The Pinball Hall of Fame says it needs help keeping a roof over the museum’s head.
Founder Tim Arnold started an online campaign Friday in hopes of raising $200,000 to finish construction on the museum’s new Las Vegas Boulevard location.
The museum is still welcoming customers on East Tropicana Avenue, where it has sat for 11 years. The new location on Las Vegas Boulevard was expected to open in the spring, but Arnold is expected to vacate the Tropicana location by May 6, he wrote on the online fundraiser.
“The new building is now 96 percent finished, and we find that because (of) an almost total collapse of the tourist traffic in Las Vegas, we are going to fall short of having the money to finish,” Arnold wrote.
The new location is expected to have 700 pinball and arcade machines. All employees at the Pinball Hall of Fame are volunteers, and Arnold said he has sold dozens of machines to cut costs. He estimated to have lost $500,000 in the 12 weeks of government-mandated closure due to COVID.
Arnold invited food trucks to fill the Tropicana parking lot on Saturdays beginning Dec. 26 in hopes of alerting customers that the museum was open. He also hoped to appease customers waiting to get in the building.
“We have lines some days, simply because we’re now operating at 25 percent of our rated capacity,” he said at the time.
Donations to the online fundraiser go to the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, a registered nonprofit that runs the Pinball Hall of Fame.
“We started this project on a shoestring and have been VERY frugal all along,” Arnold wrote. “We are very lucky that the Covid has not infected any of us, but it has WRECKED our finances.”