I'm opening a gaming store!


#1

[Note: I cleared this self-promotion with Tom!]

TLDR: I’m opening a board game/RPG/TCG store in the Denver metro! Opening 10/20!

Some of you already have seen this on Facebook but I wanted to share with the community at large and tell my story: I’ve been a professional software developer since graduating college in 1998 (electrical engineering degree). After 20 years of this, I’ve come to loathe working in corporate America. Mission statements, pretending to be ‘agile’ while still locking in deadlines and features, endless meetings, glass ceilings on career advancement, etc. I still do it on a daily basis because it pays the bills, but I have no job satisfaction and am very burned out.

I’ve had a turbulent past few years, losing both of my parents (my mom in 2011 and my dad in 2015) and going through a divorce also in 2015. The upside was that I inherited some money and that has had me looking and planning for a way to escape my corporate job and do something I love. After looking at lots of various franchise options (I got pretty far talking to Jimmy John’s before deciding I didn’t want to make sandwiches all day) and working on business ideas, I came across a gaming store franchise that is doing quite well (about 40 stores and growing). This was early this year (January or so). Lots of due diligence and planning later, I’ve finally secured a lease and am opening a store of my own. While a single store won’t provide enough income to replace my corporate job, I’m hoping this turns into a few stores and I can quit entirely in the future. I’ve never taken a large financial risk like this in the past but am really excited about the possibilities.

The franchise is called The Gaming Goat and most stores are currently in the midwest, with a handful in Texas and Las Vegas. My store will be the first in Colorado and the location will be in the Littleton area of the southwest metro area. “What about competing with Amazon?” is what I hear from most people. The good news is that products are all 20-30% off and priced as good or better than Amazon. For example, Gloomhaven ($150 retail) will sell for $100. The franchise really stresses having awesome customer service, a great vibe in the store, and always being extremely well stocked.

Contractors are working on new flooring and paint right now, and I will be posting pictures here as the store comes together in the next 2 weeks. We’ve got a large store (almost 2400 square feet) and are creating 2 private gaming rooms that will be themed (one like a dining room in a castle, and the other a medieval tavern). We have tables for organized play or just trying out board games in the library. We’re even installing a soda fountain for customers to use during organized events. .

I’m super excited and slightly terrified. I’ve hired a full time manager who used to assistant manage one of these stores back in Illinois so we have experience right out of the gate. If you guys want to check out the store, we have a Facebook page here. I’d appreciate any likes/shares you can give it as I’m trying to gain exposure on Facebook for marketing: https://www.facebook.com/TGGDenver/

More info to come with lots of pictures as this thing gets ramped up! Right now I’m simultaneously trying to direct contractors, get a sign installed, order product for selling, and about 80 other things so I’m a bit frazzled! Thanks for reading and I’m sorry for tooting my own horn. The QT3 community is important to me so I really wanted to share my brief story.


#2

Sounds exciting.


#3

Exciting times. Best of luck to you!


#4

Best of luck with your new venture. It sounds awesome! :)


#5

That’s awesome @Vesper. Best wishes.


#6

Focusing on play areas and events seems like the way to survive, but any retail seem scary. Best of luck!


#7

Awesome! At some point in the future it’ll be great if you can educate us on the economics of running a game store is like.


#8

Now I really want that Red Rocket model, lol (liked and looks awesome!)


#9
  1. Is there a way to buy games from your store online/directly if we don’t live in CO?
  2. You have an obligation to pump heavy metal through the speakers all day.
  3. GOAT = Greatest of All Time, so how could this fail?
  4. Will you be decorating your store for Halloween?

#10

There’s a Gaming Goat a couple miles from me and I’ve shopped there a couple times. They have a pretty small space but surprisingly good selection considering, and they’ve been a good source of Fantasy Flight stuff for me. Seems like a good deal to be a part of.


#11

That is awesome, congratulations! I hope you have great success. As someone who got tired of being a software developer in corporate America I know how you feel and I hope you find joy in your new endeavor!


#12

OMG congrats! Best of luck to you!


#13

All the luck in the world, @Vesper!


#14

This is so amazing, I’d love to see pictures when they’re done.

You will be serving ale, right, right?


#15

Mazel tov


#16

Congrats @Vesper I hope it brings you great success!


#17

Man, that seems like a tough business, competing with Amazon. But I’m sure the business plan makes sense, and it’s certainly less risky than a restaurant. Good luck!


#18

@Vesper So I looked up the location on Google Maps, and now I have to know: what’s the deal with a place called “Coal Mine Animal Hospital” - do they just treat canaries or something?


#19

No kidding? Can you tell me who, I frequented them before moving to Portland, one was half a mile from my house, so I know some of the guys.


#20

Congratulations @Vesper, I hope it’s a great success. I haven’t done game store management myself but two guys in my regular group have owned stores at one time or another, and a third was a manager of one for a while. If you’d like me to pass along any questions or put you in touch with any of them, hit me up anytime.