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Friends Hope to Open Pinball Establishment in Vernon Hills

SkillShots Pinball would be located at Routes 21 and 45.

Two friends are hoping to make their dreams come true by opening a pinball establishment — SkillShots Pinball — at Routes 21 and 45 in Vernon Hills.

Neil Bryson and Jeff Hooper already received unanimous approval from the village's planning and zoning commission May 16, and were met with a favorable reaction from the Village Board on Tuesday night.

"This is a dream of ours to do," said Bryson.

Bryson and Hooper want to operate a couple dozen pinball machines at 1302 S. Milwaukee Ave.

Vernon Hills Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar said questions were raised at the planning and zoning commission level regarding the potential noise from the machines. He said not only is the common wall a concrete wall that would muffle sound, but the owners can also control the volume on the pinball machines.

Bryson added that the business would be open mainly on evenings and weekends.

SkillShots Pinball would be home to a variety of pinball machines, some dating back to the 1970s and ’80s. Patrons would pay a fee at the door — possibly $10 for the first hour — or buy a membership. Bryson said the exact prices still are being determined. 

The establishment would be open to all ages, but people younger than 18 would need to be accompanied by an adult.

Food and beverages would not be served, but patrons could purchase items from vending machines, Bryson said. 

Trustees agreed to direct staff to draft the necessary ordinance, which will be voted on at a future meeting.

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