Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south end of Las Vegas Strip

Updated July 30, 2018 - 7:38 pm

Las Vegas arcade operator Tim Arnold doesn’t claim to be much of a businessman.

The 62-year-old used to install pinball machines at bars and restaurants but, he says, is “too stupid to stop.” He doesn’t use spreadsheets or analysis for his venue, the Pinball Hall of Fame, and he said his title is “director of stuff and things.”

“We’re by far not a professional organization,” he said.

He now plans to move his 1,000-plus pinball machines to a new, bigger facility on the Strip, where more crowds might stroll in to pump quarters into his games.

Arnold confirmed that he recently acquired a 1.76-acre parcel of land on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Russell Road, at the south edge of the Strip, and that he plans to move the Pinball Hall of Fame there from its current location at 1610 E. Tropicana Ave. Pinball Hall of Fame moving to location near the south end of the Strip in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Pinball Hall of Fame has been based in the 8,600-square-foot building near UNLV since 2009. It’s crammed with 250 pinball machines – plus other games – but Arnold has an additional 800 machines in storage.

“What’s the point of having these other games if we don’t have the space to operate them?” he said.

Charlotte Owens, who launched the arcade with Arnold, her husband, said they want to build a 27,000-square-foot facility — more than triple the size of its current building — that would look, on the outside, like a pinball machine.

Project plans aren’t finalized, and Arnold said he has “no idea” when construction would start.

The move would bring a rare construction project to the south Strip, which has megaresorts on one side of the street but vacant lots, boarded-up buildings and an abandoned Ferris wheel project on the other.

It would also mark the latest effort in Las Vegas to lure tourists who don’t want to gamble all day and instead want to shoot machine guns, ride zip lines or do other activities outside the casino floor.

Arnold, president of the nonprofit Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, the arcade’s owner, bought the south Strip property at auction from New Jersey-based Normandy Real Estate Partners. He said the purchase price was almost $4.6 million and that he paid cash.

“That’s a s——ton of quarters,” he said.

The Pinball Hall of Fame may rely on fistfuls of pocket change, but with an all-volunteer staff, it books a wide profit margin. Arnold’s nonprofit group reported $1 million in revenue for 2016 and about $197,000 in expenses, according to publicly available tax returns.

The group has a building fund, said Arnold, who indicated it was similar to a church setting aside money for a new facility.

CBRE Group broker Michael Parks, who represented Normandy, said the online auction was held June 20 and the sale closed July 18, although the transaction has not shown up in Clark County records.

Parks said most prospective buyers he meets with about land on or near the Strip want to develop hotels or apartments.

“This was a unique use that … I had never heard of, for sure,” he said.

A Florida investor set out to build a condo tower on the site during the mid-2000s bubble, but lost the land to foreclosure. Normandy took ownership through a bulk acquisition of soured loans, Parks said.

Efforts to get comments from Normandy were not successful Monday.

Both tourists and locals play at the Pinball Hall of Hame, and on Monday, they included 48-year-old French carpenter Nicolas Espiard, who is visiting Las Vegas with his wife and two sons for five days as part of a five-week U.S. trip. Espiard said he has 70 pinball machines at home and prefers mechanical games over electronic ones.

The Hall of Fame features numerous vintage pinball machines, and many were made by D. Gottlieb & Co., an arcade-game manufacturer founded in 1927.

“It’s a paradise for me,” Espiard said.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like