Next week my arcade makes its start

Shaggy March 15, 2008 21

I got some great news today that I will be signing the lease on the store lot where I will be placing my arcade sometime next week, possibly Monday or Tuesday. Once that happens expect frequent updates (with pictures) on this site about the progress I’ll be making in remodeling the place to fit my taste. Fortunately the store has no walls that I will need to take down but I will need to repaint the ceiling and walls and change the carpet out. A lot of people would prefer black-light carpet but that is rather expensive so I may just go with something dark. I also am going to make use of this really cool neon wire/angel hair that I found online a few days ago and I have a few ideas to employ that into my design. I also will need to build a small front desk and add some extra electrical outlets. It will take a little bit of work but it’s really nothing major compared to what it could be. Then I need to begin working with the city so everything can be inspected and approved so I can get a business license.

For those interested, it will be located in West Valley City, Utah at around 3500 South and 5600 West (I’ll be getting the exact address up shortly) which if you ever drop by Salt Lake it’s not hard to get to from the airport. 🙂 I’ll also be revealing the name once I get the website up which should be soon. I also will be taping as much as I can about the place and putting those videos up on youtube. I want to create a strong web presence, something which a vast majority of arcades lack.

As for some of the games I’ll have – naturally I’ll have the games which I already own there including: Asteroids Deluxe, Zaxxon, Phoenix, Shinobi, Superman (I am thinking of switching this out with Balloon and Balloon, a Bomberman clone) 1942, Championship Baseball (I am not sure what to do with this one – the cabinet’s in bad condition, the monitor has burn-in, the thing doesn’t turn on and I don’t care for the game), a NeoGeo cabinet which I will be swapping a single cart board for a four-slot board with King Of Fighters ’98, World Heroes 2, Crossed Swords and Blazing Star, Tetris (it’s a hellcade – Tetris in an Atari Arabian cab), a Warlords Cocktail cabinet and Crystal Castles. I also will have The Act setup although I still need a cabinet for it (I have considered putting it into Championship Baseball but the cabinet is in such bad condition that I don’t think that would work out well). As for new games I will be talking with my local distributor about that next week – it’s likely I’ll have NASCAR, America’s Army or Big Buck Hunter (maybe even Safari), Silver Strike Bowling 2009, a pinball or two and perhaps Slambots if I have enough left over. There are many more games I’d love to have but I only will have $25,000 to spend on games so I have to make it work on a shoestring budget and as you all know, they don’t make it easy for small owners to splurge on titles since everything is expensive. Also I am going to have a small network of gaming PCs connected to each other with networkable and single player games. We’ll even have a number of classic DOS games to play!

[Discuss on the Forum]


  1. editor March 15, 2008 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Great news – good luck.

  2. Geo March 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm - Reply


    what about STFIV…?

  3. Bill March 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Just a word of advice, save your money and pass on American Army. We have several out on route, and it performs poorly. A great investment is going to be the new Raw Thrills KITS that update old Cruisn Worlds, Off Road Challenge, etc to Tokyo Drift for around 2000.00 per kit. Getting released soon.

  4. Paul March 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Congrats! Bring on the videos and updates! We’re all rooting for you.

    But I have to say, please don’t get America’s Army. I love gun games but despise the shooting gallery ones. Spend your money on one that allows us to pop zombies or aliens.

  5. Paul March 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Oh, and don’t write “It’s”. It’s “its,” if you know what I mean.

  6. Shaggy March 16, 2008 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks guys, I can hardly wait for tomorrow!

    Interesting to hear about America’s Army. I don’t care for it much myself – it does seems to get old fast, it looks terrible and what not but I had heard that it was a “great” game to get since it was cheap. Hearing that it does poorly is a concern as I hadn’t heard how well it does (or doesn’t) do in the market.

    I’ll see about BBH Pro, BBSafari or Aliens Extermination. I also do plan on getting SFIV when it comes out – we’ll hold a celebration/competition of sorts which should be fun. We’re the only arcade for five miles in the area and the two closest arcades rarely get brand new games in so we’ll make the most of it. 😉 If I had the capital, I’d be getting several other games but all I could get was a $25k for arcades and about $7000 for the PCs.

    And I updated the post, fixed the its (thanks for pointing that out) and added on a mention of the gaming PCs which I almost forgot about.

  7. editor March 16, 2008 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Have you thought of offering your site up as a test facility – great way to get free regular new machines?

    I am a little bit skeptical about the claim on the DRIFT kit. We have to remember that Betson is sitting on a warehouse full of this game, and I know they are keen to get rid of them.

    It would be great to have a impartial source of revenue numbers – but now that the distributors are also dabbling in operation (against the association charter) it is impossible to get good information.

    As you will know with The Act, those plans were scuppered due to dubious activities by their chosen distributor – you will not be very popular if you prove the game can earn in amusement!

  8. Shaggy March 17, 2008 at 1:52 am - Reply

    I have thought about that but I’m not sure how to go about becoming a test facility. I think Utah is a good place to have a test set up – we have a large number of arcades here per capita.

    I can handle not being popular if The Act does well – it’s likely I’m going to be ruffling some feathers for a long time if all of my plans come to pass but I do it for good 😉

  9. Bill March 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    It is true about the drift kit! We are very well connected within the industry. Have already preordered 18 drift kits last week. The official release announcement just has not been made yet.
    For your arcade, avoid Race TV. first units went out to route two weeks ago, not great. However, Primeval Hunt looks to earn okay thus far.

  10. Shaggy March 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm - Reply


    Any idea how much a standard Primeval Hunt costs? I can’t afford the DX version.

    Also does anyone know of any other source for importing 2Spicy to the States than Coinopexpress? I just want to see if there is another option. I won’t be getting 2Spicy right away but if I do well over the next few months and an able to pay of some of my SBA loan (it’s a rotating line of credit that they can increase as long as my credit is good) I am thinking about it.

    Interesting to hear about the Drift kit. I assume you’d just need an older racing cabinet for that to work?

  11. editor March 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Dear Shaggy,

    The whole Sega Amusement USA division has just been turned upside down by management changes to be announced that I am unable to reveal till the end of the week (unless some one lets me?)

    That said, the ability to get your hands on Sega kit will become a lot easier from Friday onwards. If you are at ASI hunt me down (you have my email and phone) and I will introduce you to some of the new guys. I think we can find you a 2Spicy (coinexpress?)

    I am really having trouble about the DRIFT news – I was promised on a stack of bibles that Betson would not be doing a KIT – that was why they forced all of their buyers not to go with NASCAR. Now we see a kit and still no official news on revenue earning of the game!!!

    PS. what happened to the Sega RaceTV story I passed on?

    I just hope this is not a excuse for old Midway cabinet owners to re-populate and pretend they are buying new kit! A crapped out cabinet running DRIFT is still a crapped out cabinet.

    Can I suggest that maybe we need to run a machine opinion board / subject, but you will have to quote your affiliations before you can comment on ‘great’ earners!

  12. Bill March 18, 2008 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Shaggy: A Primeval Hunt standard is still a big game, sporting a 56″ DLP monitor. Based on distrbutor cost, I would say you could expect to pay over 15,000.00 at your local distributor for the standard. It’s a heavy machine, and shipping to the distributor is not cheap since it arrives on a long 3 pallet setup.

    Editor: (I asume Kevin Williams?) Yes, the Tokyo Drift kit is designed to be easily installed in the previous Jarvis games, Cruis’n USA, World, Off Road Challenge, California Speed, etc. Remember, the Cruis’n Exotica kits for these cabinets were a great option for those B locations that cannot provide decent R.O.I for the dedicated cabinet. Yes, these cabinets are all worn and tired. That is why a good operator will take the time and investment to refurbish these cabinets, even with new monitors and looking new when they hit the routes. Just throwing the kits in a cabinet is not going to be enough, for sure!

  13. editor March 18, 2008 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Hi Bill – yes it is Kevin, sorry do I know you?

    I am accused some times of only thinking of A-class facilities and forgetting there are B- and event C-class sites. My feeling after DRIFT is that I would like to see new NASCAR flatscreen cabinets dropped into venues, rather than trying to squeeze that last bit of blood out of the stone of a Cruis’n cab. I know you propose that they are updated if they get a new kit, but to be honest the C-class site will drop the kit, and not even de-goss the shadows.

    There is no business out there that would hope to still get the same ROI out of a machine that is over ten years old, in the public sector. How many more times do a operator want to see these machines pay for their mistress! I have to question (and will do in a coming Stinger) do we have the right operators for the market we can attract?

    I have taken a leaf out of the new Taito / Square methodology that ‘old style arcade is dead’ – long live new amusement. We have to invest in new rather than make do! I am sick of the old school operator that dose not want to invest, and is coming up with more and more reasons not to buy. I heard one operator that was asking for a ROI that could never exist unless the machine was played constantly from sun up to sun down!

    On Primeval Hunt – the Standard machine is what Shaggy is talking about – a nice size for his size of venue (think standard HoTD).

  14. Shaggy March 18, 2008 at 1:16 am - Reply


    I wish I was going to ASI – I had planned on it but unfortunately I got hit with some circumstances that make it very difficult to make it at this point – between having to replace an oxygen sensor in my car and re-register the car with the state and my wife needing emergency oral surgery to get an infection removed along with getting two of here wisdom teeth pulled I’ve been left financially drained just in time for ASI. I guess it’s Murphy’s Law in practice here…

    On the Race TV story, are you talking about this one that I published?

    Or something else? IF so LMK and I’ll get it up, sorry about that.

    As for Sega USA, that is interesting news – if I could get my hands on a 2Spicy machine or kit, that would be great, it’s the kind of unique game I’d like to have.


    I thought that Sega was going to have a Standard 29″ and a Deluxe 56″ cab for Primeval Hunt but that might have been in other markets as I have noticed that no distributors have placed the 29″ up. That’s too bad really – while I would love to get a big deluxe game for my arcade, if I bought one Primeval Hunt that would leave me with little else. Of course getting two NASCAR’s will also leave me with little else…

  15. Bill March 18, 2008 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Shaggy, yes, Sega has bagged the smaller 29″ cabinet here, at least for now. Hope that will change. I know, it is a expensive piece, but a good draw them in game.

    Kevin, although we have not met, I have been a TSR subscriber for many years now and always enjoy your articles.
    We are our areas most progressive operator, holding the keys to the areas hottest spots. We have bought oodles of Nascar flat screens, dedicated Drifts, Super bikes, as well as all the latest big games from all the manufacturers. Seems everyone else has given up with these new big pieces in our area the last 5 years now. We seem to be the only one in our state that ends up with all this stuff. What I am saying, I cannot agree more that we need these new things to sustain interest, and we support that in a big way in our area. We are now pretty well used the 3 year average ROI in even our best locations.
    But this has left us a hole in finding ROI in a new title to fit the average run of the mill pizza parlour type spot. We have purchased, over the last two years, about 20 7000.00 plus games for these B spots. Average gross is around 85.00 per week. Sadly, these spots cannot support the newest toys these days. These are the spots that need a cost effective solution to at least get them something different, and undo the log jam that the rotation schedule seems to be stuck in. But at least we are still trying to stay current in these lesser earning locations, while others stopped buying them new equipment years ago.

  16. editor March 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much for your kind words – and sage observations.
    Just on the Stinger, we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year and I would like to thank subscribers such as yourself that has made us the leading e-newsletter for the trade and beyond (and last longer than our critics).
    Regarding your venue, I am working on a regular venue report for the Stinger – we are following Shaggy’s new venue, and would love to do a Q&A with a established venue with views. Drop me a email Bill and I will throw you some questions if interested?

    I wish you and especially your wife well – know what a ‘pain’ mouth surgery can be, and wish her a speedy recovery and limited discomfort.
    On ASI, shame you are not coming – people are pulling out like flies (attendees not exhibitors), mainly due to the news of major industry shake-up, and due to the international financial condition at the moment. I am very positive on what we will see however (quick history lesson – arcade likes financial down turns – people / families need to get out and relax).

    Hey Shaggy – if I can get a good inter-link at the hotel I will send you images from the show floor for you to post, and a brief overview – will not be able to go into full detail as I am covering the show for Intergame and Stinger and they will get itchy if I spill too many beans early 🙂

  17. editor March 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    No Shaggy, not more on RaceTV than what you ran – I have rumors that the game is a major disappointment, but to be honest with all the Sega news at the moment my sources can not be trusted.

    I have a private list of games I wish I could test at a good foot traffic venue just to see if they were poor performers or if they were killed due to politics – 2Spicy is at the top of the list (I know Sega US hated the game because of the high price – just as Namco hates Tekken 6!)

    PS. funny still no reply to me email, looks like I will be thrown off the Namco booth at ASI!

  18. Shaggy March 19, 2008 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Thanks editor. She’s starting to feel better now that it’s been a week but of course my bank account will stay drained for the time being. If I had the business cash to spare I could make it and write it off as a business trip but as you know I’ve got to spare every penny. Although I am talking to my credit union about getting my credit limit increased to 20k so I have more wiggle room for everything and maybe in that case, if it happened in time I’d be able to make it. But at the moment it looks like it won’t be so, which is really disappointing for me as I was really excited about the possibility of going.

    I have a feeling that politics killed 2Spicy as well – from everything I have gathered about the game, I do not see how it could have done that bad in the US considering how popular light-guns remain on the scene and at the twists 2Spicy brings to the genre. Of course at the same time Sega(well most arcade developers) has done nothing to really get the word out about their new games and are just hoping for people to notice games like RaceTV at the arcade. I don’t think that such is the best way to market games yet it’s the way the industry keeps doing it.

    I look forward to your ASI coverage, I do understand your other commitments of course.

  19. Sean March 20, 2008 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Should spread the word to Utah Arcade Gamers:

  20. Shaggy March 20, 2008 at 1:41 am - Reply


    Thanks for those links, as I get closer to opening I will definently spread the word there. It’s cool to see a group like this in Utah – I’ll just need a few more fighters to put in. I am looking at one interesting fighter that I’ll be talking about here shortly on the site that you guys might be interested in called Dark Presence.

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