Kelley Daniel wonders what would have happened to his business if the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t force him to shut down at the worst possible time.
His business, Pinball Palace, had just been named the No. 2 pinball arcade in the nation, and he was hoping for a surge in business as a result when he closed his doors last spring.
“It did give us national exposure, but COVID shut us down,” he said. “It definitely would have brought a lot more people to the business.”
Instead of dealing with more customers, Daniel spent several months last spring renovating his business at 3303 Hopkins Ave., with new carpeting, air conditioning and a fresh coat of paint.
His business, with 150 games including 100 pinball machines, has reopened with lots of emphasis on sanitizing, masks and social distancing. Daniel is also hoping the face-lift and new games, such as Guns ’N’ Roses, will put his business over the top and earn the designation as the nation’s No. 1 arcade.
Daniel said his arcade is as much a tourist destination as a local attraction because of its national reputation from the exposure from its ranking.
“They can’t believe we’ve got a place this big in a small town,” he said.
Daniel said his main competition in the national contest is arcades in New York and Chicago.
“People like all the changes we’ve done,” he said. “All the work is done.”
Go to twipys.com to vote for Pinball Palace as the nation’s No. 1 arcade.