It’s time for another arcade location round-up, as I have scoured the web for news of new venues opening their doors to provide amusement entertainments to enjoy. Almost all of these locations have opened their doors already, but I only came across the news recently. If you know of a new arcade opening up out there, be sure to let us know!
Spare Time Entertainment (Greenville, SC)
This one opened up in April, but I missed the news until now. This new FEC is the 17th location for Spare Time Entertainment, bringing 52,000 sq. ft. of amusement to Greenville. They have bowling, escape rooms, laser tag and food; for the arcade, there is no list of games, but looking at the website, you can see that it is a typical modern FEC mix (lots of redemption/videmption, some video only).
Arcadia Retro Arcade & Pinball Emporia (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Back in the middle of June, Christchurch finally got their first arcade/bar location to call their own. Arcadia Retro Arcade & Pinball Emporia does offer a few things that you don’t see at every arcade/bar, including live music and frequent tournaments. Their airsoft machine gun alley is one item that certainly stands out. The game line-up includes: Defender, Donkey Kong, Frankenstein pin, Galaga, Gyruss, Pac-Man, Raiden, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, The Addams Family pin, Tron Legacy pin, Twilight Zone pin, and more. You can check out their website here.
Plaza Lanes (Crafordsville, IN)
Also in June was the grand re-opening of Plaza Lanes at the Crawfordsville Shopping Center. The remodel involved the construction of a new 3,000 sq. ft. laser tag arena, while the 1,500 sq. ft. arcade got a “redesign.” I also don’t see a games list, but it sounds like it is redemption heavy as they opened up a “new redemption counter.” The official page for this location is here, but if you want to read a few details on the remodel, click here.
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel (Murphy, NC)
Also enjoying a recent opening was a location belonging to Harrah’s. Being a casino & hotel, it offers a lot of space and a variety of activities, the arcade itself being 2,200 sq. ft. in size. I haven’t found any details on what games are there, but one can assume new stuff will be found there. This one opened on July 18th; you can read the press release about it here.
New Scene75 Headed To Pittsburgh, PA & Columbus, OH
Here’s a story I missed from way back in March…but as far as I can tell, the two locations haven’t opened their doors yet, so we’re all good. Scene75 is a location that we’ve mentioned on the site before; they were one of the few locations to get their hands on some of Simuline’s interactive theaters that we had been discussing some years ago. They still have those systems according to the website, and have added additional amusements such as VR, mini-golf, mini-bowling, inflatables, laser tag, laser mazes, console gaming rooms and more. Expect the arcades to be stocked with all of the latest video and redemption titles when these location open their doors “soon.”
Prince Arcades Opening In Bolingbrook, IL “Winter 2018”
I’ve followed Prince Arcades on Facebook for some time, watching their collections of retro games as they procure them for locations like the Galloping Ghost Arcade and others. I bought a Rampage off of them a while back; they also have reproduced old cabinets so that operators or collectors can refresh a game whose cabinet may have seen better days. Now, Prince Arcades is moving beyond the role of a distributor and getting into site operations with their recently announced Prince Arcades location. It sounds like it will be similar to Galloping Ghost, offering a variety of classic & rare arcade cabinets under one roof. Some of the games you’ll likely find there: Frogger, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Intruder, Mortal Kombat 1 & 3 (Ultimate) Pac-Man, Rampage World Tour, Space Zap, TRON and many more. Check them out on Facebook here.
Santikos Entertainment Opening San Antonio, TX FEC In 2019
Here’s one that is still a little ways off. Santikos Entertainment is an chain of movie theaters in Texas and in 2019 they are going to go all out on an 87,000 sq. ft. FEC. This will include arcade entertainments on top of the bowling, movies and food, but we’ll have to wait to find out more.
Update on my situation – Going To Have Move (UT)
I’ve mentioned previously that I had heard various rumblings about a new FEC/bowling center (not unlike many of those mentioned in this post) was going to be coming into the mall where I’ve been operating my arcade for the past 10 years, and yesterday I was talking with one of the other mall tenants who confirmed some details for me.
It has been a bit frustrating to have this hanging over my head as the mall management seems to openly discuss the plans for the future of this competitor with everyone but myself. Sure, I am competition, but I am a small fry who needs to know what is going on so that I can make wise business decisions.
To catch you up to speed, there is a closed Macy’s on one end of the mall that has been rotting away for a couple of years. A number of ideas have been thrown out to all of the tenants (making it an extension of the current mall with more shops or putting in a grocery store), but the talk of an FEC coming in heated up after Dave & Busters went into one mall in downtown SLC and Round1USA is opening up about 15 minutes south of where I’m at in another mall this next week.
After discussing it with one of the tenants that the mall frequently keeps up-to-date, it looks like I have about a year left to find a new location. I am familiar with the company, who operates a number of locations around the Salt Lake valley. The approval had been held up by a Costco here (who didn’t want this FEC to be sharing a parking lot since the FEC wants to stay open late on weekends and Costco doesn’t want prowlers), but the FEC and the mall have figured out a way around this and are moving forward. There are other companies that are aiming to come into the mall, making for a quite a revitalized location, but I won’t be able to enjoy any of that – and not just because they will have a bigger arcade than mine. It is very likely that they will sign a permanent lease, which includes a non-compete clause. If I’m still here when they open, they can enforce that and I have to be out within 48 hours or so.
So, I am going through the process of writing up a refreshed business plan as I focus on the possibilities of what to do. Finding a new location is a daunting task, as outside of a mall, finding places with solid foot traffic is tough (since it’s colder her more often than it is warm) plus you need to consider a variety of other factors (demographics, rent costs+ the absurd CAM fee, city regulations that differ, if adding food, permits, a menu, new equipment, training and so on). There is always just converting into a total operations company; or there is closing down completely. I’m aiming at the first, and at least I have time to figure it out, while considering attractions to add to the mix that might help broaden the appeal (food, party rooms, etc.). I’m not particularly excited about the prospects at the moment, but this might end being a blessing in disguise.