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Thread: Kickstarter - Museum of Pinball

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    Default Kickstarter - Museum of Pinball

    Hey everyone,

    Please consider helping with this Kickstarter Campaign. This could be the largest museum dedicated to pins and arcade games in the country and probably the world. They are halfway there with the purchase of the building. Now raising cash for renovations.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...help-us-launch

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    Pinball?

    Fuck yes. Have some monies.
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    Ugh...I would love to support this, but the location is pretty terrible. I understand that Orange County and Los Angeles may have higher rent, but it seems like this would be more than made up for in the increased customer/visitor flow. That area also has terrible climate for more than half the year. It's extremely hot in the Summer and very cold in the Winter. I really wish people doing projects like this would take some time and consult with their potential financial supporters before they commit to a location, but I suppose the kind of person who would start a museum like this in the middle of nowhere isn't exactly the most rational of people.

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    Default Museum of Pinball - location

    Hi Bojay1997. Thanks for your concern regarding the location of the Museum of Pinball. We carefully weighed the cost, size of space, and number of visitors when we purchased the 18 acres with over 127,000 square feet of space. In fact, we've been looking for the appropriate space for years.

    Beyond the huge population of Riverside County and neighboring LA and Orange Counties, we're 5 minutes from the Morongo Casino & Resort, Cabazon Outlets, and Desert Hills Premium Outlets - all with thousands of visitors each day who we'll be marketing to (and ultimately providing shuttles to and from). Although the spot might not be optimal for you personally, we're excited about the possibilities.

    Thanks for everyone's interest. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

    David Trotter
    pinballers@museumofpinball.org
    Museum of Pinball
    www.museumofpinball.org

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    I checked this out at California Extreme and while it will be the largest, it just seems more like a warehouse of machines rather than a historical entertainment destination. I don't want to harsh on your project but the Pacific Pinball Museum is open, entertaining and educating patrons six days a week. It is an already established non-profit that isn't in it for notoriety and has slowly grown along with patronage and awareness, rather than go all in at once with the cart before the horse.
    Last edited by InsaneDavid; 07-17-2013 at 12:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidtrotter View Post
    Hi Bojay1997. Thanks for your concern regarding the location of the Museum of Pinball. We carefully weighed the cost, size of space, and number of visitors when we purchased the 18 acres with over 127,000 square feet of space. In fact, we've been looking for the appropriate space for years.

    Beyond the huge population of Riverside County and neighboring LA and Orange Counties, we're 5 minutes from the Morongo Casino & Resort, Cabazon Outlets, and Desert Hills Premium Outlets - all with thousands of visitors each day who we'll be marketing to (and ultimately providing shuttles to and from). Although the spot might not be optimal for you personally, we're excited about the possibilities.

    Thanks for everyone's interest. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

    David Trotter
    pinballers@museumofpinball.org
    Museum of Pinball
    www.museumofpinball.org
    Having lived in Southern California my entire life, I would disagree that the "huge" population of Riverside County and the populations of Los Angeles and Orange Counties which will be three hours round trip or more are going to flock to something like this given its location. I've been to Morongo and the outlets and it's not exactly Vegas like in attracting younger or middle aged people. It's a long and hot drive this time of year and not much better in the cold winter months. There were plenty of elderly people there when I visited, all eagerly playing slots and enjoying the buffets, but I can't imagine that's the target audience for something like this. Like I said, I get the attraction of getting a massive facility for cheap, but there's a reason that so many similar ventures have failed over the years and thinking that pinball enthusiasts are already flocking to Morongo and the outlets or living in Riverside seems like a stretch. A museum is like any other business and the primary consideration should always be location in relation to your target market and not just costs. I do wish you luck, but it's not something I can support.

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    Got one of those local already in Asbury Park, NJ. 150K in such a short amount of time though? That's pretty tough. Gave $10.

    PS: Stop the presses! BoJay doesn't like a Kickstarter campaign! You're not an investor who'll get a dividend, it's a donation. While I can see hot climate as a problem, coldness? Come on, there's no such thing as cold in southern California when you live through the winters we get here in the NE.
    Last edited by Greg2600; 07-17-2013 at 08:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    Got one of those local already in Asbury Park, NJ. 150K in such a short amount of time though? That's pretty tough. Gave $10.

    PS: Stop the presses! BoJay doesn't like a Kickstarter campaign! You're not an investor who'll get a dividend, it's a donation. While I can see hot climate as a problem, coldness? Come on, there's no such thing as cold in southern California when you live through the winters we get here in the NE.
    There are many, many Kickstarter campaigns I have supported. In fact, I just checked today and I backed my 32nd campaign with a donation to the new Jim Walls police adventure game. Having said that, I spend the time before I give any donation whether that's to a charity or a Kickstarter to think about whether or not my money will be well used or just thrown down a pit. A donation is an investment in a future good. In this particular case, I think the business plan is not good and so, I can't see spending money to support it. Apparently many people feel the same way as the Kicktraq is showing it missing it's target by a wide margin.

    As for your other comments, there are certainly cold periods especially in the desert area where this will be located. Californians are far more sensitive to cold and heat than East Coast dwellers without a doubt. Frankly, that's my point. People aren't going to seek this place out given that it's a three hour round trip from Los Angeles and Orange County. Without a major endowment or other continuing source of funds, there is no way it will generate enough walk-in business to sustain, even if the land and building is paid for. Sometimes good intentions just aren't enough to overcome the realities of geography and climate.

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    I'm sorry, but I simply do not understand how the temperature at any time of the year is relevant to any indoor location with heat and air conditioning.

    I have never, not once in my entire life, even contemplated NOT going to an indoor located event or location based on the outside temperature.

    With the emphasis being placed on the heat and cold are we supposed to believe that it's going to cause some type of bodily harm or dangerous physical distress in the time spent walking from your house to your car and your car to the building?

    Also, as a pinball enthusiast, personally I will GLADLY travel 5-6 hours round trip from my home to the Silver Ball Museum as often as I can and annually to PinFest (formerly Pinball Wizards) in Allentown Pennsylvania once a year for the convention.

    Sure, it's nice/ideal if a museum or convention sets up in a central location, but for something specialized like this I don't have any problem with traveling.
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    I like the idea, looks neat and it's a museum, something I'm generally more than willing to encourage. I fear that the proposed adjacent hotel and other not strictly museum related things might be a tad too ambitious. But if you can do it, more power to you I guess.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    I'm sorry, but I simply do not understand how the temperature at any time of the year is relevant to any indoor location with heat and air conditioning.

    I have never, not once in my entire life, even contemplated NOT going to an indoor located event or location based on the outside temperature.

    With the emphasis being placed on the heat and cold are we supposed to believe that it's going to cause some type of bodily harm or dangerous physical distress in the time spent walking from your house to your car and your car to the building?

    Also, as a pinball enthusiast, personally I will GLADLY travel 5-6 hours round trip from my home to the Silver Ball Museum as often as I can and annually to PinFest (formerly Pinball Wizards) in Allentown Pennsylvania once a year for the convention.

    Sure, it's nice/ideal if a museum or convention sets up in a central location, but for something specialized like this I don't have any problem with traveling.
    It's not the temperature inside the building, it's the temperature and lack of any real amenities on the way there and back. Unless you've lived in Southern California, you really wouldn't understand how desolate and isolated that particular area is. This isn't a once a year convention. This is a facility that will require a massive amount of electricity to run the machines, as well as lighting and air conditioning or heating. Those things require money, and frankly that doesn't even factor in staffing, marketing, acquisitions and maintenance on the building and machines, insurance, permits, accounting and legal services, etc...That means a steady flow of people rolling through there every single day it's open, not a handful of pinball diehards rolling up every few months or years. I just don't think you can make something like this work unless you are right in the middle of a large population center.

    Silver Ball Museum is less than an hour outside the largest city in the United States, as well as many other major suburban and metropolitan areas and it's along major rail and highway transportation corridors. It's not in the middle of nowhere like this would be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    It's not the temperature inside the building, it's the temperature and lack of any real amenities on the way there and back. Unless you've lived in Southern California, you really wouldn't understand how desolate and isolated that particular area is. This isn't a once a year convention. This is a facility that will require a massive amount of electricity to run the machines, as well as lighting and air conditioning or heating. Those things require money, and frankly that doesn't even factor in staffing, marketing, acquisitions and maintenance on the building and machines, insurance, permits, accounting and legal services, etc...That means a steady flow of people rolling through there every single day it's open, not a handful of pinball diehards rolling up every few months or years. I just don't think you can make something like this work unless you are right in the middle of a large population center.

    Silver Ball Museum is less than an hour outside the largest city in the United States, as well as many other major suburban and metropolitan areas and it's along major rail and highway transportation corridors. It's not in the middle of nowhere like this would be.
    Asbury Park is, for the most part a burnt out, abandoned shit-hole of a resort city that saw it's literal heyday in the 1920s.

    While there are destination spots like Silver Ball and Stone Pony, there are sections of it that are practically post-apocalyptic looking and downright terrifying to be in after dark, and that doesn't deter me or many others to visit it for specialized things like that museum.

    It's not a hip, cool place that's drawing thousands of teens to thirty-somethings the same way that many other shore-points do.

    Also, my route to and from Asbury is a similarly long and desolate ride through the pine-barrens with absolutely no amenities save one or two highway rest-stops.

    So, if nothing else this seems like a reasonable parity to me.

    You can justify your reasons for not personally wanting to support this venture and that's your right, but your reasoning is not universal to all people and I won't be a party to a "no true Scotsman" position in this.

    I am a pinball enthusiast and I would gladly travel a reasonably long distance through allegedly desolate locales, climate not being of any concern since I have a car with working heat and air conditioning, to visit a specialized museum, and I do this on a semi-regular basis.
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    Being a Californian myself, I see where Bojay1997 is coming from, but it's one of those things that only locals and people who don't care for such things are going to really have a problem with. The location doesn't bother me personally, I'm rather a fan of the open, desolate areas of this god-forsaken state.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    I am a pinball enthusiast and I would gladly travel a reasonably long distance through allegedly desolate locales, climate not being of any concern since I have a car with working heat and air conditioning, to visit a specialized museum, and I do this on a semi-regular basis.
    The point you are missing is that while YOU are willing to travel a long distance to something like there, there are not enough of YOU to sustain a cash flow large enough to make this a viable proposition. There is little to nothing else to pull people to this area, so most are not going to commit to the travel and cost required for a single attraction, regardless of what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98PaceCar View Post
    The point you are missing is that while YOU are willing to travel a long distance to something like there, there are not enough of YOU to sustain a cash flow large enough to make this a viable proposition. There is little to nothing else to pull people to this area, so most are not going to commit to the travel and cost required for a single attraction, regardless of what it is.
    I'm sure there are plenty of decentralized conventions, museums, attractions and travel destinations in places that have practically nothing else of related interest in surrounding areas that do just fine.

    Similarly there are likely many that set up shop in the middle of thriving metropolises that turn out to be complete failures.

    Always lots of variables to take into account but none are an absolute guarantee of success OR failure.

    What this venture will turn out to be only time will tell, but I'm really not interested in debating speculation and statistics that can't be quantified beyond anecdotal evidence.

    At the end of the day I'm more than happy to be a charitable optimist even if that places me squarely in the minority.
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    Something tells me Bojay1997 would find something to complain about no matter where the museum were located.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    I'm sure there are plenty of decentralized conventions, museums, attractions and travel destinations in places that have practically nothing else of related interest in surrounding areas that do just fine.

    Similarly there are likely many that set up shop in the middle of thriving metropolises that turn out to be complete failures.

    Always lots of variables to take into account but none are an absolute guarantee of success OR failure.

    What this venture will turn out to be only time will tell, but I'm really not interested in debating speculation and statistics that can't be quantified beyond anecdotal evidence.

    At the end of the day I'm more than happy to be a charitable optimist even if that places me squarely in the minority.
    I love how every time there is a dissenting opinion from yours, you bail on the conversation. As reliable as Old Faithful.

    Yes, it is very possible that even in the middle of BFE, this could be a rousing success. But, given the cost of setting this up and more importantly, the cost of maintaining (not even growing), wouldn't it be a benefit to try and maximize your chances for success by surrounding yourself with other draws outside of some local type casinos? Seems to be a no brainer to at least several of us. Minimize risk and all that.

    Of all of the times I've been in the pinball HOF in Vegas, probably 2 or 3 times a year for the past few years, I've never seen more than 8-10 people in there. It's usually a lot less. During CGE, the number increases, but that bump over a weekend every few years is not enough to keep it running the rest of the time. I suspect it is just scraping by. This is in a city that is arguably one of the most popular destinations for travel in the world and has thousands of tourists a day come through. How is something in the middle of nowhere and a factor of 3-4 times bigger going to manage to stay viable? It's simple economics and it doesn't add up.

    The reality of it is that it will likely have great traffic for the first 6 months to a year, or until the novelty wears off. The classic gaming market is simply not big enough to sustain a steady flow of traffic. Hell, most classic gamers are too cheap to even consider traveling to something like this. So things are limited from the onset. They may be able to pull a few weekends of good traffic by having events, but most people won't commit to traveling to more than one or two events a year. Also to consider is that getting to southern California is not cheap or easy for pretty much anybody outside of the west coast. Can't fly in and just take a taxi to this one like you can in Vegas. So will someone with no more than a passing interest in pinball go out of their way to visit something like this? Some may, but most won't. So where exactly is the audience?

    Being optimistic about this is admirable. I'd like to see it succeed myself, but I'm not going to delude myself into believing that the few visits I would end up making in any way justify the existence of something so large in scope. In order to succeed, it will need to be able to pull in people that are not huge fans of pinball and to do that will require more than just pinball. The business plan as posted doesn't cover this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob2600 View Post
    Something tells me Bojay1997 would find something to complain about no matter where the museum were located.
    Not at all. When someone presents a good business plan, I am happy to acknowledge it. This unfortunately, is not a good business plan and given that the owners have chosen to fund this using donated money through Kickstarter which they have solicited here and elsewhere, I'm not seeing the problem with pointing out the major risks and flaws in their plan.

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    Vegas is a different animal as attractions like that are just there to give you something to do when not gambling, with operating costs being irrelevant.

    I still kind of disagree with bojays concerns on the location, because cost cannot be dismissed. If the museum feels like they can get by there that's fine. Ii don't think you need to be located next door to a mall, and don't view this as starting a big for profit organization. I do question the need and possibility of success for 150 grand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    Vegas is a different animal as attractions like that are just there to give you something to do when not gambling, with operating costs being irrelevant.

    I still kind of disagree with bojays concerns on the location, because cost cannot be dismissed. If the museum feels like they can get by there that's fine. Ii don't think you need to be located next door to a mall, and don't view this as starting a big for profit organization. I do question the need and possibility of success for 150 grand.
    I disagree that operating costs are irrelevant. With something like this or the HOF in Vegas, you are creating a ton of sunk costs in just keeping things operating. It doesn't matter if people are there playing the games or not, you have to pay electricity to keep the games on, electricity to keep the games cool, maintenance on electro mechanical devices that are from 0 to 50 years old (if not older) that generate a ton of heat and are prone to breakdowns, payroll for maintenance/operators/etc. Just opening the doors each day has a set and potentially large cost regardless of the number of people that come through. I'm not talking about making this a for profit operation either, just generating enough profit to keep things operating.

    The location argument is a tough one because getting a suitable location in a high traffic area can be difficult and generally expensive. I'd argue that opening anything in California is an effort in wasting money, but that's only due to the horribly inflated prices of real estate there. Finding a cheaper location is a noble cause, but cheaper is relative when you factor in the amount of traffic needed to keep the lights on and potential difficulty in getting people through the doors in "cheaper" locations. Cheaper today does not equal cheaper in the long run. At least they are going the right direction by owning their location rather than renting, that is a good move.

    The thought that 150k is going to make a difference we agree on. That may help get the doors open, but it's not going to cover any costs beyond and operating a business such as this without a large cushion underneath is very risky. There may be a lot of drought periods that require simply pumping cash into it to keep it going.
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