We’ve been working hard the past couple of weeks getting the arcade ready for what we anticipated would be an early July reopening. We wish we were writing to you today with a date when the energy in our arcades would be buzzing again. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Though many businesses that pose far more risk to public health have been allowed to remain open and reopen, our arcades have been shut down for nearly 3.5 months since our small locations have been unfairly and illogically grouped with large venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys and amusement parks. With COVID-19 rates going up, LA County has announced that our mandatory closure will be extended indefinitely.
The financial strain caused by 3.5 months of lost sales compounded with high fixed expenses is not unique to us by any means, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. In the past few months we have taken the following steps to keep our business alive:
-Applied for government relief loans (thanks so much for all the debt, Uncle Sam)
-Sold many of the games in our vault
-Sold discounted passes & other arcade merchandise in our online shop
-Negotiated partial rent deferral for one property we occupy (we’re still on the hook to pay the full amount owed, we just get to kick the problem down the road a bit)
-Used up a significant portion of our business reserves and personal savings
Despite all of our efforts, the above steps have only made a small dent to mitigate the lost sales of the last several & the months to come, which include(d) Spring & Summer Breaks - our busiest times of the year.
All of this is to say that we tried so, so hard to do this on our own, but with the news of an extended mandated closure, we *really* need your help. We fully understand that there are many worthier fundraisers that you can donate to, but we hope that there are some out there who see the value in preserving weird little niche businesses like ours.
We started our first location in 2015 with the mission of preserving arcade classics by restoring discarded games and making them accessible to the public again. Since that time, we’ve been fortunate to witness a resurgence of appreciation for the games we love and have created two truly special places where friends, families and couples come together to connect through games.
If our fundraising goal of $10K is achieved, it would allow us to cover 1 month of commercial rent at the reduced rate we negotiated. Though we would be honored by any amount raised, if the goal were to be exceeded, the ability to pay our rent beyond July would be a huge weight off our shoulders given the financial hardship of the past 3.5 months. Please note, no portion of the GoFundMe donations we receive will be used to purchase new machines.
We are beyond thankful to the communities that have embraced us and who have supported our dream for the past 5.5 years. If you can find it in your ability to make a small contribution to help our dream survive this pandemic, we would be forever grateful.
Mark & Mia
Neon Retro Arcade