INSTANT REPLAY E-NEWS      -      © 2017 RePlay Magazine. All rights reserved.
September 07, 2017
Coin-Op Companies Close in Advance of Hurricane Irma  
Benchmark Games'  Hypoluxo, Fla., factory closed up shop at 12:00 EST today (Thursday, Sept. 7) as the state prepares for landfall of Hurricane Irma. At this writing, the storm has wreaked its destruction on numerous Caribbean Islands as a Category 5 event. As forecasters try to predict the path, those at Benchmark (on the southeast coast of the state) have heeded warnings and battened down the hatches.
The company's Paula Rinker, in asking RePlay to help spread the word, said, "Benchmark will be closed for the duration and will reopen when we can do so safely, hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week." She said they need time to return and assess any damage before they can state with certainty when they can open. Meanwhile, if customers have pressing needs, she asks that they call her cell: 561-779-7797.
After she phoned RePlay, Rinker said she was headed to her apartment to buckle everything down, then she and her "fur babies" will evacuate a five-hour drive away to the west coast of Florida, about an hour north of Tampa. "I will get hit by a hurricane," she said, "but instead of facing 185-mile-per-hour winds, it's likely to be 100-miles-per-hour less."
Depending on the storm's path, she has other options with family and friends in southern states, including one in Maryland with storm-rated windows, a generator and extra room for Paula and the cats.
"I feel like I have a pretty good plan in place," she said, adding that she has a full tank of gas, enough to carry her far enough to where she'd be able to refuel if she needs to travel further. "Getting gas is really a problem right now," Rinker said.
Another of our industry's big Florida factories, Bob's Space Racers in Daytona Beach, sent out an email blast saying they'd be closing at noon on Friday, Sept. 8, due to the storm, asking parts and service customers to call before 9 a.m. They will also be closed on Monday, Sept. 11, but plan to reopen as soon as conditions allow. "Thank you for your patience and understanding," they wrote. 
Additionally, Enzo Celani, General Manager at Player One Amusement's Davie, Fla. HQ, locked the office door at 12:30 p.m. today after the staff was released and the building's hurricane-proof windows were in place. Enzo, his wife and three kids, will now ride Irma out at their home in the Ft. Lauderdale area. "It's been crazy here," he told RePlay. "You can't get gas! You can't get water or batteries! We're going to be closed tomorrow and probably Monday, as well. This monster is supposed to hit here on Saturday. Wish us luck," he declared.
Over in Player One's Orlando outlet, Timmy Paukner is giving the staff off tomorrow to get personal things in order as best possible, expecting Irma to lash Central Florida pretty hard. Paukner says grocery stores have been busy the past couple of days. 

"Thanks for calling, and now wish us luck with this thing," he declared.
Karina Carboni at the Betson Florida outlet in Orlando says they'll be open for business Friday, but perhaps not on Monday. "We don't expect the storm to hit here until Sunday, but the landlord at our property has every tenant removing any and all debris like shipping pallets, vehicles, etc., away from the building for safety reasons. We're ready for this," she added.

Finally, Marie Prescott at Sun Fun Amusements in Rockledge, Fla. (a town east of Orlando on the coast) said their offices were closing tomorrow, and evacuations had been ordered. 

"Everyone is hunkering down," Prescott said. "We're closing down tomorrow, heaven knows when we'll be back open. We just need lots of prayers."
AMOA Golf Tourney Continues Supporting PAC
AMOA has been conducting the Bob Nims Golf Tournament for over 30 years now during the association's Mid-Year leadership meetings, but in more recent years, the event has also served as a fundraiser for AMOA's Political Action Committee (PAC).
The golf tourney, named in memory of AMOA's late Past President Bob Nims, will be held on September 10 during AMOA's Mid-Year Board meetings in Destin, Fla. To see a list of individuals who've donated $100 or more so far, go to our website here
If you'd like to donate, contact Anne Chouinard at 800/937-2662. 

Namco Hires Tim Marlega

Bandai Namco has announced the hiring of Tim Marlega, a parts specialist who worked for the company for over two years. The company says his experience provided him knowledge of Bandai Namco products that was unmatched in other candidates.
Marlega joins Bandai Namco's sales team to help out in all game sales aspects, but specifically focusing on the home market.
"With Tim's broad background in many different departments of our company, I am excited to have him join our sales team," said Steve Ignarski, National Sales Manager, "Also with our expanding offerings in the home market and launching our Pac-Man Cave product line, he will be a major part of our company's growth in this area."

VRLA 2.0 Announced

VRLA is coming back to the LA Convention Center next year on May 4 and 5. The event is one of the biggest gatherings of consumers, creators and curators of VR and AR content, attracting thousands of attendees during its introductory event this year. Next year, an expected 12,000 will attend the two days of demos, workshops, speakers and more.
Passes and sponsorship opportunities are expected to be announced soon, keep reading Instant RePlay for more or check out the VRLA website here.

FOIL conference

ICE Bean Bag Toss 0617
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