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Main => Everything Else => Topic started by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 12:45:15 am

Title: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 12:45:15 am
From RetroBlast News: http://www.retroblast.com/news.php

Man Gives Away Video Arcade

No, it's not a hoax: a businessman in Claremont, N.H, is looking to give away The Jester's Court, a video arcade he started. Check out this article for the full story.

http://www.thewmurchannel.com/money/4147570/detail.html
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: paigeoliver on February 01, 2005, 02:25:07 am
Could be retitled "Man wants someone to take over business in dying industry so he can go into something that will last".
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Thenasty on February 01, 2005, 07:35:20 am
Could be retitled "Man wants someone to take over business in dying industry so he can go into something that will last".

Nailed it  :D

he can't keep up the RENT COST from the income he is getting from video games. In others words, HE IS GOING BROKE  :o
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 07:48:04 am
I don't believe it!  Claremont is 45 minutes from here!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 07:52:27 am
I don't believe it!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: wfg97079 on February 01, 2005, 08:17:00 am
any idea how to contact him?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 08:27:59 am
I don't believe it!  Claremont is 45 minutes from here!

ummmm...so what do you have to lose?  Go check it out.  If they are so ready for storefronts, slap a pizza joint next to the arcade. 

Really, what do you have to lose?  Check out the contracts, check out the location.  See what its all about Peale.

I literally have *nothing* to lose!  Wow, I really need this.  Think I'm going on a road trip today!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Crazy Cooter on February 01, 2005, 08:38:15 am
That is so awesome.  You should go check it out Peale.  It will be funny when they ask: "So are you familiar with arcade games?" ;D

Besides, look at the extra space you'd have for your collection.  Just keep the minty ones in back.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 09:12:45 am
I dunno.  I do believe I'm going up today to check things out.  I've got a ton of ideas related to gaming - game sales, tournaments, vendor related cross-promotions - so I hope I can win this guy's trust.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: ChadTower on February 01, 2005, 09:26:51 am
That's not that far from me either... not 45 minutes but close enough where I could pitch in for Peale.  I don't care about a financial stake, I'd just love to be involved.

Seriously - if you think there's a shot, feel free to shoot me a phone call and I'll help out any way I can.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: wfg97079 on February 01, 2005, 09:31:32 am
Its about 2 hours from me, but if I can help let me know
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 09:53:17 am
Something doesn't sound right. Why would someone open up a brand new arcade in the middle of winter?
If it is turning a profit like he says, come summer time that place should be making a killing.

I hope this works out for you Peale, we could have a new meeting spot for the BYOAC New England meet-ups. If the dream does come true, I've a suggestion; caged go-go dancers!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 11:03:06 am
Something doesn't sound right. Why would someone open up a brand new arcade in the middle of winter?
If it is turning a profit like he says, come summer time that place should be making a killing.

I hope this works out for you Peale, we could have a new meeting spot for the BYOAC New England meet-ups. If the dream does come true, I've a suggestion; caged go-go dancers!

It has been open for 6 weeks.  My money is on the idea that he has other interests, personal and business oriented, to see the area revitalized.  I think it is a publicity stunt of sorts in order to draw attention to the town.  If that is true, it is a good attention getter as I can assure you alot more people know about Claremont, NH today than did yesterday.  From the pics on the town website and other resources it looks like a great little town.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 11:13:29 am
Claremont has been an up-and-down community for a while, much like it's sister town, Springfield, VT, where I grew up.  A lot of businesses went away, because there wasn't anything driving them.

And I can definitely say Main Street (where this is located) is nearly deserted.  I applaud this guy's efforts.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RayB on February 01, 2005, 11:25:48 am
Take note that it said the "games are rented". There's likely a contract there with the game supplier. Hopefully that could be ammended to allow x% to be your own 100% owned games, to reduce the overhead costs further. (Unless of course renting is the cheaper solution. It surely makes it easier to rotate inventory).

The problem with "dead" city centers like this is the need for what they call "destination" establishments. For example, Ikea is a destination store. People are willing to drive out there just for Ikea. It's then good for smaller businesses to set up shop around there, since people will be showing up for Ikea. In an area where it's all small shops with no one "name" to draw people to the area, then it's a battle to attract people and stay in business. So beware of that.

G'luck and keep us posted!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 12:17:48 pm
Currently my only problem with following thru with this is...what do I do with my kids?  Others have said to bring them along, but I really don't believe it's a great idea to take kids with you when you talk business.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 12:27:35 pm
Have you called and talked to the guy? Maybe you could meet up with him after business hours when your wife could handle the kids.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 12:34:04 pm
Not yet.  Heh...nervous.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 12:35:32 pm
I'd call as soon as possible, I'm sure he's gotten word from other interested people by now.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 12:40:04 pm
I'd call as soon as possible, I'm sure he's gotten word from other interested people by now.

Just tried.  The number just rings and rings.

I'll have to pay a visit.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 12:40:57 pm
Here's more news stories featuring the same guy: linky  (http://www.thechamplainchannel.com/wnne/3891831/detail.html) linky (http://concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041024/REPOSITORY/410240404/1014/ENTERTAINMENT)

It seems he was involved with shooting a movie in Claremont last year, and was pretty excited abou getting the town promoted.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: sirwoogie on February 01, 2005, 12:45:07 pm
Tell him your a moderator on BYOAC. I bet that will sweeten the deal enough to swing it your way Peale ;)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 12:47:51 pm
SW: heh!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: ChadTower on February 01, 2005, 01:06:46 pm
Bring the kids if you have to.  Do whatever you have to to get over there if you really want it.  If he's really interested in finding a good owner, bringing the kids shouldn't be a minus since you're just doing what you had to do.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 01:11:29 pm
I got ahold of the guys *mom.*  They're taking names and numbers, setting up appointments to talk to him and the landlord, and see who's truly interested.

It's situated right next to a coffee shop, aparently.  I'll be going in a while.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Gunstar Hero on February 01, 2005, 01:11:46 pm
Sounds like a sound idea by this dude, he probably owns the shopping center and maybe the game distributer too. =)

Go Peale! Get yourself an arcade! For everlasting peace!  ;D
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 01:15:48 pm
Cool. Take some photo's!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 01:26:12 pm
Aparently, he does quite a lot of business in the area.  And he doesn't sound too old.  If what I've been reading is correct, his *mom* is only 47!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 01:36:02 pm
Aparently, he does quite a lot of business in the area.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: ChadTower on February 01, 2005, 02:06:52 pm
That doesn't mean too much, my mother isn't a ton older than that.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Stingray on February 01, 2005, 02:31:30 pm
Good luck, hopefully he'll be impressed by the experience you have with arcade machines. Hope you end up being the one who gets it!

-S
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 02:52:26 pm
My thing is this: can I make enough money to support the arcade, AND my family?  That's a very important aspect.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 02:58:24 pm
My thing is this: can I make enough money to support the arcade, AND my family?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 03:07:36 pm
That's the thing; it wouldn't be "additional" income.  My wife won't be working after April.  She's going on maternity leave, and we've both agreed that her job is causing her undue stress.  So she's going to stay home, and I'm going to work.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 03:19:13 pm
That's the thing; it wouldn't be "additional" income.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 03:21:38 pm
Don't worry, I'm going to look into it.  If all else fails I can get a third job.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: menace on February 01, 2005, 03:23:11 pm
this would be pretty cool--BYOAC could own an arcade (by proxy through peale  ;D) imagine the sweet deals you could get through here!  Just don't tell anyone about the mame cab you stick in the back corner for VIP customers  ;)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 03:23:30 pm
If it's making a profit now, I would imagine that in April/May things should really start picking up.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 03:29:12 pm
this would be pretty cool--BYOAC could own an arcade (by proxy through peale
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Sephroth57 on February 01, 2005, 03:35:17 pm
peale, if you get this arcade and dont put in a popn music machine i will be very mad =P
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 03:42:49 pm
peale, if you get this arcade and dont put in a popn music machine i will be very mad =P


and so it begins... ;D


Also, I don't know what Kolowski knows about runnin' no arcade but the guy has a flair for PR -

Today in USA uhh, well Today - http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-02-01-now-thats-a-free-game_x.htm
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 03:50:49 pm
Great - national coverage!  I don't stand a chance.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RayB on February 01, 2005, 03:56:11 pm
Can I offer a reality check?

It's only been open 6 weeks. The "newness" and novelty factor has to be considered here. 6 weeks is not long enough of a track record to really judge where this business is headed. There's ALOT of due dilligence (research) to do here.


Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Sephroth57 on February 01, 2005, 04:00:42 pm
well it really is an untapped goldmine on the east coast, there is one machine in NH but its a POPN ONE! imagine playing DDR 1st mix compared to 8thmix, its not even a comparison. If i had the cash id buy a PopN split profits with someone for putting it in their arcade and become wealthy =)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 04:03:59 pm
Great - national coverage!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 04:04:51 pm
I already called; I'm going up tonight.  That's about all I can do for now.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 04:06:25 pm
It's only been open 6 weeks. The "newness" and novelty factor has to be considered here. 6 weeks is not long enough of a track record to really judge where this business is headed. There's ALOT of due dilligence (research) to do here.

I think an arcade in Claremont is a great idea.  There really isn't a lot to do (captive audience), there's a coffee shop right next door, and if the arcade branches out to sales, merchandising, tournaments, etc, the sky's the limit.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: itismejs on February 01, 2005, 04:08:55 pm
Good luck.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: mairsil on February 01, 2005, 04:26:35 pm
A small word of advice: consider talking to an attorney before signing anything. The last thing that you want to do is sign a contract that says you personally guarantee the debts of the business, especially for an unproven business. Good luck.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 04:40:50 pm
Oh, I'd read *very* fully any contract before signing, believe me.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: iwillfearnoevil on February 01, 2005, 08:59:46 pm
Oh, I'd read *very* fully any contract before signing, believe me.

yeah but a lawyer is still a good idea. i mean this is a good stunt, but the guy isn't really giving anything away as pointed before as he doesn't own anything. i am sure he will open his books to someone serious and not the newspapers or he won't find any takers. good luck, it is exciting to think about this. if you can make a living doing what you live, it's priceless!

i think the comment about 6 weeks is dead on. a lot of businesses in my nearby downtown have done awesome the first month or two cause everyone in town is coming out and there's all sorts of free publictly writeups in the newspapers, etc. then it drops off some and not quite at the level as before. then it takes time to build up again.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 01, 2005, 09:01:50 pm
The key I think is to get as many non-leased game in as you can so you are getting all the money from them.  You will need to lease some to get the newer tiltles, or finance them, but cutting out as many middle-men as possible would be a big help.

Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 09:07:18 pm
Well I just got back...wasn't QUITE a wasted trip, as I got to peer in the window.  They were CLOSED.  Dammit!

It's fairly spacious, decent number of games, I *think* I saw a pool table.  Couple driving games, I know I saw Primal Instinct sideart (whether or not the game was PI I can't say) and one of those commercial multi-games in the front.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 01, 2005, 09:09:00 pm
Sounds promising. Does the part of town it's in look like it could be busy?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 09:27:30 pm
It's hard to say.  There has been some development recently.  Some really nice shops have moved in.  Quite a change from the last time I went looking down there.  Nothing but empty store fronts, and I think a dollar store.   ::)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Crazy Cooter on February 01, 2005, 09:50:25 pm
What kind of shops?  The reason you only see arcades in strip malls anymore is because of the need for foot traffic.  Without foot traffic, you become a place to drop off the kids rather than spend time with the kids.  That's why places like Chuck E Cheese came about.  If there's a pool table, get rid of it.  That space can be better utilized.  If it does have some *nice* shops around, you might end up babysitting rich kids.  That's better than babysitting poor kids as far as you'd be concerned.  I'd know too, I spent a TON of time hanging at arcades wishing I was playing.

Anyhow, talk with the guy and see if the numbers work out.  Figure in minimum wage + $1.50 an hour to get a semi-responsible kid to run the joint, and don't forget repair $$ if the machines are owned.  If the numbers look good, go for it.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 01, 2005, 09:58:56 pm
A lot of the shops (80%) are still empty, but it appears there is work being done inside them.  That's a good sign.

The shops that are there include a new candy store, a hobby shop, a wedding shop, come coffee shops (several, actually) and some other shops that I didn't pay attention to at the time.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: danny_galaga on February 01, 2005, 10:14:58 pm
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: rockhopper on February 01, 2005, 10:41:30 pm
Quote
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: DrewKaree on February 02, 2005, 01:13:22 am
It's hard to say.  There has been some development recently.  Some really nice shops have moved in.  Quite a change from the last time I went looking down there.  Nothing but empty store fronts, and I think a dollar store.   ::)

more importantly (and to check if 1hooked's "dude, you sold out" is starting yet) did you check out the dumpsters while you were around there?

Any good scores?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 02, 2005, 07:04:33 am
When I'm rooting (in the Australian sense) I'd better be rooting for myself, or for her pleasure of course  ;) . Peale's the kind of guy I can visualize rooting in a dumpster at the back of an arcade  :o

In American terms, I'm definetly rooting for ya Peale! Go Peale! It's yo birthday! Etc.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 02, 2005, 08:00:05 am
more importantly (and to check if 1hooked's "dude, you sold out" is starting yet) did you check out the dumpsters while you were around there?

I always check out a couple while I'm there - a national chain office store, and a former electronics supplier, than now does more cell phones than electronics now.

Nada.

It's for the best, really, I've got more schwag than I can deal with.  I've sold very little here (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,29069.0.html), so it's probably about time I offloaded it on eBay.  Er...make that 'BidVille' with the eBay boycott.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 02, 2005, 08:26:20 am
It's for the best, really, I've got more schwag than I can deal with.  I've sold very little here (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,29069.0.html), so it's probably about time I offloaded it on eBay.  Er...make that 'BidVille' with the eBay boycott.

You should try CraigsList (http://boston.craigslist.org/) first.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 02, 2005, 08:30:57 am
I've thought about it, but the nearest list to me is either Boston or Hartford.  Oh, Albany, forgot they recently added that.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Goz on February 02, 2005, 09:28:47 am
Aparently, he does quite a lot of business in the area.  And he doesn't sound too old.  If what I've been reading is correct, his *mom* is only 47!

Try to hold off on the..."Hey dude, yer Mom is hot" comment until the SECOND meeting...




Hahaha Got MILF?

 ;D

Good Luck Peale!

Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: iwillfearnoevil on February 02, 2005, 11:54:07 am
I've thought about it, but the nearest list to me is either Boston or Hartford.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 03, 2005, 01:24:33 pm
So Peale, any word on a meeting with the owner yet?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 03, 2005, 02:32:18 pm
No, not yet.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: GGKoul on February 03, 2005, 02:38:14 pm
Quote
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 03, 2005, 03:13:27 pm
What a bunch of dags!
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 03, 2005, 10:40:40 pm
I have spoken with one of the two people that put this whole thing together at length.  There's Nick, the guy referenced in the newspaper article, and Craig, the guy that owns the building, and partner with Nick with the arcade.  I spoke to Craig.

First: the media has put a slant on the story that makes it sound a little too-good-to-be-true.  Here's some details.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask, as likely I'll forget something.

1) It's not *free.*  It's a lease, for one year, of $800 a month.  You cover electricity, heat, Internet, business insurance, advertising and all other expenditures.  They have, however, taken 90% of the start-up costs and hard work out of their own pockets.  You get the benefits of that hard work, and the money that has been put into the project thus far.

2) The area is extremely high-traffic, and is well situated for an arcade.  The coffee shop next door is going to be turned into a bar, but a high-class establishment, not a rowdy place.  It's within two miles of five schools.  The town common is the next street over, and during the summer will have massive traffic from the weeklong fair, not to mention the nearby park, rec center and it's right along the road to a major shopping district.

3) It's currently approx. 1800 square feet.  In about a month they're going to gut the entire building to renovate it, and in doing so will add approx. 200 more square feet to the arcade.   It will have to be shut down for 2-3 weeks during this time.  But when it's completed it will be practically brand new.

4) Here's the big part: the arcade is getting traffic - decent traffic too.  But it needs more exposure.  For the new owner to get the business to the 'break-even' point - ie the point where the money coming in takes care of the *business* expenditures (note: no salary to owner) it will likely take eight months to a year.  The part where it makes enough money to actually support the family could take longer.  So in order to make this work, I'd need enough money to cover the business expenditures for a *minimum* of six months, PLUS I still have to pay rent, eat, and clothe my family.

He called me @ 6:30 pm, and when we got off the phone I realized that 2 1/2 hours had gone by.   :o  We talked about the business, his interests, our family lives.  He seems to be a genuinely nice guy, who wants to do a good thing for the community.  So even if this doesn't pan out (which it won't, unless I can somehow come up with about $20,000) I've made a valuable business contact.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: mairsil on February 03, 2005, 11:16:54 pm
Sue the newspaper for fraud; that should more than make up the $20,000. ;)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 03, 2005, 11:22:05 pm
Sue the newspaper for fraud; that should more than make up the $20,000. ;)

They didn't lie; more like they stretched the truth.

Besides, it wouldn't be *my* place to sue the paper(s).  It would be the owners.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 03, 2005, 11:25:23 pm
Ok,

I am going to pm you with some stuff offline, but I have a few questions worthy of group discussion;

1. Did he give you the financials?
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: mairsil on February 03, 2005, 11:29:14 pm
Building on the last post, if you are seriously considering this, you may want to have provisions in the lease for term extensions, renewals or at least the right of first refusal. The last thing that you want is to have the place doing great, because of your effort, at the end of the lease only to have it taken over by someone else.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 03, 2005, 11:32:07 pm
Sue the newspaper for fraud; that should more than make up the $20,000. ;)

The only thing the papaer MAY have gotten wrong (or they gave the wrong info) is whether or not the biz is turning a profit.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 03, 2005, 11:36:04 pm
1. Did he give you the financials?  Does the (6 week old) business support itself today or are they still floating part of the monthly costs?  Is it making enough to cover all costs today?

No *specifics*, no, but a very good idea of what it's currently pulling in.  Since the guy that owns the building, and the guy that started the arcade are partners in this venture, those costs are either being met, or almost being met.  There might be a small loss.  Since they're partners, the owner (Craig) isn't charging rent.

Quote
2. Did you get into that much detail?  Such as what are the current costs and income?  Do they have someone working the arcade or are they watching the shop currently?

It's been open on and off for the last six weeks, due to comitments elsewhere.  Nick's been opening the place up at night (from about 3-8/9) sometimes three days a week, sometimes four.

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3. The renovation is a killer.  Would they waive the rent during that time?  I would not even think of jumping into something like that until the renovations are complete as that will pretty much kill the biz for the duration. 

That's a good question, and one I didn't  think to bring up.  Since the renovation will be taking place quite soon, it's more than possible that the new owner will take over after it's done.

Quote
4. You say you would need to cover the expenditures for 6mo which makes it sound like the biz is NOT turning even a $1 profit per/mo. 

Most businesses don't start turning a profit until they're well established.  As this has just gotten off the ground six weeks ago, they've got a ways to go.

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5. If it IS covering the total cost of operation including a goober to run the counter, then it may be worthwhile as you can work a second gig until you can get it turning a better profit.  This also depends on your contratual obligations - The lease would be one of them, you would want to figure out what, if the biz closed tommorow, wouldyou have to keep paying and for how long?

The lease is for a year; so if the business fails, yes it would have to be paid.  However; the space may be sublet.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 03, 2005, 11:40:54 pm
...if you are able to get some machines in there that you own, you will presumably double the take (assumming a 50-50 split onthe rentals) for each machine you bring in.  Then you roll you online stuff into the business for a little more $$, then the multitude of other ideas you have....

We spoke about this very topic, thanks for bringing it up.

It's actually in my best interests to have *most* of the machines the operator's.  Here's why: I move more machines of my own in, the operator isn't making money.  He then moves his machines out, leaving me with *squat*.  Down the road, if successful enough, this may not be a problem (just move more machines in)

As for the online gaming, the building houses a T1 line.  Can you say 'very low lag?'
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 03, 2005, 11:50:38 pm
It may be then that the biz IS turning a profit in that since they are not applying the rent to the cost of operations yet.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 03, 2005, 11:56:16 pm

Here's why: I move more machines of my own in, the operator isn't making money.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 03, 2005, 11:57:43 pm
Oh yea, see if they have a high dropout rate intown...may add to daytime sales... :)
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 04, 2005, 12:10:40 am
It may be then that the biz IS turning a profit in that since they are not applying the rent to the cost of operations yet.  The $800 adds a pretty big nut.

It may be profiting to *them* as of this second, since they're partners and there is no rent involved.

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I would press ahead, and get the financials.  See exactly what the costs are.  Check out ALL the contracts (insurance, games, internet, etc.)  Can you shave those costs, do you need internet for example?  Can you replace the phone lines with a cell line and use the same line for your own home phone?  Can you get cheaper insurance? 

You always want to estimate high when getting expenditures.  Here's the general breakdown:

$800 - rent
$80 - property tax
$50 - insurance
$250 - electricity
$60 - telephone
$60 - T1 line
$300 - oil (heat) but only during the cold months

and I'm sure I'm forgetting something in there.

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4. You say you would need to cover the expenditures for 6mo which makes it sound like the biz is NOT turning even a $1 profit per/mo. 

Most businesses don't start turning a profit until they're well established.  As this has just gotten off the ground six weeks ago, they've got a ways to go.

- This may have been the most misleading thing in the article, note it is to THIER benefit to have that statement in the article as it generates more interest in the town, that is a pretty big jump for a reported to make all on his/her own: 

 "Though he declined to open up his books, Koloski said Jester's Court already is turning a profit. With his own finances taken care of and a profitable system in place, Koloski said it's time to bring in a new owner and move on."

I would press him on this and find out EXACTLY what they meant.  It is a warning flag if it is not true.

They're generally disappointed with the way the article turned out.  Some things have been stretched, some things have been completely omitted.  Like the partner (Craig) isn't even MENTIONED in the article, yet there is a quote in the article that is his (I don't remember what one.)

The 'turning a profit' line in the article is terribly misleading as well.  It implys that someone will just move in and already be raking in cash, hand over fist.  Craig explained that's simply not the case. 

In truth, 'turning a profit' in the business sense means that the business is self sufficeint.  In the case of Nick, the reporter asked if he'd recouped his costs, and Nick replied yes, he had.  Of course he had!  There was a bare minimum of costs to *him* to begin with (about $500!  The major costs so far have been to Craig, somewhere around $6,000.  I don't think that's all *arcade* related, as the entire building is a project.

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It's been open on and off for the last six weeks, due to comitments elsewhere.  Don's been opening the place up at night (from about 3-8/9) sometimes three days a week, sometimes four.

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Those probably are the best hours, unless you can get in on that bar traffic.  Even if they don't "poke a hole" you should get runoff after hours.

You might consider early day-time (especially weekends) having catered parties ala Chuck E Cheeze to make use of the space during the day.

Actually, there's a non-competion clause in the lease regarding food, as to not compete with the place next door (which is owned by Nick).  Some food is okay, ie chips, candy, soft drinks, but prepared foods - hamburgers, frys, is not.

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BTW: Who the heck is Don?

I keep calling him that in my head.  I meant Nick.  Sorry!


Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 04, 2005, 12:14:04 am
All right, to bed now.  We'll continue this discussion tomorrow sometime.  Oh, it's after midnight, then later today.  :D
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: mairsil on February 04, 2005, 12:17:09 am
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Those probably are the best hours, unless you can get in on that bar traffic.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RetroJames on February 04, 2005, 12:25:40 am
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Those probably are the best hours, unless you can get in on that bar traffic.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 04, 2005, 08:49:00 am
Me too.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: RayB on February 04, 2005, 10:03:25 am
Sounds less and less appealing Peale. Too risky. You and I both know arcades have gone downhill for years. Why would this one succeed?

Plus if the coffee shop is being replaced by a bar, you'll have people petitioning the city to restrict kids from your arcade (too close to alcohol) and there even might already be by-laws regarding age restrictions for kids. In my experience, the smaller the city, the more they seem to have silly by-laws against arcades (can't have them if they are near schools; or can't have them let kids under 16 in, etc, etc).

Then there's costs of insurance, alarm/security. You won't want to be the manager all the time, so figure in the cost of a manager/change person half the time at minimum wage or higher (higher the better, otherwise theft will be a high possibility). At $6 an hour, someone working 40 hours will cost you $980 a month.

I say forget it! The hobby you LOVE will become the job you HATE! ;-D

~Ray B.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: iwillfearnoevil on February 04, 2005, 11:54:10 am
1) They have, however, taken 90% of the start-up costs and hard work out of their own pockets

i don't take this much as a value add to you. as these downtowns attempt to revitalize, the landlords are renovating all the buildings - even getting government money to help. if they find business willing to move in while renovating, they'll fix it up to their specifications anyways. so much of that, they'll have to do for any business. also there is so much free advertising from newspapers and local tv stations for new businesses, that costs nothing to them. i am sure they generally want downtown to suceed, but i'm sure a lot of property is owned and these businesses are just tools to get more businesses interested. not a bad idea on their part, but nothing a startup couldn't do. i'm sure they made phone calls to find an operator and to an internet service provider, but who can't?

lastly if they are looking to sell, they are figuring the $800 rent they receive from you will be more than the profit they will receive from the arcade. good luck crunching the numbers. perhaps the number of quarters to cover all the expenses plus a real good profit for you is obtainable.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: JoyMonkey on February 04, 2005, 12:15:57 pm
You'd probably be eligible for some kind of a loan from the Claremont Development Authority (http://www.claremontnh.com/business-opportunities/claremont-development-authority.asp) to give you a helping hand until business is booming.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Luxury on February 04, 2005, 01:11:47 pm
Just an idea-
If the coffee shop isn't closing do to lack of business and turing into a bar - then sell coffee at the arcade.  Go a bit more upscale with Coffeshop/Arcade.  You then have 2 areas for profit, and one will hopefully balance the other out if one isn't performing as well as expected.  Load the space up with cocktail machines if possible.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: pointdablame on February 04, 2005, 01:22:40 pm
Just an idea-
If the coffee shop isn't closing do to lack of business and turing into a bar - then sell coffee at the arcade.  Go a bit more upscale with Coffeshop/Arcade.  You then have 2 areas for profit, and one will hopefully balance the other out if one isn't performing as well as expected.  Load the space up with cocktail machines if possible.

Why would he load the place up with cocktail machines if they take more floor space than uprights?   And you certainly don't want people with hot coffee using your cocktail machines as coffee tables.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 04, 2005, 01:24:01 pm
They're still selling coffee.  Besides, it's in the lease to not sell it.

Giving it away, however...
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Gunstar Hero on February 04, 2005, 01:56:18 pm
You know, I'd still take this opportunity and run with it... I've been dying for another chance to have my own business since my game store crashed and burned...  :-\

A $20000 business loan wouldn't be all that hard to get, and when the place is open full time (I'd say 2pm to 10pm sunday to thursday, 10am to 12pm on friday/saturday) it's income will go up. Plus once summer hits, it's going to be quite a bit busier, with kids out of school, expanded summer hours, ect.

With a T1 line in the building and some extra space/computers maybe even set up a little online gaming center in the back with hourly rates... I know those places have popped up all over the place around where I live.

Finally, set up a counter where customers can buy and sell used console games . Arcades can't compete with the home market, they have to embrace it, and you'll be shocked when kids trade in old games for tokens. Seems silly, I know, but I'm KNOW that it will work! I work for one of the big video game chains now, and sometimes half of our business is trade ins. Almost every day in the summer I see kids trade in a couple old games and run down the street to play Initial D or The Fast and the Furious and the local bowling alley/arcade.

Right there your business embraces all forms of gaming... Arcade, console and PC. Contests, tournaments... make it the ultimate destination after school.

Damn. That would be cool.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: SirPeale on February 04, 2005, 01:58:24 pm
Yeah, it would.  But I don't think I'm cut out for this.  If I had savings, I would probably risk it, but you have to pay back a loan.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: ChadTower on February 04, 2005, 01:58:50 pm
Arcades can't compete with the home market, they have to embrace it, and you'll be shocked when kids trade in old games for tokens. Seems silly, I know, but I'm KNOW that it will work! I work for one of the big video game chains now, and sometimes half of our business is trade ins. Almost every day in the summer I see kids trade in a couple old games and run down the street to play Initial D or The Fast and the Furious and the local bowling alley/arcade.

---gosh-darn--- that's a good idea.  I mean a GOOD, practical idea that would work very well.
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Gunstar Hero on February 04, 2005, 02:00:50 pm
Yeah, I think that's the secret to success right there.

So if it works, I want my cut Peale! YOU HEAR ME?! I WANT MY CUT!!!


 ;D
Title: Re: For Free: Your Own Arcade - Not Kidding
Post by: Gunstar Hero on February 04, 2005, 02:02:25 pm
Oh. Well, disregard that last message then.  :-\