Friday, May 14, 2010

Zoning, Zoning, ZONING!

2600 here with some more news and important advice for trying to open up your own arcade/arcade business. One of the most important things to check out, even before you begin your business plan, acquiring equipment, even before talking to a real estate is meeting with your local town and or city business planning office and find out what the zoning areas and laws are. You wouldn't believe how many towns and cities have zoning laws against opening up an arcade (like pinball being illegal in NYC up till 1976!)!

Sometimes though, your not sure where you want to open up an arcade business, so the next best step would be to look around for a building or space, then approach the business planners office with that property in mind and find out what the zoning laws are. This is exactly what I did. I found a building In an area I liked and approached the city business planner to bounce my idea off and go over the possibility of zoning issues. I stumbled across one, but I had a trick or two up my sleeve.

Get Creative!
Remember in my previous starting an arcade venture post I mentioned a few arcade business concepts that I had. Well after a personal meeting with the city planner I was able to find out that opening up an arcade repair shop or arcade show room was perfectly legal in my area. The area happens to be mainly zoned for retail which covers all types of retail. An arcade however is considered a form of entertainment like a movie theater. The area I am looking at is not zoned for this type of business use. My options are to go before the zoning board and try to get permission to open up an amusement establishment, or get creative. Apparently, opening an arcade showroom that hosts the occasional "gathering" or "event" is legal in my area. All I have to do is write a letter claiming that the main intent of the business is for retail. That's it. This will allow me to operate an arcade showroom for the bulk of the time, while, on weekends, hosting "events" such as tournaments or 20 bucks for all you can play Saturday and Sundays.

My next post will cover some of issues involving mortgages, renting vs. owning, and what I have been trying to figure out how to afford purchasing a building for an arcade business.

1 comment:

  1. Hey 2600,

    If you need some advice when it comes to finance let me know...I'm a banker (at a credit I won't lead you down the wrong path) in my work life. Feel free to bounce some ideas off of me.