ZANESVILLE — What started out as a hobby for Dresden's Adam Kurtz has turned into a successful business at the Colony Square Mall that just keeps expanding.
"I was part of that arcade era growing up," Kurtz said.
He became hooked on classics from the '70s and '80s, such as Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Tron and Star Wars.
So much so that Kurtz would actually get caught by his dad sneaking out of the house to play.
In 1994, when he was 18, Kurtz took his obsession to the next level by pawning his guitar for a his first arcade machine at Steve’s Buy, Sell and Trade on Linden Avenue.
For the next 25 years, he collected more and more machines, often purchasing them from vendors as they went out of business.
He first placed a few machines at D-Town pizza in Dresden while it was still operating and did the same at the bowling alley in Coshocton before taking a risk of his own in opening Smashing Barrels Retrocade at the mall in 2016.
A little more than five years later, he has already outgrown that location.
Last month, Kurtz and his wife, Deb, relocated to a larger space in the mall across from TJ Maxx.
The move grew the business from 1,000 square feet to 5,700, and allowed for the implementation of new games and experiences.
The arcade features more than 60 machines, compared the 25 Kurtz started out with at the first location.
Smashing Barrels Retrocade now has ticket machines, a prize counter, a pool and air hockey table, a party room and various other instant win games.
At the front of the arcade are games geared toward children to get families in the door, as well as an 11-foot platform leading up to a Donkey Kong machine.
But as parents venture further into the space, they will find games from their childhood waiting to be fed quarters.
Eventually, there will also be canned beer for sale. But Kurtz doesn't want alcohol to take away from the family environment he and his wife have created.
"I feel like we’re solving a big problem in the world in Zanesville," Deb Kurtz said. "They are having so much fun, and you don’t see anybody on cell phones in here."
Kurtz said his arcade brings in hundreds of customers each day, even on the slowest days at the mall.
"The machines are doing the work for us," he said.
Prior to opening Smashing Barrels, Kurtz and his wife worked at the Dollar General Distribution Center and then owned Island Burger in the mall food court before giving that up to focus on the arcade.
They soon hope to hire employees so they can finally have a day off.
But even away from work, Kurtz has his own arcade machine in his bedroom, to Deb's dismay.
Smashing Barrels Retrocade is open during regular mall hours. Parties can be booked in advance by calling 740-297-8163.
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Mall arcade expands offerings, location
Source : https://news.yahoo.com/mall-arcade-expands-offerings-location-082209207.html665