• Ray Andrew posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Customer Environments Experiential Customer Environments 5 years, 10 months ago

    Sorry for posting so often in this group, but I just wanted to share another great experience I had with a unique take on a typical business. Insert Coins is a bar I stopped by in downtown Las Vegas last week with a few friends and I was happily surprised to see the amount of innovation and effort made to create a one of a kind experience. The bar is themed after an arcade (hence the name) and features classic arcade games as well as newer consoles. Specialty cocktails are named after video game characters to keep the theme going, and music can range from mainstream to 8-bit arcade hits. It was a great way to create an environment that is retro yet interactive – a great departure from the typical bar scene!

    • This place looks pretty cool and I know anyone who grew up when arcade games were first coming onto the scene will love it. Do you think this is more suited for the younger generation (25-34) or the older people who lived through the era? If arcades failed nationwide before, what makes you think this one will stick around for long?

      • Do you really think that this is a great concept? This place is best suited for bankruptcy. You’re going to get all sorts of problems with people spilling drinks and breaking equipment. People who like games will have their own systems to play on. They don’t need to come to the bar and spend money to play and drink. There’s a reason arcades went out of business, people bought their own consoles.

        • Oh come on Aaron, you know that the place will do just fine. I’m sure the owners probably thought about that way before you did. 🙂 If I had to guess they already have something in place to cover the costs of broken equipment or charge customers who break things. Plus, if people didn’t wanna go out and spend money places then they would drink at home, right? 😉 So this bar will do just fine.

      • Let me reply to both of you at once to save some time and space. Dean, this most likely will be aimed at the younger audience. While I do include your age bracket within my estimates, I would dare to say that it would be even wider, ranging from ages 21 all the way to age 40. This is because many of the newer video games and consoles will be utilized, which makes them heavily appealing to the younger generation who have played them. They will have most likely played the games before they are of legal drinking age, so this makes for a familiar atmosphere and interest point. As for the older folks, they will be drawn to the standing arcade machines. These are smartly partitioned on one side of the room in arcade format, so they can have a bit more privacy and space from the younger patrons. This business has the benefit of creating an atmosphere that is comfortable, meaning that people will frequent more often and spend more time there. Additionally, sales of alcohol will boost revenue and keep people lingering, making the games much more profitable.

        Aaron, while I do agree there is heavy risk of broken equipment the main draw of the bar is that said equipment. The concept of a bar is that people can go and congregate to mingle with other people, something that they are doing here, but with the addition of games. Alcohol sales will be the primary revenue source, so the arcade theory does not apply as heavily. It may not have sustained business over decades, but it will enjoy good traffic.

      • Dean, you’ll learn that bars have a way of staying in business. People will always be willing to drink, and if you give them a place to do it then there will be some pretty good business. 🙂 Plus, it’s not just younger people who like playing games. I love playing Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede as much as anyone who grew up with the game, and if I saw it at the bar I’d probably be playing it. 🙂

    • It’s sad to see you getting so excited for another run of the mill bar. Having an arcade is just like having TVs so it’s a sports bar. In the end people want drinks, and this is exactly what will draw them in. Sure, they’ll like the lights and old games, but do you think they’re going to be going there to check out games or to have a few drinks? A bar is a bar no matter how you try to look at it, and a few little features like arcade games won’t make it very special.

      • The business is not trying to trick anyone into not thinking that it is a bar. Insert Coins is a bar at the end of the day, but the fact that it offers an arcade-style experience is quite a theme. There are games there to encourage people to sit and stay, leading to the purchase of more drinks and more profit for the business.

    • The concept of setting themes for bars has been around for years, but this is one of the most unique concepts I have seen. There is a wide appeal for an establishment such as this; there are those who will appreciate the older arcade games that they played when they were first released, but also there will be those who will come to play the modern systems that are available. Spanning the gamut between young and old will create an eerie atmosphere at times, but it also broadens the customer pool from which Insert Coins may draw upon. In addition, the theme can be continually updated as the video game industry updates itself, creating a steady stream of new content. I question how well it will do in a saturated market like Las Vegas, but I have a great deal of respect for the individual who came forth with the brilliant idea.

      • I agree that this is something that I would never have thought of when thinking of themes for a bar. Typically most bars will attempt to create a sports-minded atmosphere to attract patrons interested in baseball, football, soccer, etc. but modeling the bar after an arcade is a unique idea. What I would say, though, is that the concept may run into some headwinds if the video game industry itself does not find ways to combat the growing popularity of mobile gaming.

        • Yes, as with most bar concepts there is the risk of fading into obscurity due to the fact that society’s views are dynamic. There is rarely a safe haven when it comes to innovation. As you stated, video game consoles are finding increasing competition from mobile gaming, and this is a sign that Insert Coins will have to work much harder to maintain a solid customer base. As the video gaming industry continues its decline, there will be less appeal towards concepts such as Insert Coins. Although I believe in the innovative ideas that spawned the bar, I doubt it will be a mainstay in Las Vegas.

    • Now this place looks like it’d be a lot of fun! 🙂 Can you imagine people being able to go to a bar and see games that they played when they were kids? Bringing childhood and mixing it with a few drinks definitely sounds like a fun way to spend a night. Plus imagine what a great conversation starter it would be to go there and discuss what you did as a kid. “Do you remember asking your parents for quarters so you could play Galaga? Those were great times.” Never have I heard of a place like this, but one day I’ll try it out! 🙂 Great find Ray!

      • It is quite a fun place to have a few drinks. I even had the opportunity to play a few of the games I had played in my youth like Donkey Kong. Most of my friends were playing on the more modern systems, but it was such a rush to be able to relive my childhood again, if only for a few minutes. Rather than just sitting and chatting, my friends were able to challenge each other at games, making everything a lot more fun. Even though it was sometimes a little quiet when we were focused on playing, we still had fun chatting about games we used to play. The place is definitely a flashback to more carefree times.

        • Do you think the drinks help the experience or really just are on the side? Is the bar center stage or the games?

          • Hey, now, it is a bar, right? So that means that the drinks are tops when it comes to what everyone’s there for. Those games that are there are just conversation starters until the drinks get the blood flowing. 🙂 But I haven’t been there yet so let’s wait til Ray gets his word in 🙂

          • From my one time being there I would say that the bar is definitely the most prominent factor of the bar. It is in the center of the entire establishment, glowing and illuminating the room with a very warm light. Considering that the games draw much of your attention, it is hard to say that the bar is always the center of attention. However, after sitting there playing games for a few minutes you realize that the drinks are quick to hit you and the bar becomes more appealing as the night goes on. Video games are difficult to just jump into, especially with other people, so the drinks are definitely the icebreaker and make the entire bar functional.