First of all I want to thank you all so much for making the BBQ great on sunday! We counted 54 people total! We look forward to doing lots more fun events like that in the future!
I am sorry to say that we are facing a financial crunch as we finally kickoff the busy arcade season with Memorial day weekend. I will be offering a special T-Shirt Presale starting today for anybody who would like to help out!
For those who would like to know the details of our current situation read on, for those who just want to know about the T-shirt skip ahead to the heading "T-Shirt Info" below and read there.
This has been a very exciting and stressful few months. We escaped a very bad landlord-tenant relationship that nearly ended our run. We survived 2 failed commercial real estate deals, zoning problems in 2 cities and an endless list of other problems. RedPlanet was finally released officially which meant we had to pay for that license, and there was an endless list of other expenses to get setup and moved into the new place. If you had told me in January how much money we were going to have to bring in to keep this all going I would have thought there was no way. The amount of deposits that have needed to be laid out to get things fired up at the new place are approximately equal to an entire month of expenses, and we have had to produce that money in what has always been a very slow time of year between Christmas and Spring Break.
We once again proved just how much love there is for the pods in Seattle! Sales increased and we paid off a huge backlog of bills, some of them dating back well before the move. The main area of sales growth was in the private events we were booking. We have had so much fun with everything from bachelor parties to birthday parties to team building events to customer appreciation events. All of them have been unique, but all of them have been fun! Thanks so much to everybody who booked an event here.
Sales were so good in fact that it looked like we were going to be just fine... but there is always a catch I suppose. May is always a little bit of a mess. Anybody in school is making the final push toward Summer, anybody who likes to play outside gets their first good weather, and anybody planning something for memorial day weekend gets busy too! So things were cranking along just fine through most of April and then it stopped. As if somebody turned off a light switch somewhere the phone quit ringing and the night business struggled. Tournaments and similar events have been amazing, we have even tied the record here for most entries in a single tournament since we opened almost two and a half years ago, but members nights have been at least as slow as they usually are in May. It seems we have lost some people to overtime too. I often pop on facebook or google+ wondering where the regulars are and I see them posting in the middle of the night from their office. It is exciting to see the economy showing signs of life, but we are going to need to make some adjustments to adapt.
I fully expect June to be busy, but the bank accounts are dangerously low. There has long been demand for a line of merchandise... T-shirts, hats, etc. I would love to see that happen, but since the day we opened there has not been money to do a stocking order. We need money in the bank immediately and memorial day weekend is very unpredictable. Starting today we will be doing a T-Shirt Presale for those who would like to help out. This is *not* meant to be a great deal on a T-Shirt, this is hopefully a way that we can roll out a special limited run of shirts and hopefully bring in enough money to get us over the current crunch and do a small print run of the next merch so we can get the ball rolling. After this fundraiser we really want to roll out the line of "I Shot Soto At the Airlock" clothing so help us by getting in on the presale for this first shirt!
The shirt will be a simple black T-shirt that says "I Saved The Airlock" on it. We are only going to make as many as are pre ordered, and then that is all we will ever make of this particular shirt. This will be your only chance to ever get this shirt. We will be offering this presale for the next few weeks, but it would be a huge help if people buy it very soon.
The Price will be $25 + tax and for an extra few dollars shipping, I would be happy to send them to anyone in the world who would like to buy them. If people would like to pay more, to help us refill the rainy day fund that is very much appreciated, but certainly not required. I am happy to take orders over the phone if people call in the evenings with credit card info and T-Shirt Size. Please keep in mind that we will be taking this order to the printer about a month from now so it is going to take some time to be delivered.
If we sell enough of these to put a little bit back in the rainy day fund and do a stocking order on more merchandise for the summer we will hopefully be able to offer better deals. Please keep in mind this is meant to be an emergency fundraiser and not some claim that a T-Shirt with my logo is somehow magically worth $25... I am hoping rather that people will look at The Airlock itself as being worth an extra $25 this month. That could set us up for an amazing summer here!
We will have some special prices and some special hours for memorial day weekend which I will be posting shortly. It is going to be a great weekend here and I am going to be open lots of extra hours for anybody who wants to visit on the long weekend! I will deal with the new store hours in another post soon and we will also be expanding the benefits of the $100 monthly members pass!
Thank you all for your support, we will have mockup artwork for the shirt soon.