(Topic ID: 227314)

Why do ops keep their location info secret?

By JodyG

3 years ago


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  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by LyonsRonnie1
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    There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 3 years ago

    I enjoy going out and playing pinball on location, and am always looking for new places in my area to play. I've called a couple local ops and visited one in person. When I ask where they have games on location, they act like I'm asking for the secret Coca Cola formula. No buddy, I want to shove dollars into your machine... This isn't a nefarious cover story. What gives?

    #2 3 years ago

    Op's in Michigan are the same way. No idea why they don't want people to notify them when something isn't working right or simply to thank them for having games out to play in the first place.

    #3 3 years ago

    I'm just guessing here...

    If you're at a location, playing games, and you run into the op - I'd bet they'd be happy to tell you where else they have games.

    It feels pretty really unusual for someone to call an operator to ask them where their games are. They probably think you're going to try and steal their locations.

    Isn't pinball map or the pinside map a good reference for your area? Sounds a lot easier than calling operators. Plus those are both community driven, so you should get more complete info that way.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    I'm just guessing here...
    If you're at a location, playing games, and you run into the op - I'd bet they'd be happy to tell you where else they have games.
    It feels pretty really unusual for someone to call an operator to ask them where their games are. They probably think you're going to try and steal their locations.
    Isn't pinball map or the pinside map a good reference for your area? Sounds a lot easier than calling operators. Plus those are both community driven, so you should get more complete info that way.

    I have been updating the pin maps for my area as I get to locations, but we do not seem to have a very vigilant community on reporting new locations. I've added 2-3 new locations in my area recently, and they didn't just recently get games. And the places are a game here and there. The only public big multi game location in the area has an owner who doesn't even care if the games are functioning or not.

    #5 3 years ago

    OPs never put their street address on games because they don't want thieves hanging out waiting to rob them (or they put the incorrect address on the other side of town).

    A single Keyhole or Bar-Ber-Cut game in a busy location will have over $3000 in cash in it weekly.

    Old School operators used to not even put their phone number on games, so you could not do a reverse look up.

    You will see that the service guys have marked vans, the collection guys are in plain vehicles.

    #6 3 years ago

    Maybe I should show up in person and show him how he can add his machines to the Pinmap...I can't see how that would hurt. It is free advertising!

    #7 3 years ago

    If competition for locations is stiff in your area. Ops tend to ignore strangers cold calling them. They may think you want to know where their best locations are.

    LTG : )

    #8 3 years ago

    My guess is because 1) ops are paranoid about any kind of competition, tax enforcement, or any other number of things and 2) every single interaction with general public is a potential nightmare

    I mean put it this way: if a stranger started asking intimate details about your job, how would you react?

    #9 3 years ago

    One Op by me asked not to have his locations put on pinball map so he wouldn't get calls about them being broken. lol.

    Many games don't make enough to cover the cost of repairs, so he doesn't want the hassle.

    #10 3 years ago

    Today's op I called has his sticker on his machines, so I'm taking that as he is not totally shut down to public interaction. I wouldn't think wanting to know where I can feed his machines dollars is exactly sensitive info either, but he wasn't very forthcoming with any info I asked for... Even wanting to buy a used game.

    Mind you, his web site says he sells new and used games.... Maybe it's a front, I dunno. Typically, business will offer take your info down if they know you are inquiring about buying something but cannot accommodate at that time. It sounds to me like this area is not super competitive for ops.

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from aobrien5:

    One Op by me asked not to have his locations put on pinball map so he wouldn't get calls about them being broken. lol.
    Many games don't make enough to cover the cost of repairs, so he doesn't want the hassle.

    if the coin mech is taking money, then it works for him.

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from aobrien5:

    One Op by me asked not to have his locations put on pinball map so he wouldn't get calls about them being broken. lol.
    Many games don't make enough to cover the cost of repairs, so he doesn't want the hassle.

    so his business model is hoping people accidentally drop coins into broken machines? sounds like you're doing the world a favor not advertising his games.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    I'm asking for the secret Coca Cola formula.

    I don't know that, but I can hook you up with a list of KFC's secret 11 herbs and spices if you like.

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I don't know that, but I can hook you up with a list of KFC's secret 11 herbs and spices if you like.

    I would like that. shoot me a PM.

    #15 3 years ago

    Our operator in Harrisburg will tell you in exactly which bars his machines are located. I'm not sure why someone wouldn't since it's sitting in a public place regardless.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    Maybe I should show up in person and show him how he can add his machines to the Pinmap

    Quoted from aobrien5:

    One Op by me asked not to have his locations put on pinball map so he wouldn't get calls about them being broken. lol.

    Pinball Map is community driven. No need to get buy-in from the ops. Just put 'em on there yourself.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Pinball Map is community driven. No need to get buy-in from the ops. Just put 'em on there yourself.

    But if the OP won't tell where the machines are, I'm going to have to use divine intervention or go on a giant Easter egg hunt to find them.

    #18 3 years ago

    I heard a story a couple years back that someone went into a location (think it was a movie theater) unplugged a hulk machine and carted it out of the place. The employees didn’t know it happened or didn’t stop the thieves. But since then the owner decided to remove their locations from community maps.

    Think it was hulk #93. If I recall correctly

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    Our operator in Harrisburg will tell you in exactly which bars his machines are located. I'm not sure why someone wouldn't since it's sitting in a public place regardless.

    That must be nice... I went to Shay in Lebanon in person to see if he had anything for sale, since they advertise used machines for sale, and he would not give me any locations of where his machines are. As far as I know, there is only one pin operator in Lancaster, with the exception of the machines in the bowling alley in Etown. That op is supposed to be on the west shore but I've found zero info on him.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    That must be nice... I went to Shay in Lebanon in person to see if he had anything for sale, since they advertise used machines for sale, and he would not give me any locations of where his machines are. As far as I know, there is only one pin operator in Lancaster, with the exception of the machines in the bowling alley in Etown. That op is supposed to be on the west shore but I've found zero info on him.

    Our operator is out of Harrisburg and has a good bit of machines around. We have 7 in the bar where we have leagues and there are probably another 5 or 6 scattered around in other bars. We play at the The River City Blues Club and have AFM, IM, Star Trek (Stern), GoT, Deadpool, Kiss (Stern) and White Water. I know he has a Dialed In LE at Evergrain Brewery in Mechanisburg. I'm not sure where Star Wars, AC/DC, Theater of Magic, TZ and Addams went.

    On a side note, we are having our monthly tournament this Saturday at 4pm if you'd like to come hang out. It's laid back and a lot of fun.

    http://www.rivercitypinball.com/

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    But if the OP won't tell where the machines are, I'm going to have to use divine intervention or go on a giant Easter egg hunt to find them.

    It’s the thrill of the chase!!!!

    #22 3 years ago

    It's called dumbass syndrome.
    If they had any common sense they'd help update pinball map and pinside map.
    Yes, it does help up earns some.

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from HighProtein:

    It's called dumbass syndrome.

    Not necessarily. If they've suffered break ins, stolen equipment. Vandalized equipment. Other ops soliciting their locations. You just can't be too careful anymore.

    Don't blame an op for protecting how he makes a living. He's the one that knows if more exposure makes him more money or costs him more money.

    LTG : )

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I don't know that, but I can hook you up with a list of KFC's secret 11 herbs and spices if you like.

    +1

    #25 3 years ago

    Not sure all are the same. My dads generation are as you describe but I actually come to locations to play with you guys. I also help the social media of our locations to try and boost their revenue streams everywhere possible.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

    Not sure all are the same. My dads generation are as you describe but I actually come to locations to play with you guys. I also help the social media of our locations to try and boost their revenue streams everywhere possible.

    The local brewery scene is a huge untapped market around here, IMO. The core micro brewery demographic and the core demographic of pinball players these days seem to mesh quite well.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from HighProtein:

    It's called dumbass syndrome.
    If they had any common sense they'd help update pinball map and pinside map.
    Yes, it does help up earns some.

    I couldn't agree more. The old school operator is what the op is describing. Lots of younger operators involved these days and are more than happy to share where they have games.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    The local brewery scene is a huge untapped market around here, IMO. The core micro brewery demographic and the core demographic of pinball players these days seem to mesh quite well.

    Agree +100! Been trying to convince a couple local ones to take some machines!

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    The local brewery scene is a huge untapped market around here, IMO. The core micro brewery demographic and the core demographic of pinball players these days seem to mesh quite well.

    Some are good. Some are average. All depends on how it is set up.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from bzbatl:

    Agree +100! Been trying to convince a couple local ones to take some machines!

    Remember, a regular person who's not into pinball has a preconceived notion that Pinball is somehow gambling related, " otherwise, why was it illegal for so many years?"

    Younger guys, who might not remember when pinball was illegal, think that it's an old man's game " otherwise, why do all the TV commercials for arthritis drugs have old men playing pinball?"

    So, that trendy microbrew that is looking to cater to an attractive younger crowd is not going to be excited to deploy a couple of pinball machines.

    -

    Now a collector I know, Tnut, asked a local microbrew what was their slowest night of the week (Tuesday), and brought in 4 pinball machines for a "league night".

    They brought their own extension cords, they moved the tables themselves, they respectfully moved a moose head, replacing it after they were done.

    All the players were told "no t-shirts". This was a trendy place, so everyone wore nice clothes - not "AC/DC 1975 World Tour" or "Ozzy" shirts.

    Most importantly, they brought some of their daughters and 3 Pilates instructors (who all got to drink for free), to offset the fatness of the normal pinball crowd. Nothing impresses the owner more than attractive people and beer sales.

    Finally, they told local media that this was "The finals" and one TV station showed up. This impressed the owner of the bar too, as it was free advertising.

    #31 3 years ago

    We ain't fancy in these here parts. There are two micro brewery locations in the general area with a machine in each, and they seem to do okay. Seems to be more popular in he Pittsburgh area.

    #32 3 years ago

    Come to Tucson, and bring every location player you can convince. I'll tell you where all of my locations are.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    I heard a story a couple years back that someone went into a location (think it was a movie theater) unplugged a hulk machine and carted it out of the place. The employees didn’t know it happened or didn’t stop the thieves. But since then the owner decided to remove their locations from community maps.
    Think it was hulk #93. If I recall correctly

    There's a Big Lebowski in SF that I'd like to cart out to my place, can someone help me

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    There's a Big Lebowski in SF that I'd like to cart out to my place, can someone help me

    Is that the only TBL in the wild? How’s it holding up?

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from ToucanF16:

    Is that the only TBL in the wild? How’s it holding up?

    Not well unfortunately. It was fine the first time I played it, went back a couple weeks after and the pinball were short on power, could barely make it up the ramp, the rug wasnt registering anymore and the upper playfield car was disabled.

    I still couldn’t get enough of the « give me the fu**** money » call everytime I dropped a coin it. But it’s a pity to see a great game like that decay this fast. I really wish someone else could build it it’s really is a fantastic game.

    -1
    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    I really wish someone else could build it it’s really is a fantastic game.

    Pretty sure that is happening from what I've heard. Likely sometime next year.

    -1
    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Pretty sure that is happening from what I've heard. Likely sometime next year.

    Hopefully sometime next year (fingers crossed).

    -1
    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Pretty sure that is happening from what I've heard. Likely sometime next year.

    Then I'm definitely saving money for that one, and crossing fingers that you're right !

    #39 3 years ago

    TBL would be awesome... I just think a year is a little on the enthusiastic side considering it is in litigation.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    TBL would be awesome... I just think a year is a little on the enthusiastic side considering it is in litigation.

    Litigation doesn't have to go to the end in the courts. Money solves problems.

    #41 3 years ago

    We may possibly be bringing TBL to Helicon along with Alien it will be nice to share these games with our friends at the brewery.

    #42 3 years ago

    Seattle is perhaps a very different market than some of the places you guys might live, but most games have some kind of indication of ownership and contact details on the apron somewhere. Most ops are pretty serious about repairs too. A website I built for a local operator / bar owner actually has a malfunctions page with a contact form that goes directly to the techs. I'm actually working on an iOS and Android app for them with the same functionality plus some basic pinball skills videos.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    TBL would be awesome... I just think a year is a little on the enthusiastic side considering it is in litigation.

    Gotta think positive, be optimistic!

    #44 3 years ago

    One local OP doesn't give a crap about their machines as long as it takes quarters. This RBION has the upper flipper rubber super glued on, none of the lower pops work, auto ball shooter broken and half the bulbs out.

    20181006_175238 (resized).jpg
    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    One local OP doesn't give a crap about their machines as long as it takes quarters. This RBION has the upper flipper rubber super glued on, none of the lower pops work, auto ball shooter broken and half the bulbs out.
    [quoted image]

    Sad...

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    One local OP doesn't give a crap about their machines as long as it takes quarters. This RBION has the upper flipper rubber super glued on, none of the lower pops work, auto ball shooter broken and half the bulbs out.
    [quoted image]

    Wow! It would’ve taken less effort to order the new rubber and put it on. But I guess it’s not free like if you have superglue already.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    One local OP doesn't give a crap about their machines as long as it takes quarters. This RBION has the upper flipper rubber super glued on, none of the lower pops work, auto ball shooter broken and half the bulbs out.
    [quoted image]

    Weird that the location is okay with that.

    #48 3 years ago

    My friend is an op and you can find all his games & locations @ https://findapinball.com/

    #49 3 years ago

    In terms of the new generation of ops, Bud is doing a fantastic job of promoting his locations (and has had a HUGELY positive impact on the Indianapolis scene)!

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    One local OP doesn't give a crap about their machines as long as it takes quarters. This RBION has the upper flipper rubber super glued on, none of the lower pops work, auto ball shooter broken and half the bulbs out.
    [quoted image]

    wow, that's pretty bad.... rubbers are like less then a buck a piece. Usually if the glass is dirty, that's usually a good indicator of how well the machines are maintained. The two operators prior to me at my location never cleaned their machines, they just came in took the money and left. I finally took over from the last one because half the machines were down all the time, and I figured I couldn't do much worse. Now all the games are up almost 100% and they are clean.
    A lot easier for me to keep up with it, since I work there as well.

    had another location, and half the time something was wrong. nobody let me know... lets just say it was frustrating.
    If you leave a note chances are, it won't get passed on.

    There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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