Mission resident Seven Graylands has 45 pinball machines and wants to open a pinball museum and arcade in downtown Mission. / Kevin Mills Photo

Pinball museum plan stalled

Downtown bylaw has Mission man thinking of moving his idea to Abbotsford

Seven Graylands thinks Mission is losing out on a fun concept for the downtown area.

The local resident and pinball fan has an idea – to create a retro pinball museum/arcade.

His idea is to have a large collection of pinball machines from the 1960s to now, that people can play for a flat fee. No more searching for quarters to put in the machines.

There would also be displays showing the history of the machines and how they work.

“I want to make it educational, more than just your basic arcade.”

However, Graylands said the district’s new bylaw prohibits arcades in the downtown core.

The bylaw prevents certain types of businesses from opening downtown. Those businesses include tattoo parlours, flea markets, vehicle rentals, tobacconists, marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, cheque-cashing companies and arcades.

What’s surprising to Graylands is that he had already been looking at a location and dealing with the district before the new bylaw was proposed.

He wonders why no one at the district told him his idea might not be allowed.

Graylands said he came up with the idea about 18 months ago. He wants to base it on the Seattle Pinball Museum, which attracts large crowds to check out and play the vintage machines.

“I had started buying pinball machines and after I had eight or nine of them, I thought I should really look at doing this, sharing my collection with other people.”

He has now amassed about 45 machines, all crammed into his house, waiting for a location to be displayed.

But the bylaw is standing in his way.

“Now I’m like, OK, Mission’s out of the question so I’ll do it in Abbotsford.”

Graylands said Abbotsford does not have a bylaw restricting arcades and he is already scouting for a location.

He added if the district decided to put arcades back into the downtown zone, he’d consider staying in Mission, but he doesn’t want to “jump through hoops for it.”

“I’m not going to wait for special permits or legal non-conforming and all that. They’re nonsense and just sort of limits my availability.”

During Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Randy Hawes spoke about the situation.

He told the rest of council that he’d hate to see a business go to Abbotsford.

“I think it’s not a bad thing for downtown,” said Hawes.

He suggested council direct staff to look into the bylaw for a possible change.

“If we are in agreement that this is a business that we would welcome downtown, then that is the message we want to give the business owner,” said Hawes.

Any change to the bylaw would have to go to a public hearing. It was suggested that a temporary-use permit could be a better option.

Hawes suggested that Graylands come and talk to staff and, hopefully, come up with a resolution.

Just Posted

Vancouver School District scoops up another Langley leader

Suzanne Hoffman has been hired as the Superintendent of Schools for Vancouver

Langley condo builders sold same units multiple times: report

The receiver for a condo complex in foreclosure found one unit had been sold four times.

Boy, 15, reported missing from Abbotsford

Kailum Staples was last seen on Nov. 10

Freezing rain expected on the Coquihalla

Wet weather expected to cause issues on B.C. highways

Search and rescue teams all out in search of missing woman

Maple Ridge squad joins in on effort in Coquitlam in Westwood plateau area

VIDEO: Fort Langley marks anniversary of B.C.’s birth

On a rainy day in 1858, B.C. was made an official colony.

BC Hydro issues storm safety tips

Bulletin indicates “electrical contact incidents resulting in serious injury are on the rise.”

B.C. flaggers rally after colleague struck in Okanagan

Traffic Control Personnel respond to colleague being hit in Lavington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee visits B.C.

Premier John Horgan talks trains, pipelines with southern neighbour

Viral video shows deer killed on Snapchat in Campbell River

RCMP say they have identified those involved and are working with conservation officers

Man arrested Monday after Surrey Creep Catchers call police

No charges have been laid in second Creep Catchers incident in two weeks

BC Conservatives call for ICBC reform

Leader Scott Anderson of Vernon calls ICBC ‘national embarrassment

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

Most Read