Fun Plaza Family Fun Center boasts more than 200 games and is a must-visit on the oceanfront in the popular resort of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Generations of vacationers have visited this legendary open-air arcade, and visitors young and old are delighted to find such classics as Skee-Ball and 1957 Williams baseball pinball alongside modern games like “Tomb Raider” and “HALO Fireteam Raven.” So when third-generation owner Jimmy Waldorf decided to make Fun Plaza better by installing Intercard cashless technology, he was happy that he could preserve the charm of the arcade started in 1938 by his grandfather Conrad Allen Burroughs and continued by his father Red Waldorf.
Waldorf considered cashless technology for several years before choosing Intercard because of its advanced technology and reputation for great service. “Everybody was telling me the difference between Intercard and the others is the service. I called [another vendor] a few times and I couldn’t get anybody to answer the phone,” says Waldorf. “I call Intercard and they answer the phone, boom, boom, boom. So I said, well that’s what I need to do, so I went with Intercard.”
Along with eliminating coin and ticket jams, which are a major headache with so many games, Waldorf was able to lower his labor costs and make more efficient use of his staff. Fun Plaza’s extensive Intercard system has more than 300 iReaders plus five Intercard iTeller kiosks as well as five Balance and Recycle Stations that let customers easily check their redemption points between plays.
Waldorf did hesitate before installing card readers on his prized baseball machines, worried that the modern technology would detract from the nostalgic experience. “But I come to find out that maybe 90% of the people that come into the arcade are using the card and only 10% are using quarters,” says Waldorf. “So only 10% of my people are playing the baseballs and you know, some of my baseballs are losing out.”
Fortunately his flexible Intercard system allowed him to set up the machines to take cards as well as quarters. “I went ahead and put card readers on the baseball machines and now I got back to 100% of the people having the ability to play the games, whether they use quarters or they use card swipe.”
Waldorf, who had his system installed in February 2019 during his off-season, saw a 25% jump in revenue from card play. Now that the summer season has started, he says revenues are up 30-40%, although some of that can be attributed to having added air-conditioning as well. He’s very excited to see what happens as the busy summer season progresses.
“Jimmy has an amazing place. I think it’s one of the best arcades I have seen anywhere,” says Todd DeMott, Waldorf’s Intercard sales rep and a veteran arcade operator. “It’s right on the boardwalk and now that he has a cashless system, it’s an unbeatable place for fun and convenience.”