AUSTIN, Texas — It seems like its been years since we started social distancing. We're all going a bit stir crazy cooped up in our homes, but there's nothing a little family gaming can't fix.
Pinballz Arcade is getting creative and bringing the fun to you. Owner Darren Spohn explains.
"Times are tough and we are closed like other businesses in Austin," Spohn said. "We are trying to make do and trying to do the best we can. At the same time, we are trying to bring some money into our doors. So, we've decided to do at-home game rentals."
How does it work?
"Yes, we bring the arcade to you. We used to take them out of the arcade and set them up elsewhere for corporate events, set them up for a few hours and bring them back," Spohn said. "But now we've changed that business to a weekly or monthy rental where you pick out the video game of your choice. We sanitize it, bring it to your home for a week or a month and you play it with your family."
In order to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus, Pinballz is taking steps to make sure it's a safe delivery.
"There are very strict requirements. We clean them off and reclean them. The tech that's bringing them out wears masks and gloves," Spohn said. "We call and prescreen the customers to make sure they are not sick in order to protect our employees as well. The prescreening process takes a few questions. We show up and maintain that six-foot distance, set it up for them and make sure everything is working."
The owner told KVUE he's received several requests.
"In the past week, we've gotten over 100 requests for pinballs or video games to rent. But we have hundreds of games, so we have plenty to go around," Spohn explained. "We have a lot of two- and four-player games, classic games and that can keep a family busy for hours."
It's a clever idea, I must say. If you're interested in renting a game for yourself, you can check out the Pinballz website for more information and to file a request.
"This also helps get a lot of our employees back working so its a win, win," Spohn said. "It helps families and helps our workers get back to work."
Almost 200 Pinballz employees, part-time and full-time, were issued two-week gift checks, but Pinballz has also started up a public employee relief fund to help them out long term.
You can also buy gift cards to help.
The arcade will soon be reopening their kitchens for curbside, Uber Eats delivery and bulk pantry items. You will also be able to order adult beverages to go with your food order.
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