At this time of the year, many families are itching to get out of the house, and a new arcade and skate shop in downtown Mound has the antidote to winter boredom. Vision Arcade and Skate Shop opened in August and has over 20 games for an afternoon of fun and competition.
Skateboarders can also pick up new gear from well-known brands like Girl, Santa Cruz, Creature, Chocolate, and more.
“My three boys love skateboarding at the local skatepark, but there wasn’t any place that was local for them to buy skate gear,” said Michelle Wisegarver, owner of Vision Arcade and Skate Shop. “A skate shop is a hard business in the winter and my husband Ben always wanted to own an arcade, so we decided to open them together.”
In addition to skateboard decks, the shop sells skateboard trucks, or steering devices, safety equipment, and clothing. The shop’s location is also very convenient, as Zero Gravity skatepark is located just two blocks away.
As far as the arcade, the Wisegarvers wanted a retro vibe that captured the nostalgia that they had for the 1980s from the music to the experience, so the machines are coin-operated rather than using a point or prize system. The cost to play is also in line with ‘80s prices. Most games are 50 cents per play with the exception of pinball and air hockey, which are 75 cents and a dollar respectively. There are also snacks and drinks available to purchase.
The Wisegarvers have acquired their games from various sources. One of their suppliers is a company outside of Minnesota that sells to cruise ships, and they’ve also gotten their pinball machines from a local company that sells refurbished machines with new screens and cabinets.
When it came to coming up with a name for the shop, Weisgarver said it was a family affair.
“We were all sitting around thinking of names and it just kind of came to us. I tossed out Vision and my husband and boys agreed. Originally it was Vision with a Z, but it kept autocorrecting,” she explained.
Wisegarver doesn’t leave skateboarding just to her boys either.
“I’m originally from Oregon and skateboarding was really big in the ‘80s and ‘’90s,” said Wisegarver. “I do some skateboarding and I loved the community and the sport, and still do.”
Vision Arcade and Skate Shop is not the family’s first business venture. Wisegarver’s husband owns his own painting company and Wisegarver used to run an eBay business.
“I spent a lot of time researching and writing a business plan and talking to other skate shops,” said Wisegarver. “And we’ve been doing everything we can to promote the business.”
Wisegarver says the first six months were tough, but business has picked up since she posted on Nextdoor. She’s also given free game cards to the schools to give out as prizes and has connected with the local homeschooling cooperative.
Currently, the Wisegarvers are exploring the possibility of expanding their space and adding some new features. One of them is skate sharpening, as Mound has three skating rinks and hockey is popular in the area. Skate sharpening is $7 plus tax and takes about five minutes.
“In the future we want to be able to buy more games and hire more local kids,” said Wisegarver. “Currently, we have 18 arcade games, five pinball machines, air hockey, and foosball and we just added a new claw machine and four-player ninja turtle game. We encourage groups of all sizes to come in and check us out.”
Vision Arcade and Skate Shop is located at 5245 Shoreline Drive in Mound. Hours and more information can be found on the website https://visionarcadeandskateboardshop.business.site/. The shop can also be found on Facebook and Instagram, @vision_skateboard_shop.
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