate: Each machine is earning 25-35% of its purchase price per year.

    Example: $2000 nice System 1 at 50c per play with new boards and LED’s and new parts = $600-$800 year

    Not a way to get rich, but a fun way to pay for your hobby. Rule of thumb: “Route for three, get it free”

    I do it mostly to build local enthusiasm for pinball. It makes a difference. Breweries are the easiest way to try your hand at routing games and creating a pinball scene.

    The magic number is four. Four pins is always a party even if one goes down. Start with four.

    There are 1,550 posts in this topic. You are on page 31 of 31.

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