We have, for the most part, survived the most expensive month we are likely to encounter this year. After the move, and the extra expenses this month and in the previous couple of months we are, for the most part caught up on bills for the first time in a very long time. That said, some of the money that needs to go out this week is not in the bank yet, we are very very close but cannot afford a dead week right now. We have had very slow weeknights lately. I am working on a fundraiser deal that will hopefully put a few dollars back in the emergency fund. More on that in a future post.
To get the move done I burned up the very last of my business and personal resources, perhaps this was foolish, perhaps not. The financial situation of the company has improved steadily since the move, and we are booking a lot of private events. In fact we are booking more private events now than I thought we could ever do, and this is where the hope for the future lies. I want to keep the pods in the Seattle area, in good working order for years to come, as well as bring in some other fun stuff for us to play with here. Right now the company is so cash poor we really can't afford anything to go wrong, and if there is one thing we have learned in the past couple of years... it is that things always go wrong. So I will continue to roll out some new stuff and hopefully some of it will make a big difference!
BattleTech Board Game Fridays!
We will be starting BattleTech Board Game Fridays tomorrow night for those who are interested, simple pickup games, hex maps, nothing crazy. I will not be charging a fee for this, it is free to play for anyone who plays at least two missions in the pods (Hint: Members get 1 free mission on Friday). This doesn't help us pay the rent, and I cannot monetize this event the same way a board game shop does, that sells books and minis, so it is appreciated if you play MORE than 2 games in the pods, but for now we will set that as the minimum and see how it goes. I can't promise to keep this going, especially without charging something for it, but if we get a lot of support, and it isn't disrupting other business we will try! I cannot at this point provide much for this, but hopefully over the coming months we will be able to provide a nice table for this (working on something very cool!) and some other help. For now bring your own stuff for some simple fun games, or hopefully people will have some extra pieces to share. As we get this rolling I will see what I can do to make sure some experienced players are around and maybe some extra books. Figure most people can't show up before 7pm or so.
New Monthly Package Available!
I am very sorry to say that it is now time to raise our prices on some things. After two and a half years it is really out of my control. We have slipped below reasonable minimum margins on some items. My choices are to close up shop, or raise prices. There is actually very good news for those who want to be regulars here, as I am putting together a new monthly members package that can actually be MORE pod time for your money! I am working on the details of the new price sheet. The new prices will start the first day of May. The system we have had, has served us well up until this point, but now we have a better idea how the space gets used, and we see the different pattern that the business shows us in the new location. People are pretty much using the pass nights at the new location, and for the most part avoiding the other nights.
Members pass nights have been slow since the beginning of the year. We have some people that are out right now for reasons ranging from health to school. With less people it is admittedly less fun and people make less effort to be here. I am often hearing people say things like "I can't make it to BattleTech tonight, so I will see you next week!"... Our pricing was designed to make sure that the members knew when to run into each other and have fun nights of all they could play. Instead it has become a reason NOT to show up other nights. People have some sort of idea that 7 games for a member's $20 is not a good deal, I would like to point out that this is some of the cheapest pricing that has EVER been offered on pod missions in a place like this.
I have noticed that there are lots of players who think if they aren't playing from 5pm to 4am for $20 it isn't a good deal. Well that price will increase a little bit next month, but they are right, it is, even still, a very good deal. But what about the players that drive by here every night? They sit in traffic on 405 waiting to get home, but they don't want to spend the whole night if it is a pass night, and they don't expect to see other players if it is not. What about the players who cannot spend 11 hours on a weeknight and still make it to work on time the next day? I am putting an unfortunate burden on them to make a decision between a good deal and sleep. If sleep wins they have no reason to show up until next week, and then sacrifice more sleep. I recognize that our schedule around here has put a strain on some people's lifestyle that is not sustainable.
We will still have lots of late long nights here, but I needed an option for people who want to play on a weeknight but can only afford the late nights on the weekend. So here is what I would like to try. We will see how it goes in May. Hopefully I have this right, but until I see how people use it I can't be sure. I may have to make some adjustments in the future. This package will be available to members only at this point. If you are not a member, but are close and want to get in on this, come talk to me, we might be able to work something out.
For $100 + tax per month a member will receive:
Any 5 members pass nights (currently Tuesday BT or Thursday RP) in any combination you like
(note that all night members passes will be going up in price next month, but this package gets you approximately the old price PLUS a bunch of other benefits)
You may give one of those passes to a non member friend per month
(non members may only be given one of these per month)
2 missions per day, no additional charge on any non event day we are open!
(you will still get the usual extra mission on Friday)
$5 off tournament entry fees
%20 off private events instead of the usual %10 members get
(Corporate events excluded)
Please note that members who purchase this package automatically qualify for the Friday board game night at no extra charge because they are getting 3 free missions anyway!
These benefits do not accumulate from month to month.
I have tried to provide the best value possible with this deal for those members who support us the most. We will be doing another one week megapass the first week of May, like we did when Deadeye and Thunderbear visited. Anybody who buys this package between now and May 1st will have the option to buy that pass for half price! Also, as an added value, anybody who purchases this package by the end of this week can immediately start to use their May benefits and I will throw in an extra transferable members pass for May!
If you would like to make this purchase tonight but don't have time to stop by, I will be doing my best to answer the phones after 5pm at 425-823-9999 and can accept payment over the phone by card.
Thank you all for your support!