The final leg of our 2021 US tour brings us to the town of Sturbridge, around an hour’s drive west of Boston. The Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center is the venue for the Pintastic Pinball & Game Room Expo, hereafter just called Pintastic.
The Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center is a complex of buildings housing the reception, the pavilions, a pool, numerous accommodation blocks, multiple conference rooms and at least two large show halls. The complex has seen multiple expansions over the years, so there is a mix of styles across some of the different blocks.
Here’s a look around a few of these areas.
Pintastic has been running since 2015 and has a large team working in the months leading up to the show on its many different aspects, such as the free play machines, the vendors, the seminars, the publicity, the website, the logistics and so on.
For the free play machines they have built a custom game registration, check-in, game information and fault tracking system called MyFlipR which allows game bringers to register their machines, have them tracked as they are brought into the building and have any faults which develop logged against them for the maintenance crew to address.
We arrived at Thursday lunchtime as the Free Play Room was being set up ready for the public opening at 6pm.
At the far end of the building, the Vendor Hall was also being readied, although that room doesn’t open to the public until Friday at 11am.
There is a separate custom-built Seminars Room of which we will see more a little later, once the first seminar begins at 7pm today.
In addition, a special Extra Ball Lounge is available to guests who purchase a limited edition pass when registering. These sold out quickly, so only a small number of guests and event staff will get to play these games.
We will be back soon with more from Pintastic as we update our report across the four days of the show, so check back at Pinball News for all the very latest from Sturbridge.