Hello all and thank you to all those who take the time to follow up with Super Arcade and all the madness that has occurred up to this day. I cannot explain all the gratitude I have for everyone and their kind words that have inspired and motivated me through all this. There have been so many roadblocks and hurdles to overcome in this journey and looking back, I just can't believe it has come this far. From getting denied twice at public hearings, to complying with all the city's crazy conditions of opening an arcade, and just grinding through all the normal issues with keeping a small business project alive. I can honestly say this has been not only the toughest task I have attempted my life, but also the most rewarding. Although the task at hand is still not complete, the journey has been amazing. And in terms of that, I can label both the good and bad with the exact label of amazing.
As things came to a close at the old location, I was truly burned out. The arcade went through a very tough time financially and emotionally. The money I suppose was the smaller issue while the emotional side of things wasn't exactly fun. Having to part ways with someone you have known for almost 20 years due to financial problems might be the worst reason as you find out at some point in your life that friends and money do not mix well together. I will not go into more detail about that since the point has already been elaborated many times over. Also there is still a sliver of respect towards this person, so I do not wish to completely destroy persona and reputation for the greater good of the community. Then we have the issue of a person that pretended to be a friend for almost 20 years being exposed as a compulsive liar and along with being extremely greedy and malicious with intent. The term "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" definitely comes to play with this person i suppose. I guess I was viewed as a threat, yet this person always acted to be a friend only building a bubble around people who actually liked him. This person though will be exposed more and more in the future though with reason being he has the power to potentially ruin an entire community from greed alone.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand. This blog has been an escape for me in a sense and generally sums up the main details of what's been going on with the arcade. The reason I have kept quiet about things is because as they get closer and closer, more work needs to be done to comply with all the regulations required by the city. And speaking publicly might offend someone or sway their judgement in a way that could cause more delays or issues. Just keep grinding and grinding while keeping my mouth shut was the option of choice for me. Let the haters talk their smack and ignore them, then come out with a bang of success and let that speak for itself. So you might ask, why speak now? Why not continue to work and be silent till everything is done? Well, that is probably a good question.....
For those not so informed and don't follow up much with the lovely City of Azusa, there was a public hearing this past week regarding a project called "Block 36." This project is located directly across the street from me and in the heart of Downtown Azusa. The hearing was to determine what business would anchor this shopping center/housing project and consisted of either a bowling alley/arcade, or a well respected movie theater. My first reaction was, an arcade? What the F*CK? A city that made me be basically bend over, put on knee pads, and grab a dumb truck full of lube to get my permits is not accepting of an arcade? This can't be serious...... Oh but it is...... At the hearing, literally 5 people were against the new theater. 2 being people that represented the existing theater located a few miles away, and the 3 people on city council that led the vote to being a 3 to vote in favor of a bowling alley. I can honestly say that I felt the pain of this as I recalled had an auditorium favoring my arcade with over 90% approval and still lost a hearing 2 to 1. It's truly incredible how things turn out sometimes. If you are interested in reading more, here's an article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune with a summary. SGVT Article
In the public hearing, the mayor directly stated that by opening another movie theater it would be unfair to the existing theater and possible cause them to shut down........ ok? What about an arcade that has done everything by the book? What about Super Arcade that is located within a 30 yard distance to this new location? What happened to the little guys? So much hypocrisy and obvious collusion in this decision. The project representative went as far as mentioning he worked with the City of Azusa for 20 years, and was well acquainted with the staff. He also mentioned he helped them with previous projects and was friends with much of the city staff. So is this how decisions regarding an entire city are made? They just ignore the citizens and play some type of "highschool buddy buddy" game? Well, that seems to be the case here.
I do have a regret in this matter. My regret is being selfish and not speaking up at the hearing and not signing a public speaking card to be allowed to voice my opinion. This is where I want to further explain why I have been quiet and why things are changing now. I was actually contacted by someone in the city and told that what I say will not cause any negativity and I was told to just be honest with the situation. So here I am, at a crossroad again. Do I continue to bite my tongue, or should I lash out and explain my frustrations and concerns over what occurred to me, and now to someone else. For me, I was just the little guy and easily brushed under the rug. For the Laemmlle family, we are talking about millions of dollars and an issue that will definitely not go away. So I have decided, F it. I have spoken to the newspaper and local news regarding this issue and will be meeting with them today for an article. Worst case scenario my issue will be made even more public and the people supporting the theater will hopefully support me as well. I have been told that there will be something done regarding the latest ruling to have the bowling alley/arcade and that the decision not to have a theater is not completely out of question at this point. So, I will do what's right and help not only myself, but also act in part for the citizens of Azusa and the Laemmlle family.
Thank you for reading and hope to see you all real soon.