Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
There's going to be a new Comic and Sportscard Shop opening on Las Vegas Blvd...
and it's going to be owned by, ME!
I've told a few people on the boards this news in the past few weeks, and now I want to make the official announcement. I will be opening May 1st, and my shop will be on Las Vegas Boulevard and Silverado Ranch, caddy-corner from the South Point Casino. It will be called Stripside Comics and Sportscards, and for those who don't know, I founded and owned Baseball Card Heaven in Las Vegas for two and a half years before selling it to some friends who kept it open another two plus years (it was still doing successfully when they closed, just a three-way partnership that saw an unbalance in time worked and direction).
When I opened my first shop, I was 23-years-old and a little clueless in the beginning. I'd like to think I learned a lot, and the shop was doing amazing when I sold it, I just over-exerted myself with many, many 70-90 hour work weeks, so I wanted out. About a month or two after I sold it, I wanted back in ironically. The first time around at Baseball Card Heaven (let's call it BBCH from here on), I only did Sportscards. Over the last year particularly, my emphasis has been on comics, and it's nice that I love collecting both.
As of right now, there are three Sportscard shops and thirteen comic shops in the greater Vegas area; there isn't a single shop that does both. Also, there are really neither of each within ten to fifteen minutes of my shop, but that doesn't mean I'm out in the Boonies. I have high income residential near me in Southern Highlands, Silverado Ranch, and Anthem; so I do love my location. I am on Las Vegas Boulevard (it's about four miles from Mandalay Bay and six miles from Belaggio/Caesar's) and I have great freeway access just a block off of the I-215. Very easy acces for much of the Las Vegas area locals and tourists alike.
My starting costs in fixtures and licensing alone are going to run around $12,000 it's looking like for my 1227 Sq. foot location. BBCH that I ran in 2003-05 was about 850 Sq ft, so I've upgraded the size a little, but will have a little bit of a squeeze between cards and comics. I have my ordering license from Diamond Distributors for my comics, and I have my dealernet account to order any unopened wax for sports cards. Not sure if I'm jumping into the MTG and other gaming equation, I know nothing about it really and I won't have a ton of free space for tournaments, but we'll see. Opening is May 1st, and I wish I could tell you it's going to be glorious and exactly as I want it to be on opening day, but that's not realistic. I will have a solid base of both comics and cards, with extra money to spend when stuff comes through the door, but my goal is for the shop to look better on June 1st than it does on May 1st, better on July 1st than it did on June 1st, etc, etc, etc...
As far as getting the word out, I plan on starting some solid Sports Radio campaigns on local radio (did well for me with BBCH and was very affordable IMO) and the comic world will get a huge introduction to my shop from June 14th to the 16th at The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con (being held at the South Point Casino right across the street from my location), which I will have two booths at and I am in the works to sponsor several events at and host several give-a-ways at as well. I signed a three year lease, and I got my shop at $1.00 per sq/ft the first year and $1.10 the next two years (plus CAM fees which are about .37 per sq/ft). I asked my landlord what this shop was going for in the boom until 2007 and he said he was getting $1.80 per sq/ft for reference.
I have big hopes with artist and writer signings as well as top MLB prospects that come through AAA Las Vegas 51's (currently the Mets affiliate with Travis d'Arnaud and Zach Wheeler playing for), I want to do once-monthly Sunday Cosplay and artist sketches for kids and adults, and a ton more to be actively involved in the Las Vegas collecting community. Just to point out, I know several of the Sportscard and Comic shop owners in town, and support has been amazing. For reference, I have been in Baseball Fantasy leagues for years with both owners Marcel at Legacy Sports Cards and Jeremy at Ultimate Sports Cards, they are both great guys and have been very helpful. I told a local comic shop owner from Forsaken Toys and Collectibles I would be opening, and he said if there's anything I can't get from Diamond as far as new release comics, he'd be happy to give me part of his order if I needed it. The Las Vegas Card and Comic community seem amazingly helpful to one another and I am glad to be a part of it again.
If anyone ever visits Vegas and wants to stop by, I had a policy at BBCH for those who called and asked how far I was from a particular Strip Casino; if I have another employee at the shop at the time, if you pay for a cab ride to my shop, I will be happy to personally drive you back for no charge. In the two plus years I owned BBCH, I probably only used that program three times, but it will be there for anyone as long as you call in advance. As far as locals, I had the General Manager of a local Hotel and Casino become one of my better customers for about a six month span before he was transferred across the country, but he usually got off work at 9:00, and he would sometimes call me around my closing time of 6:00 and ask if I could wait for him to get off work, and I would usually oblige as long as I didn't have anything major going on. I am a pretty decent guy and also try to extend that offer too. (And as a sidenote, he brought in one of his really high up corporate guys in a few times and they would probably drop about $1200 per visit; his corporate honcho pulled one of the most gorgeous modern Hank Aaron cards in existence from 2005 Donruss Classics that was a 1/1 AUTO with most of the Indian's head from a 1960's Braves uniform, and it has probably never seen the light of day to the collecting community since it was pulled by a multi-millionaire who's probably never sold a card on eBay in his life. I really wish I would taken a scan of it, sorry to those Aaron collectors out there)
Anyways, if you made it this far through my dragged out post, thank you sincerely. I could probably go on for hours about how excited I am to be back in the game. If you have any questions, ask them openly on this post or through PM, I will be glad to answer. All comments and advice are appreciated.