New Salida arcade boasts vintage games, cutting-edge technology

Living in a place full of recreational activities makes it easy to let loose our inner child.

No matter what age, it is easy to get excited at the sound of pinball pings and jukebox tunes and allow that nostalgia to take us back to days of easy living. Coming this April, classic arcades are no longer a concept of the past.

Fun Street Family Arcade is not only bringing back original vintage games from Salida’s former Hot Shot Arcade but will have it all when it comes to family entertainment. From indoor sports simulators and virtual reality headsets to pool tables, foosball, shuffle board and ping pong, the term arcade encompasses more than the traditional hangout used to be. There will even be two rooms available to reserve for birthdays and events. Did I mention the prize counter? Keeping with the classic nature, there will be fun prizes to win as well, so be sure and remember to grab your tickets after each game.

For Scotty Hughes, owner and mastermind behind the project, his mission is to appease that kid-at-heart and bring some old school entertainment back to downtown Salida. He is full of enthusiasm about the buzz that has surfaced from his new business, set to open the first week in April. His first visit to the valley was in the ’90s and compelled him to ultimately quit the idea of corporate living to start a life in Salida in 2001.

“When I first moved here we had Hot Shots Arcade. It was a great hangout for people of all ages. I understand arcades faded out a bit with home consoles being the new craze, but I just believe it’s time to bring it back!  Especially now for our youth in Salida. They need a fun, safe place to hang out and be social again,” said Hughes.

As a child of the ’80s, Hughes’ love of arcades and the wholesome, social atmosphere they provide never dissipated and now that his dream is finally becoming a reality, he may be most excited about what this addition can provide for locals and visitors alike.

“I still have to pinch myself daily on our downtown location. It’s perfect for locals on bikes as well as tourists checking out our downtown shops. Families can send their kids over here while they shop or want to kick back a little longer at their favorite restaurants,” he said. “We’re putting the ‘fun’ in F Street again!”

The arcade will open daily at noon and then close at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sunday. The grand opening will offer free popcorn all day, as well as a discount on the virtual reality and golf/sports simulator. The games themselves will cost anywhere from 25 cents to $1, with a quarter machine handy to keep the game-time flowing.

There will be healthy snacks and drinks available in a vending machine along with popcorn to satisfy the arcade atmosphere, but other than private parties, no outside food or drink is allowed.

“We made a point to have ‘Family Arcade’ on our signage to let folks know we’re a family friendly establishment. We’ve got friendly teenage staff to assist where needed and plenty of options for games and entertainment for all ages,” added Hughes.

Though the appeal of a timeless arcade making its mark on downtown is intriguing for any age, Hughes has multiple motives in creating a space for everyone to enjoy. He has transformed an idea from the past to satisfy the niche and is also looking to the future with a new possibility for the pastime.

“I initially thought of bringing back the arcade after noticing the lack of opportunities for youth, specifically teens in our community. There are all sorts of other happenings for them in town now; we just wanted to be one of those choices they get to make,” said Hughes. “I’m thankful and excited for the opportunity to bring back some memories for older folks like myself as well as create some new ones for kids and families alike.”