Former UNLV Student Aims for High Score with Video Game Store
A former UNLV student has finally realized his dream of owning a vintage video game store.
The establishment, named Retro City Games, opened on Sep. 27, 2014 in Henderson and contains video games from an assortment of generations.
“Retro City Games contains everything that GameStop has, and multiplied by 50,” said owner Doug Haughaboo, 25.
Haughaboo mentioned that a significant portion of the store’s selection includes games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis and PlayStation.
“Despite their age, consoles like the NES and the Sega Genesis are still incredibly popular in today’s gaming culture,” said Haughaboo. “Therefore, it shocks me when gaming stores completely want to diverge from these old, yet moneymaking, classics.”
Retro City Games, located at 693 N. Valle Verde Dr., contains approximately 5,000 games for purchase.
The entirety of the store’s inventory is generated by customers trading in their video games for store credit. According to Haughaboo he receives at least 100 games on a daily basis.
Retro City Games also sells titles that sell for more than hundreds of dollars on Internet auctions. The most expensive game the store has sold is “EarthBound” for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, valued at $560.
“I never thought in a million years that I would see these obscure classics in person,” said customer Brent Shepherd, 22. “These are the kinds of things you see in photographs, or perhaps behind bulletproof glass.”
Aside from video games the store also sells strategy guides, action figures and stuffed animals. Haughaboo also collaborated with freelance artist Chace Combs in October 2014, who creates video game characters and logos out of wood.
The store is operated by Haughaboo, as well as his girlfriend Nichole Ghougasian, 25.
Gamers throughout Clark County love Retro City Games.
“Everything about this place beats the high score among gaming stores in Las Vegas,” said customer Ryan Martinez, 19. “The owners know exactly how to run a store, mainly because of two things: efficient customer service and incredible prices.”
Retro City Games also offers several free-play arcade cabinets, such as “Jurassic Park III,” “Pole Position” and “Mechanized Attack.”
“Aside from serving as a place to walk down memory lane, another goal of the store is to let people try their luck with some well-loved classics without spending a dime,” said Haughaboo, who is also planning to conduct various video game tournaments in the future.
“We’re trying to attract people into the building in just about as many ways as possible,” said Ghougasian.
Prior to owning Retro City Games, Haughaboo worked as a suit specialist at a J.C. Penney in Henderson from 2008 to 2012. He also spent his spare time buying, selling and trading video games on Craigslist.
Haughaboo attended UNLV as a business major for two semesters from 2008 to 2009, before taking a leave of absence to pay for student loans.
“As I took an absence from school, and I got a job to help pay for loans, all I was thinking about was making my small business dreams become a reality,” Haughaboo said. “The more I began to plan my route, the more serious I became about Retro City Games.”
Haughaboo mentioned that he wanted to open Retro City Games for personal and financial reasons.
“I never wanted to follow the crowd, and I am a dedicated gamer. In a nutshell, I combined the two,” Haughaboo said.
He also believes that most video game stores, particularly GameStop, may cease operations in 20 years due to the rising popularity of mobile gaming.
“Video games available for iPads and phones have significantly dented the gaming business the past few years,” Haughaboo said. “It might have to do with the inexpensive prices, or the simplicity of the games themselves, but I would not be surprised if video games on discs will cease to exist soon.”
Haughaboo has created a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page advertising the store, and is developing a website that will allow people to view the shop’s inventory in real-time. He also hopes to open a second establishment in Las Vegas if the first location proves successful.
“Hopefully, gamers will realize that a great video game store is not just about promoting the latest trends like GameStop does,” Martinez said. “Instead, it is about appreciating the modern and classic generations of video games.”
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