Some location news today. I’m not sure why but lately there has been a constant “good news/bad news” thing going on every time we have something to report. Today is no exception to that and this time I’ll start with the bad news first followed up by the good news. Hopefully quick views won’t just focus on the bad news of the post.
First, Toby Nakhorn sent a message about the Goodge Street Casino Arcade in London, UK, which had a great collection of arcade games there. “Looks like Goodge Street will be shutting up in the next few months. Machines are already being taken away and it beginning to look empty downstairs.”
I believe that this is the same arcade that had Dariusburst Another Chronicle on test a while back. They had a lot of hardcore games there so this is certainly sad news. If the situation changes we’ll mention it.
Next in the realm of bad news, although not as severe is a temporary closure. The Gemini Arcade Palace in Las Vegas, NV has announced that they plan on closing their current location on April 22nd when their lease at the location is up. It is typical that when you open up a location, landlords want you to sign up for a certain amount of time. I remember when I was looking at different locations for my own place there was one that wanted me to do a 10 year lease. No, that wasn’t happening. Anyways, while Gemini will close in April, they do not plan on giving up. According to the post on Facebook : “Please know that Gemini will be back sometime in the future – bigger and better – though as of now we have not decided on a location or timeframe.” Between now and April there is time for that so who knows, perhaps by the closing they already will be getting the new place ready which will be great news for music game fans as that is the primary focus of Gemini. Some thoughts on Gemini by Phil Arrington, who shared the news and is also an avid rhythm gamer himself:
“My opinion, good on her that she got the option of closing down an arcade for the time being and relocating it. I talked to Julie about arcade politics whenever I see her and one of many conversation I had with her is the lease of her arcade. I remember her telling me that she had a 3 year lease back in 2010…..which was ok in my view (a lot of owners basically force people to lease a place for that long). But I had a feeling she would moving it after it was up. In those 3 years, she got her feet wet and got an idea of what she can do and how the business of a Bemani dominate arcade operates.
In the three years she’s been at the current location, Vegas has change. A lot of business have come and gone in those years. On top of that, I believe its probably cheaper now to get a lease than it was back then since Vegas is still struggling to get itself out of a hole. This means there’s more opportunity for her to find a better location. Even a location by the strip might be possible. She also can get a space that’s bigger than the current one she has now.“
For a look at Gemini as it is now, check out this video shot by Arcade Hunters:
Now to the side of good news. For a long time, FunSpot in New Hampshire has been able to call themselves the largest video arcade in the world. I’m not exactly sure how long they could proclaim that but as long as I’ve really been paying attention to locations like I do now, they have been able to say that. With 374 games to play, customers have no shortage of reasons to return, if classic gaming is your thing. Well today they lost that title to Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL when G-LOC was added as the 375th game to the Galloping Ghost Arcade floor. Last year GGA had announced that they had plans on taking that crown from FunSpot and after some persistence, take it they did. Of course one downside to this, just for the operators is that making sure all of the games are running in perfect condition is an undertaking that won’t end but the results will certainly be worth it for those who make the trip.
Also, Arcade UFO, the Japanese game center style arcade in Austin,TX will be re-opening soon. They closed in December to renovate the space. The remodel has taken some time but from the sounds of it on Twitter there is a possibility they could re-open this week with a whole new look .
On top of that I have seen that Arcade Odyssey in Miami has continued to refresh their line-up, recently adding a Raiden IV in place of Ikaruga. They are also going to hold a Doctor Who Cosplay night on March 29th to celebrate the return of the latest season of the British TV show. For my own arcade, The Game Grid Arcade I am getting OutRun2 Twin and a Centipede/Millipede/Missile Command machine in soon, hopefully this week; I am also starting to think about what to do to celebrate our 5th year in operation this June. I’m sure that many other arcades out there are working on ways to draw players in so if you have an arcade local to you, don’t forget to support them!