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.

Business
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Fun photo booth at World of Concrete
World of Concrete show at the Las Vegas Convention Center sponsored by DeWalt gives conventioneers a chance for photos with giant tools. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: Laserstar Technologies
Laerstar Technologies showed off their laser engraving machines, that can be used to personalize anything from guns and knives, to medical tools and household items. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center including an impact crusher, concrete pump and a self-erecting portable concrete batch plant. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Shot Show 2019: Kalashnikov USA shows off new products
Jonathan Mossberg of Kalashnikov USA talks about new products on display at Shot Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing