After under-performing in 2006-07, the Viking Game Room has made $9,000 more than it had at the same point last year. The game room was about $17,000 short of its operating costs last year, but Viking Game Room Manager Aaron Faw said new games and increased interest in space rentals have helped improve the profits of the recreation center.
After under-performing in 2006-07, the Viking Game Room has made $9,000 more than it had at the same point last year.
The game room was about $17,000 short of its operating costs last year, but Viking Game Room Manager Aaron Faw said new games and increased interest in space rentals have helped improve the profits of the recreation center.
The game room, located in the Smith Memorial Student Union basement, made $93,000 last year, $17,000 short of breaking even. The game room made $24,025 last year from July until November, but this year earnings are higher for that time period-$33,475 according to Cassandra Hill, the Auxiliaries Services accountant.
Viking Game Room Manager Aaron Faw said the new Xbox 360 machines that were installed with the 2006 remodel and some popular games have helped the game room make more money this year.
“Games like Rock Band, and Halo 3 attracted a broader spectrum of customer, and with the machines now owned by the game room, overhead has been less,” Faw said.
One big problem affecting profits in the game room is its basement location, said Robert Wise, the Smith Memorial Student Union building manager.
“Our main problem is no one knows we are here,” he said, but added, “We find those who do know, really enjoy renting the space. We get office parties… or often parents of students will rent it out for a birthday.”
Another factor that has slowed business Wise said is parking and ongoing roadwork.
“It used to be parking was free on Saturday, now with greater parking demands and the traffic from construction, it effects business.”
The game room tracks profits in six categories, bowling, pool, computers, Xbox, concessions and parties. They rent equipment by the hour, or by the game, with differing prices for students and the general public.
Wise said he hopes that profits will continue to increase this year.
“We hope that as students discover the least expensive gaming in town and the freshly remodeled bowling alley and pool tables, then they will not only want to play, but rent the game room out for parties.”
Why the remodel?
Structural issues, equipment that was breaking down and the diminishing performance of the classic arcade machines that filled the game room spurred the 2006 Viking Game Room remodel. That year the arcade machines were removed and replaced with Xboxes that project onto large screens and computers installed with many games.
“We had discovered structural issues with the above ground ball return (at the bowling alley) and everything was breaking down,” said Robert Wise, the Smith Memorial Student Union building manager.
“We saved money everywhere we could. We contracted through facilities and carpentry to rebuild the hallway. We refurbished the pool tables ourselves,” Wise said about the work put into the remodel.