Author Topic: $35 - why so expensive?  (Read 12129 times)

Offline camus

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$35 - why so expensive?
« on: July 15, 2008, 10:55:23 pm »
I found out about the show thru SF Gate.  Sounds great!

I was psyched to go until I found out it is $35 to get in.  I was expecting maybe $15 or $20 at the most.

Is everyone rich these days?  $35 for admission to play some games?  Really?  Am I missing something?  Is there free beer or chicks or something?

$35?

Offline Ken Chaney

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 11:42:06 pm »
Sorry if I sound cranky, but I'm not operating on much sleep here.

Is it really that expensive?  How much would you blow for a couple of hours at Dave and Busters?  $20+ for most people, and that's for a couple of hours playing games you can play any day.  Saturday is 13 hours with 400+ different games, many of which you can not play ANYWHERE else in the world.  Add in the speakers, socialization with other serious arcade fans, tournaments, etc. and it is a one of a kind event.  Many people travel across the country or even from other countries to attend.  Lots of people who have attended think it is well worth the cost.  Take a look at what they have to say on the testimonials page at http://caextreme.org/Quote

The practical answer is that the show is painfully expensive to put on.  The cost of renting the hall alone has more than doubled in the last three years.  Just the electrical bill will be about $4,000.  Really.  TJ and I will load and bring about 100 games (that's 6-7 large box truck loads) ourselves ... add the staff and major collectors and trucking costs alone will be huge.  Storing, maintaining, not to mention acquiring the games is expensive.  Any idea how far into five figures rent on thousands of square feet just for storage goes?  Then there's the time.  The principal organizers put in over a thousand hours to make this happen.  All of this for no profit.  Yup.

If you think it is too expensive, you can bring games to get in free, or volunteer to pitch in and help out.  We spend every day the week leading up to the show loading and unloading equipment.  (It's just past midnight and I just got home from loading and fixing up games for the day.  Yesterday it was 1:30 AM.)  If you are willing and able to help me load and unload a single 24' truck, I'll pay your Saturday admission.  Send me an email.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 12:34:18 am by Ken Chaney »

jkoolpe

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 08:03:05 am »
As another organizer, I just wanted to add my 2 cents in here a bit :) .

Ken laid out the lay of the land, as it were, when it comes to the show and why the admission fee is what it is.

Remember, we are just collectors/enthusiasts that put on this show each year...we have no corporate sponsors or anything like that...we do the show purely as a labor of love and to keep these games alive in the consciousness of both our generation and that of the younger folks who may not have enjoyed the experiences of going to a local arcade.  The fun and enjoyment of a classic game is a very different experience than that of today's arcade machines and home computer fare, but where else will the younger folks go to get a taste of the former?

The games at the show are quite unique in many ways...whether they are titles that had very low production numbers or the games that are still relatively common that are from collectors who maintain them in as good condition as possible (which is usually more than can be said for when you find some of these games at what arcades do still exist :) ).

And each one is about the size of a refrigerator or larger, so just imagine moving 10, 20, or even 100 of them over the course of just a few days.  Believe me, it is no picnic and we all get quite a workout in this department each year. 

The work behind the show is immense and expensive...the admission fee is what it is because it has to be, or we would not even be able to do this crazy show each year as it would be too cost prohibitive.

With all that being said, I do hope you decide to attend.  I think you will find that you'll have a great time and you'll quickly forget all about that pesky admission fee :) .

Happy gaming,

Jon

« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:46:06 am by jkoolpe »

Offline bkerins

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 08:54:21 am »
I found out about the show thru SF Gate.  Sounds great!

I was psyched to go until I found out it is $35 to get in.  I was expecting maybe $15 or $20 at the most.

Is everyone rich these days?  $35 for admission to play some games?  Really?  Am I missing something?  Is there free beer or chicks or something?

$35?

My general feeling is that when you see how FREAKING BIG this place is, you might feel differently ;)  As others have said, the show admission cost is based entirely on operating costs, and unfortunately those costs are through the roof.  There was even the possibility of no show this year due to those costs; instead, there will be a show at a monetary loss to its organizers.

Volunteering or bringing games can reduce or eliminate the cost of admission; also, the show is slightly less expensive on Sunday than on Saturday.

Hope you decide to attend, it's an incredible sight.

- Bowen, who spends roughly $600 each year to attend CAX

Offline TedEstes

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 05:52:20 pm »
I guess expense is all dependent upon your perspective.  Some people travel to attend the show, so their cost is significantly more than simple admission price.

I live in Chicago, where I get to attend Pinball Expo every fall.  Even so, I flew to Allentown in May for the Pinball Wizards show and I'll be in San Jose for California Extreme.

These shows are pretty unique opportunities, and I have yet to been to a pinball/arcade show where there wasn't at least one thing I hadn't seen before.  Some day, the folks who put their time and sweat into putting on an enthusiast show like this will decide they're too worn out to do it again.  I figure I have to take advantage of these events when available.

--Ted

Offline sgtbilkothe3rd

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 10:17:30 am »
Where else can you spend $35 for a fantastic time warp back to the days of your 80s youth? I thank the organizers every year in person when I see them at the end of the show. There is no other arcade left anywhere on earth like CA Extreme, and the whole thing is run in a family friendly atmosphere.

The show is just great, and I have spent in excess of $1,200.00 every year since 2005 for me and two others to attend, and we come from several hundred miles away.

There are opportunities to help out with the show prep if you want to reduce your entry cost, which is a generous offer in my opinion. Unless you are unwilling to make even a small effort. The folks that make the show happen are making a huge effort, and it shows every year!

I plan to be back in '09, and hopefully this show will never die, due mainly to the dedication and hard work of a few plucky individuals.

Offline mbh911

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Re: $35 - why so expensive?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 06:58:49 pm »
35 bucks sound reasonable to me. This event isn't free / cheap to operate ya know?