TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When the coronavirus began to spread, one Florida arcade thought that could mean “game over” for business.
“To try and cope with what is going on, we did some to-go sales on a very limited basis,” said Robert Leonard, owner of Lowry Parcade.
Shortly afterward, the arcade, which focuses on classic games and craft beer, came up with what they consider a winning strategy.
“We are actually scrambling to deliver our games for rental on a weekly or monthly basis,” said Leonard. “I have the best staff in the world; they have all been super helpful. They tried to get this going.”
Gamers can now rent classic games such as Mortal Kombat and Pac-Man starting at $79 per week and $125 a week for pinball machines.
“Parents can rent these games and being with their kids a lot, especially during these times, can have that same experience that has been passed down from generation to generation,” said Leonard.
And to take things to the next level, each game will have unlimited credit.
“These times have caused us to adapt in ways we never thought possible. They tend to bring out the best in us, too,” Leonard said.
Leonard says his business has sanitized each machine and will deliver rentals for free to customers within a 5-mile radius of the arcade.
“The community has been incredible and supportive,” he said.
Ultimately, Leonard wants his machines to have an extra life and a temporary home until the lockdown is lifted.
“During times of crisis, a lot of us turn to the arts for stress relief, for being able to cope. It’s a wonderful way to be able to get into your imagination and escape into a game,” he said.