The beloved Pinball Hall of Fame may have to shut its machines down for good if it can’t move into its new location this spring.
Founder Tim Arnold started a GoFundMe campaign last Friday to raise $200,000 to finish construction on the museum’s new location near the South end of The Strip.
While the Pinball Hall of Fame’s current location on Tropicana remains open at a limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s since sold its property and must vacate the venue by May 6.
Arnold said the non-profit museum had fallen short of its funding goals due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced it to close for 12 weeks last year.
“The problem is money-wise we were counting on the money that normally came in to finish the building,” Arnold told Vegas News.
The non-profit has already cut costs where it can, including selling some of its former machines and scrapping extra parts. All of its staff is volunteer-based. Arnold estimates that the museum lost $500,000 of normal revenue during its 12-week shutdown.
Arnold said that the new building is about 96 percent complete, but needs to raise funds to finish some exterior and wiring work.
The planned 27,000-square-foot facility plans on showcasing 750 pinball machines and other miscellaneous arcade machines. The museum originally planned on opening the new location 4915 Las Vegas Blvd. South, near Russell Road sometime during spring.
“I can’t think of a better location,” Arnold said while noting its close location to The Strip. “We only want to do one thing and do it well and that’s run a pinball museum open to the public with free admission.”
While its location on 1610 East Tropicana is currently open with a 50 person capacity limit, Arnold stressed that the museum is seriously depending on public fundraising to keep it afloat.
‘We are in serious trouble of running out of time and running out of money,” Arnold said.
Still, the Pinball Hall of Fame founder is remaining hopeful that they’ll persevere.
“The COVID [virus] is going to wreck a lot of things. We’re hoping not to be one of those things,” Arnold said.The museum has raised over $50,000 so far. Donations can be made through the museum’s GoFundMe page.