New Arcade Questions - Cover, Tokens, Freeplay Etc.

Commercial arcade venues available for playing at
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New Arcade Questions - Cover, Tokens, Freeplay Etc.

Postby Linkage » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:16 am

Fair size post, main question at the bottom. Bear with me and thank for reading.

I'm in the position where I'm trying to figure out what the hell to do with my collection. Since I was approaching 50 machines (mostly arcade), I had run out of room to store any let alone work on them.

I ended up renting a huge warehouse space with the intention of fixing and selling most, keeping around 15 or so in nice restored shape, moving them all home and calling the collection done aside from spotting out a machine here and there.

But then I took four machines out to an event and put them on Freeplay - the amount of love, attention and care they got from parents and kids was insane. So I routed a couple machines after. It went ok, nothing spectacular money wise, but it was a few extra dollars and exposing more people to stuff they dont see all that often these days.

Since then I've had a couple people approach me about starting a barcade. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the idea. Something like that to make money obviously has to be a bar first and an arcade second. So unless one partner has tons of experience in food and beverage, I feel its doomed. Plus the only place it would really work well is about five hours from where I live. Its not realistic for me to stay on top of the business and keep machines in repair.

What I am interested in are the family entertainment type businesses. I love for example what Crystal Mountain Party Palace does:

I'm in discussion to do something like that with someone. What I'm having trouble with in the pricing. This is what I'm thinking:

The business has an under $10 cover charge. That gets you access to the whole facility which is completely kid orientated, climbing wall, bouncy castles etc. Since I want to do redemption, Freeplay doesn't make sense. What I'm thinking is cover charge gets you access to the entire facility including the arcade. No cover charge for parents.

Machines on token play, probably three tokens for a dollar. Maybe four for a dollar. Pins probably have to be more, especially if I can get a few newer ones over time.

WE ARE NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE. This is somewhere you take your kids, and the arcade is just an add on to the main business.

Thoughts on this pricing model?

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Re: New Arcade Questions - Cover, Tokens, Freeplay Etc.

Postby cap » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:05 am

I would also expect a large climb up maze a la McDo in your place.
Since the arcade is not free, you have to make the $10 worth it even if the arcade was not there.
There are many places like you describe and they stay in business. It should be easy to align with one near you.

Is the admission free for adults even without kids?
You might get the occasional pinhead coming just for the pins.
Don't forget the stools to let the young kids play.
Road Show, Last Action Hero, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Stargate, F14 Tomcat (in restoration)

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