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Games Ahoy! houses Fort Collins’ retro gaming community

Games+Ahoy%21+gaming+store+is+located+on+South+College+Avenue+in+Fort+Collins+Aug.+21.%0A
Collegian | Jaiden Stanford
Games Ahoy! gaming store is located on South College Avenue in Fort Collins Aug. 21.

One of the business’ three locations, Games Ahoy! on College Avenue is home to a variety of retro consoles, video games, board games, collectibles and more. The company was founded in 2012 by Adam Ray, who originally resided in Arkansas.

From about 2009 to 2012, Ray ran a small business reselling retro games.

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“At the time, people on YouTube like collectors and buyers were showing off their finds and collections,” Ray said. “The retro video game collecting scene sort of blew up because of YouTube. A lot of the stores had video games way underpriced compared to online averages.”

Ray would go to many of the game stores around Arkansas and buy retro games for a low price and sell them for a significant profit online. After a few years of this operation, Ray relocated to Colorado to open the first location of Games Ahoy! in Loveland in 2012.

After a second Loveland store was opened, Ray found a home for the third and final store in Fort Collins. 

“(Games Ahoy!) is not like GameStop where it’s only new stuff,” Fort Collins store employee Ewan Wummel said. The store sells games for Atari, old Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo. “(The store is) dedicated to people who love retro games.”

A lot of the store’s retro stock comes from trade-ins and customers selling to the store as well as retail distributors for newer games, Wummel said.

“(Games Ahoy! is) a nice, fun community for people of all ages and identities who just love video games.” –Ewan Wummel, Fort Collins Games Ahoy! employee

There are no current plans to open more stores in additional areas, as Ray feels rooted in the Fort Collins and Loveland area due to Games Ahoy!’s yearly convention in Loveland: Vincon.

Vincon began in 2015, and “it’s meant to be a place where collectors, players and families can come and enjoy video games and video game-themed carnival games, vendors and music,” Ray said. “It’s meant to be a place to celebrate video games.”

A large portion of the convention is a free-to-play area with video game consoles dating from the 1970s to the present day, including virtual reality. There are about 60 to 70 consoles set up for the event, Ray said. 

“Almost every year, we increase our attendance by 50-75%,” Ray said. “This past year we hit 1,700 attendees, and this year we plan on over 2,000 attendees.” 

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Tickets for the convention start at $15 per day, and with admission, attendees are given game tokens for the carnival games, where they can win prizes. In addition to those games, Vincon also has various console and card gaming tournaments in which winners can receive trophies and prizes. 

The convention is not the only opportunity gamers have to compete against one another. Gaming tournaments are held at the Fort Collins location of Games Ahoy! frequently throughout each week and are easy to get involved with. 

“Just show up on the day of,” Ray said. “We usually have a poster on our window that explains what day or what time (the tournaments are). The best thing to do is just follow our Facebook page because we also post about events there.”

The tournaments are just one side of the community fostered by Games Ahoy!

“I was so attracted to it as a customer and prospective employee because of just how wonderful everybody is,” Wummel said. “Everybody at the Fort Collins store especially is so chill and nice, and you’re able to have great experiences.”

“It’s a nice, fun community for people of all ages and identities who just love video games,” Wummel said. “I love Games Ahoy! a lot.”

Reach Samy Gentle at life@collegian.com or on Twitter  @samy_gentle_.

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    GLNov 12, 2023 at 9:32 am

    When is the convention? Where is the third store? What are the stores’ hours? Do they only sell retro vids & equip or other games, too?

    Reply