I'm opening a gaming store!


#191

Will take you up on the online shopping. Always trying to find new and interesting games to keep my children engaged in non electronic time sinks. Nothing better then supporting folks like you as opposed to the big online stores.


#192

I was gonna buy my nephew and my son games for Christmas…in fact, I backed a Kickstarter for them… and after it closed I read an update about how the game won’t be finished until next August. So I need to get games for this Christmas. I’m happy to order the games from you and pay for shipping. I will be in touch via PM.


#193

I’m so stoked and happy for you, @Vesper!

And that private gaming room looks deceptively simply-designed, and yet is outstandingly gorgeous! Beautifully designed! I can definitely see people fighting to get that room. You should have two of them. I wish I had a room in my house that looked that nice. Extremely atmospheric.

Did you design that room yourself, or was it a design supplied by the main office?
Either way, I can’t get over how awesome it looks.


#194

We are the only store to have the private rooms and it was purely an idea conceived by my wife and I. We originally were looking at photorealistic wallpaper for the look but our contractors came up with the idea of doing it for-reals with lumber and textured paint. The franchise has guidance on the main retail area, but anything extra we want to do is purely up to us.

The property we picked out had 2 offices that we are turning into these themed rooms. And we do have 2 of them! The other one just isn’t done yet- it’s going to look like a castle dining room. Not quite as fancy as we are using stone-patterned wallpaper instead of lumber on the walls, but it’ll still have cool lighting and lots of themeing.

The other thing we are doing that no other store has is that we installed a soda fountain. We got custom mugs made with the store logo and are selling them for $15 a pop. The first 100 mugs sold get unlimited soda for life. After that mugs will get you unlimited soda for a year (maybe - still crunching numbers on that idea).

Thanks for all of the compliments everyone!


#195

That is a great incentive. It would keep me coming back, if for nothing else other than to refill my mug.

I love the castle dining room idea, too. Will you let gaming groups bring in food?


#196

Everything about this thread is awesome. Great job following your dream, and an amazing execution of a concept.


#197

This is my new favorite thread. So happy that the grand opening went well and totally agree that the private gaming room looks amazing! One of these days I’m going to redo my home office to have a similar medieval tavern style look, though I may have to get divorced first as the wife is not a fan. ;-)

Love all the pictures, thanks for posting them and please continue to do so. Congrats to you and your wife on living the dream, and on all that hard work paying off in such a gorgeous retail space. I have to admit though, the soda fountain picture makes me uneasy…all I can see when I look at it is some little kid running up and pushing the lever spilling soda all over the floor or spraying it all over the display to the left. I’m a little OCD like that…I know, I’m fun at parties.

Seriously though, this is awesome. Congrats @Vesper!!!


#198

While I hear his plan and can’t but think it’s a great idea. This is partly because most of the game stores I frequent here in Portland have beer taps. So you get used to the idea quickly.


#199

Oh it’s absolutely a great idea for the store…it’s just the placement of the soda fountain so close to the product displays sets off my “potential kid catastrophe” alarm. I’ve raised three kids, my alarm is well honed. =)

If it were me…I’d mount a piece of clear plastic to the left side of the fountain to act as a splatter shield, just to be safe.


#200

You’re doing such a great job incentivising repeat customers, i’m tres impressed here.

If i may, you might want to think about decorating the other room in some kind of Warhammer-y future-y… thing, to catch that crowd. Maybe some kind of cyberpunk neo-Tokyo thing with neon tube lights? Not full grim dark anyway.

Wish i lived nearby enough to drop in!


#201

Hmm beer taps in a gaming store … that’s serious.


#202

It’s in Colorado. Might as well sell weed, too. Beer…weed – go the full monty.


#203

Sadly, Colorado doesn’t let weed & anything else mix. There’s even a couple of social clubs now where you can smoke/consume but they can’t sell it there. Meanwhile I hear that in Vegas you can get weed delivered.


#204

I’m not surprised. Baby steps, after all. So what are the laws on consumption? Can gamers playing a fascinating boardgame in one of your gaming rooms light up? Or at least consume the trippy gummie bears?

I hope I visit Colorado someday. I will visit your store. You know what would be cool? A Qt3 meetup in your area. That would be a lot of fun.


#205

Consumption is supposed to be done in ‘private’ areas, officially. Really the cops only seem to care about people driving while high or if you are being totally obvious about it.

We actually just had a mini QT3 get together a month or so ago when @jpinard was visiting. @Nightgaunt, myself and Jeff had dinner and played some board games. But yes, now that the store is open - we should have a bigger gathering!


#206

Yes, Mark! Please let us know if you’re ever in the area.


#207

How’s it going @Vesper, 2 weeks in now? Wishing you had opened a Subway instead? ;)

I was just reading a reddit thread titled “How do local game stores make a profit?”, and it seems that idea of renting a room out for store credit is a popular idea in other FLGS!


#208

Ha! I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s keeping me really busy doing re-orders and staying on top of new releases. I have seen similar threads to the one you linked and the overwhelming sentiment is “get players to like your store so they will pay MSRP.” I think that’s the wrong methodology. Stores are competing with Amazon on price and other things that people might spend their disposable income on. I want someone to choose a new game over seeing a movie if money is tight, and I never want them to have an excuse to buy elsewhere. Letting a customer choose Amazon/Miniature Market/etc over you is not sustainable. This is what I see as the problem with most game stores. I’m attempting to build a reputation of having brand new games as cheap as online without waiting for shipping. Oh, and it’s a cool place to hang out too.

THAT BEING SAID… After a great opening day it’s been a bit slow especially on weekdays. I’ve been aggressively advertising on Facebook and it’s starting to pay off. More and more people are coming in daily and we are getting awesome 5 star reviews across the board. I’m also reaching out to local Meetup groups, schools, etc to try to build the customer base. I’m in a better position financially than your typical FLGS owner in that I have a regular full time boring corporate job and savings to keep things going as we build. I’m very optimistic that we will be get our initial build out paid off and profitable within 6 months to a year. I knew that going in and have planned accordingly. So when I see a day that has hardly any sales, yes it’s stressful but I remind myself of the big picture. And then Saturday rolls around and we have an awesome day. Plus I love love love hanging out and talking games with customers or showing them a demo.


#209

Well, it is definitely not a “if you build it they will come” sort of thing, so it sounds like you have the right outlook. With my professional armchair QB skill I would definitely encourage “events” to get people to check you out.

Is your web page up yet?

EDIT: From a Gaming Goat perspective you still don’t exist.


#210

@Vesper Love this thread and love seeing someone following thier dreams! Hopefully someday I am a good enough artist to send you art for you store!

Also I worked in a corporate retail clothing store for a few years as the manager and outside busy holiday times we generally did almost 10 times the business on weekends that we did on week days. I think that might just be kinda normal for retail.