Man, has it been such a wild and draining ride just getting to this point. As a grown man I have yet to experience many things in life that have moved me as emotionally as the community of the FGC. Everything leading up to this point has been combination of hard work, sacrifice, and at times what seems to be stupidity and just being hard headed. I can't even count how many times I have had people in my inner circle tell me to just drop my dreams and let this whole thing go. I have literally had a burden on my back for almost 2 years now and I am not one to back down from any challenge. I have gone through so many good times and so many bad times since the arcade shut down back in December of 2014. But during that time it was never a question of if I was going to reopen, it was more of a question as to when I was going to reopen. If you have been along with me for this ride you will know that it has not been easy. It has been extremely draining on every facet of my life not only mentally, physically, but also financially. It has taken on huge toll on me and also people around me. I don't think people can quite understand how hard it is to come up with $4,000 a month to pay rent, $800 to pay storage fees, and then stack that on top of your everyday bills which include a mortgage payment, car payment, and other miscellaneous items. I need to come up with roughly $7000 on a monthly basis just to stay afloat. Now this is no boast by any means.... I wish I had 0 bills and didn't need to worry about anything in life. I don't think anyone is happy to have bills or financial obligations on any frequency, but that's life. You want something, you're gonna have to pay for it, and if you want to enjoy certain things it life, those things all come with a cost.
I have been very fortunate to have my family and so many friends around me that are willing to help me out when I needed it. I have made it to this point with their help and would like to thank them all for their support. I know I have been a pest and its never easy reaching out for support, but just know that I do understand and appreciate everything you have all done for me. I have so much to say and will probably break this post into 2 segments to save you guys from drowning in all the mess.
I want to talk about everything that's gone on since Super Arcade shut down and seriously thank all of you who spent the time to contact me and check on things. Just receiving direct messages on my Twitter account means a lot. Seeing people talking about the arcade and how they miss it truly does motivate me. Hearing people giving me shout outs and wearing Super Arcade shirts on stream makes me realize that the community does care and that's the reason why I keep moving forward. This whole thing was never about any money, never about any kind of fake internet fame. I could give 2 shits about any of that honestly. I have been to the top of the mountain in competition, I have had a good life and done many things that a person on a normal income would only dream of doing. I have owned expensive things in life and experienced what it's like to not be on a budget. But after being a part of all that, I realized what I truly want to do and what I want to surround myself with. I love this community of fighting gamers more than anything else. I love being that person that is handing down a new generation an experience of being involved in camaraderie and competition. This is what I grew up on, this is what made me who I am today, and the people I met and battled with throughout my gaming career are now my friends for life. You can't buy an experience like that, and you can't just sit at home on your computer and be a part of something like this. You need to put yourself into this environment to really feel what the FGC is all about. For some people it's once a year attending an event like EVO in Las Vegas, and for others it's about going to your local tourneys, or having gatherings at a friend's house. But for any of you that have ever been a part of it, only you truly know how special it is. I just want to pass this down to anyone who is willing to be a part of something this amazing and I know the community as a whole is here with open arms to accept everyone.
Funny as it may sound, there is just about something for anyone in our beloved group. You don't even have to like participating directly in the competition to enjoy it. There is just so much that is involved and so many positives that gaming brings to the world. I can go on and on about all this but I guess you guys really came here to read an update so I will spare you all the chatter and get down it now with a quick rundown before elaborating more.
Back in December of 2014 I closed down Super Arcade due to not being able to negotiate a better lease with the landlord. Rent was ridiculously high and we were out growing the location already. Fast forward to April, I find a new location in Azusa, go through all the paperwork and required permits and get denied due to political warfare between the city officials and that landlord. During that time I went through 2 public hearings and as many of you know, these had corruption written all of it. Thinking back on all this actually infuriates me. Getting denied because "people will piss all over the walls of the arcade parking lot" and getting denied because "men will gawk at women walking by" are just a couple of the ridiculous excuses I received. Oh how fortunate I was that this was all broadcast live over the internet for people to see and thankfully I had so many witnesses there to hear this nonsense. If there was no proof of this madness I'm sure I would've lost all support and been called a liar lol. Anyways, after failing to be able to open at the first location, I was given a location by a city board member to check out and this is the location I am currently leasing since back in September of 2015. I was approved for permits at this spot to open, but not approved for "construction permits." Boy oh boy did I learn a sick lesson here. In order to open a business you need to make sure you have a permit that allows that type of business in the area. Then, you need to obtain a business permit which allows you to open your doors, but in order to obtain a business permit you need have your building inspected and all your modifications approved. In order to start modifications you need a building permit, and in order to get a building permit you need to turn in plans that are done by licensed architects and engineers and have them accepted by the building officials in the city. Are you still there? Am I confusing you enough yet? And to top if off, step number 1 of obtaining a permit to even have a shot at opening requires you already have a location set, which forces you to start a lease at that particular location just in hopes of getting everything off the ground. Sound a little ridiculous? Well, it is, and if you have any doubt of this process please feel free to drop by city hall and ask them anything you like.....
Anyways, this rant isn't quite over yet haha. So during inspections and making plans, there are always "corrections" that are to be made and my team must comply and alter the plans we are turning in. Here's where the headache comes in. They wanted more bathrooms, added that, they wanted everything up to code for handicap access, got it, they wanted the maximum capacity issue handled, check. That's everything right? Nope...... Then after almost 6 months of back and forth, they said the building wasn't earthquake safe... WTF? And to top if off, they wanted me to move the front door location cause it wasn't swing the proper direction for wheelchair access or something like that. Whatever. So even through all this, I kept pushing and pushing and bugging the hell out of my architect to keep changing and redrawing up plans until we finally got everything the way they wanted. We had to even add a trash bin area outside and draw up plans for proper ventilation. All that is done now. We were then forced to go to the fire department in another city to have them look over and approve our exit plans and fire escape pathing. Done, done, and done. Now all plans are turned in and I received word that the last step is accepted. It's just a slight wait now for everything to get officially stamped and I am aiming to start construction by the end of the month.
Thanks for reading and I will have another blog up in a few days.