Pinheads, rejoice: The Pinball Hall of Fame is officially able to move into its new home near the Strip.
An anonymous donor provided $79,000 to the Hall of Fame’s GoFundMe campaign, helping it reach its $200,000 goal needed for relocation.
“It was phenomenal to have people stepping up like that,” said Hall of Fame co-owner Charlotte Arnold with husband Tim Arnold.
The Arnolds had planned to fund the move to a larger building at 4925 Las Vegas Blvd. by them selves.
But then the pandemic hit and they had to close for 12 weeks.
“All this time, we wanted to do everything ourselves, because that’s what we are: we’re self-sufficient and we’re very thrifty,” says Arnold. “So we saved all that money that built this new building.
“But with the closure for COVID, we haven’t met our needs,” she adds. “We would have been a bit in the dark if we hadn’t lost the last week off; spring break is one of our greatest times of the year.
They launched their fundraiser in January, racking up well over $100,000 in contributions before securing a $79,000 boost from a donor they know but want to keep their identity private.
It will be the nonprofit Hall of Fame’s third location after two smaller locations on Tropicana Avenue. It was founded in 2006.
They plan to vacate their current 8,000 square foot building by early April, when they hope to open their new, larger location near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. The new spot should offer 700 pinball and arcade games.
The new location will initially be filled with machines now housed in their 10,000 square foot warehouse, with games from their current building being added after leaving the current premises.
“Things are going to be spaced out again for COVID, so they won’t be completely full when we open the doors,” says Arnold. “Knowing us, we’re like squirrels: we squirrel these things up here and pack them like nuts. When we get there, we’ll be a bit more spread out.
Arnold collected pinball machines for most of his life, founding the Pinball Pete arcade chain in his native Michigan in 1976 before moving to Vegas in 1990 after retiring.
Now he will be able to share more of this collection than ever before.
“I’m very happy that all these other people see that it’s worth it,” says Charlotte Arnold. “It’s nice to keep that kind of nostalgia where you can actually play the games; you don’t come in and say, ‘Oooh, ooh, I remember that.’
“You get to museums and collections and they’re static and people lose interest,” she continues. “But here they can’t lose interest because they can play them.”