HERRIMAN — Kelly Thomson definitely does not have your common basement. What he retains down there’s the end result of a childhood dream, courting again to when he first noticed a pinball machine in a good friend’s home.
In a single nook sits just a few outdated arcade video games — Asteroids, Defender, Dragon’s Lair — the sort you used to fill with quarters, again earlier than “Nintendo” was even a phrase most individuals had heard of.
However on the opposite facet of the basement sits Thomson’s true obsession, what he calls a “loopy dependancy.”
“Folks suppose it is all luck, that there isn’t any talent concerned,” he mentioned. “You simply bat the ball round, it hits what it hits, after which it drains and your sport’s over.”
What Thomson appreciates excess of his classic video video games is a row of pinball machines. In actual fact, he and his spouse simply moved in just a few months in the past, and his essential standards wasn’t the variety of loos or the kind of cupboards.
“Trying on the staircases that go down,” he mentioned. “How troublesome is it to get down this staircase with a pinball machine on an equipment dolly?”
In a manner, he has stored a childhood dream in play.
“I used to be all the time fascinated by going to anyone’s home that had a pinball machine within the basement and form of amazed that you can personal one in all these items,” Thomson mentioned.
When you may suppose it is the form of passion that would trigger battle, Thomson mentioned his spouse enjoys the video games as effectively — despite the fact that his preliminary pitch of proudly owning ten pinball machines was handed way back.
“I’ve, I believe, 25,” he mentioned with amusing. “Wow, like that is extra pinball machines than one particular person ought to personal.”
He has spent hours practising his goal and years honing his expertise. In between all of that, he was pressured to be taught the way it all works.
“Once you’re an proprietor, you in all probability begin to tinker with issues,” Thomson mentioned. “Like, this gentle’s out, you uncover this wire broke off, and it’s essential learn to solder it again on.”
And thus, a enterprise was born.
“One of many greater producers nonetheless round known as Stern,” Thomson mentioned. “They might reference that they’d extra elements than a Ford Taurus.”
He does not simply play pinball — he is resurrecting machines for purchasers throughout the state.
Thomson owns an organization referred to as “Utah Pinball Restore.” He recurrently opens up growing old, finicky machines, accessing the innards to diagnose and overhaul no matter points they’re experiencing.
And whereas his basement is filled with video games, it is not fairly massive sufficient for all 25 machines. That is as a result of restore is just a part of what he does. He additionally rents out the vast majority of his assortment.
Each halves of his enterprise have cracked the excessive rating.
“For a very long time, I have been doing it as a facet hustle, however proper now, I am pursuing it full time,” he mentioned.
He believes the pandemic has pushed curiosity in pinball machines to new heights.
“It is largely to non-public owners,” he mentioned. “And we in all probability have COVID to thank for that. Cannot go anyplace, so that you carry your leisure in the home.”
So whether or not it is working at residence, or taking part in at residence, for one man and his spouse, pinball has helped pay for theirs.
“The basement dimension positively performs an enormous think about selecting a home for me,” Thomson mentioned. “We have been each in settlement. She’s all on board.”