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New retro video arcade to open near Vancouver


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Someone is opening up a 'retro video arcade' in New West, a region of Vancouver:

 

http://www.newwestrecord.ca/news/retro-video-arcade-to-open-in-new-westminster-1.23181361

 

 

Retro video arcade to open in New Westminster

Theresa McManus / New West Record

FEBRUARY 21, 2018 02:46 PM

pac-man-video-game-retro-gaming.jpg

Miss playing classic arcade games like Pac-Man? If so, you're in luck because a new retro video arcade has received the city's approval to open in Sapperton.
Photograph By ISTOCK

It’s game on for a retro gaming arcade that’s been trying to set up shop in New Westminster for nearly two years.

New Westminster city council has approved a temporary use permit for 457 East Columbia St., which will allow Brad and Maryanne Eyers to operate a classic arcade in the building for two years. Staff recommended that the operation be reviewed after 18 months and, if it hasn’t caused any issues, pursue a zoning amendment that would enable the business to operate on a permanent basis.

“We believe it will be a fabulous family-based entertainment spot for the neighbourhood,” Maryanne Eyers told council at Monday’s public hearing. “It will also be a destination for people throughout the region to come to New West that maybe hadn’t come to New West previously.”

Eyers said the couple has received quite a bit of positive feedback about the arcade from businesses on East Columbia Street and from the McBride Sapperton Residents’ Association

“We even had the New Westminster Police Department reach out to us through social media,” she told council. “They had a question. The question was are you going to have Dig Dug, which is one of the arcade games. The answer is yes, we will have Dig Dug.”

Arcades have been restricted in New Westminster since 1999, when they attracted complaints about noise, hours of operation and nuisance behaviours of their patrons

“I am not sure what my generation did in the late 80s to lead to the widespread restrictions on arcades, but I think times have changed since that time and there is a resurgence in the retro games and these types of facilities have been very popular all across North America,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote. “I think it would be a really good fit for a city like New Westminster. I do have concerns we have been a little bit cautious in moving forward with this application. I think the last six months have demonstrated that new West residents can play board games and drink a beer at the same time and not cause too much trouble. Id don’t see that there would be any significant issues with this.”

The temporary use permit includes a number of conditions, including no liquor service, no gabling and operating hours between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Following the public hearing, council approved the temporary use permit – but expressed concerns that the city’s rules on arcades are a bit old school and that the restrictions being imposed on the Capital City Classic Arcade, such as a two-year temporary use permit that prohibits the sale of liquor, could affect the economic viability of the business.

“Two years seems to be a long time for a temporary use,” said Coun. Patrick Johnstone. “Maybe we can talk about having an actual proper change to the zoning bylaw to facilitate this kind of change on a shorter timeline than that?”

Jackie Teed, the city’s acting director of development services, said two years seems like a long time – unless you’re looking at the work plan that the development services department is trying to enact.

“What we have discussed with the Eyers, is after 18 months, if everything is going well, that would be the time to start initiating a rezoning process for the property in order to make the use permanent. At that time, if the Eyers are interested in pursuing a liquor licence as well, we could do that at the same time,” she said. “So really, it’s only 18 months out to actually starting the process to get them in place permanently.”

Coun. Bill Harper, chair of the city’s economic advisory committee, said attracting businesses to the city is a key component of the city’s economic development strategy. Noting the changes in technology and gaming, he doesn’t think the rationale that was behind banning arcades 20 years ago still exists today.

Council approved Harper’s motion to direct staff to report back to council in six months on issues relating to the arcade and to provide a police report so council can determine how to move forward with the temporary use permit.

“I do support this. I am also concerned about the process that we put in place that may affect your sustainability, the fact that you can stay on or not. I think the more that we can do to facilitate and streamline and make our processes more efficient for businesses would be good,” said Coun. Mary Trentadue. “I am interested in how we can move this along a little bit faster.”

Eyers said the couple’s passion is arcade games so that would be the family-friendly business’s focus, but they’ve considered alcohol service as some customers may want to have a glass of wine or beer while enjoying the retro games or attending corporate events at the venue.

“We have heard both sides,” she said, when asked if the ability to serve alcohol will affect the business. “People have said that they would be really disappointed if we didn’t have alcohol, that that would be a driving force for them not to come. Other people don’t seem to care one way or another – they want to play games.”

 

 

 

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This is pretty cool, but I question the sustainability of a gaming arcade in this day and age?

 

I realize that most of them make their money by selling other things (alcohol and etc), but I'd almost like to see a straight up arcade that's only an arcade and less of the "partycade" with points/tickets OR a "barcade".

 

I'm more concerned with the partycade style since those tend to have terrible ticket spitting out games rather than actual video games. Barcade is quite a bit more acceptable just wish it wasn't so necessary to keep the business alive...

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This is pretty cool, but I question the sustainability of a gaming arcade in this day and age?

 

I realize that most of them make their money by selling other things (alcohol and etc), but I'd almost like to see a straight up arcade that's only an arcade and less of the "partycade" with points/tickets OR a "barcade".

 

I'm more concerned with the partycade style since those tend to have terrible ticket spitting out games rather than actual video games. Barcade is quite a bit more acceptable just wish it wasn't so necessary to keep the business alive...

There's one near me, about an hour away in Augusta GA, and they do really well.

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