Local arcade adapts to Coronavirus restrictions

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 1:59 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged many businesses here in Northern Nevada. One day bars are allowed to reopen, then are told to close with less than a days notice.

One business that’s had to adjust to that exact situation is Press Start in Reno. Known for having a bar and several classic arcade games, John Simpson, the arcade’s owner, has had to overhaul it’s entire business model to keep doors open.

“The Governor rolled back to phase one for bars which were are. So we closed the bar,” Simpson said. “Now we’re just an all ages friendly arcade.”

Press Start has also changed the way playing games work. Now you can pay $10 for unlimited free play. Chris Payne, who helps run Press Start’s social media, says they have received a good amount of feedback following the changes.

“The response has been overwhelming. Overwhelming in a fantastic way,” Payne said. ”You have a lot of parents who have been here themselves. They want to bring their kids in, but again, because it’s 21 and up, they can’t. Now that kids are allowed, it’s great.”

Adapting their business model was only one of the challenges they face. Now masks are mandatory and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer to go around.

“It’s up to the parents and each individual to use hand sanitizer after each use. We have 24 bottles of hand sanitizer and only 40 games here. It’s easy to find, easy to use,” Simpson says.

For those who are missing the bar, Simpson says they plan to have it back once Governor Steve Sisolak has given the okay. In an ideal situation, he says he’d like to have a time during the day for kids and families to enjoy the arcade, then open the bar a little bit later.

If you want to check out Press Start, you can find them on 1413 South Virginia Street in Midtown.

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