Well, it's the day after my "target" open date for Super Arcade and I can't say I'm feeling very upbeat or happy at the moment. I began this journey to find a new home for the arcade over 10 months ago and it has definitely taken its toll. As a gamer, I have always had the drive to either do something to its fullest, or not do it all. This was the attitude I took not only in my work, but also in my hobbies. There have been so many things that have taken place throughout my efforts to reopen the arcade which include both good and bad memories. Being as this arcade was so important to so many people, I felt the need and desire to pursue something that would benefit the community and give these people a place they can call their second home.
Back in April I had already secured a location that was feasible for all the needs of the arcade, but unfortunately that particular location was frowned upon by the city and its residents, and after fighting for almost 3 months to obtain the proper permits for that spot, I was denied. But then, some good news came about and I was given a suggested location within the same city and told it would be ideal not only for me but also accepted by the city itself. So in August I received the permits I needed to run and arcade at this new location and was ready to get started. The problem with the new location though is, the building is very old, there are a lot of improvements that need to be made, and a ton of time and money need to be spent to bring things up to par here. I am now learning that following rules and abiding by all the regulations not only issued by city, but also by the state, can be a very long and tedious process. This is the current situation I am in. There are a ton of requirements that need to be reached which include keeping everything handicap accessible, following rules of maximum occupancy, providing enough restrooms for our customers, and so on and so forth. There is no speedy way to complete this process and we have no choice but to follow the rules here.
At this point, it does not matter how fast my crew or I can finish things. Now it's just a matter of getting the proper building permits to complete the items that need to be completed. I see people complaining about the fact that it's taking too long, or others assuming that I am lagging. To set the record straight, I would wish nothing more than to have the arcade open RIGHT NOW. I am paying rent on a building that is not operating at this time. This does nothing for me besides stress me out and cost me more and more money. The current issue we are dealing with now is that the city is requesting us to build 2 more restrooms on top of the 2 that already exist. This is not a cheap task and will cost roughly $20,000 to complete. That price might seem crazy high or unreasonable to some of you, but you have to figure in the cost of paying for permits to build, having an architect make and submit drawings and plans, and then paying a contractor to make those plans a reality. This isn't a simple case of changing a toilet or a sink here. At this point we have already spent over $20,000 just in renovations and over a month's time. If we can get past the idea of adding restrooms, the work that needs to be done will take less than a weeks time. That is how close we are to completing this project.
Also, now since there is competition to what we are doing, this adds a lot of stress to step things up and make things that much better here. It doesn't help that I am now competing with an ex-partner and friend that is going to be hosting an event next week, but unselfishly thinking, at least it gives the community somewhere to go while I am not able to provide this service. All I can do is hope people will return to us once things are finished and continue to frequent the establishment that cares about its players. Funny as it seems, some people feel I was being the aggressor and acting rudely in my last blow when I was merely replying to jabs that were thrown at me. But then again, these comments of being unprofessional are coming from people who hide behind various screen names and do not nothing for the community, so it's my fault for letting that bother me.
There is also a ton of assuming going on and many people think it's just so simple to open an arcade. I suggest those who think that go back and view the archives of both our public hearings and see exactly what we are dealing with. There is a ton of time, effort, and money that goes into doing something like this. At times I will admit I have felt like throwing in the towel and just sticking my head under a rock. The people closest to me ask me all the time why I don't give up and just call it a day. I sometimes myself wonder the same, and sadly speaking, all this stress and lack of sleep is causing some health issues. Luckily, I can take this weekend off and spend some time with my family and set my mind at ease. I have another meeting with my contractor and city hall that will determine the outcome of the restroom situation come Monday morning so I will have some good news hopefully after that. Until then, thank you all again for all the support and I really look forward to finishing up everything and seeing everyone again real soon.