, Salem, MA


August 22, 2012

Skee-Ball still pulls them in at Salem Willows


The most popular prizes with the kids are Snaps. You throw them on the ground and they explode.

Can I see one?

We don’t have any. We’re all out. She ordered them.

How long do people stay when they come here?

They’re all over. Some people go down to the beach, then they come back here and play games.

Casey: We also have camps that come here, day camps, from all over. Once a season we usually have a big camp bus from way up in Maine — way, way, way up in Maine. It takes them a long time to get here, but the kids love it. It’s a family-type place.

How many tickets do the prizes cost?

What’s the range?

Robichaud: It goes from two to thousands.

How have the prizes changed over the years?

Casey: It’s basically the same prizes, except for the high-priced stuff.

How often does somebody get one of the big ticket items?

Robichaud: Not too often...

Casey: They save them for a couple years.

Robichaud: ... But they will save them if they want something. They will save a couple of seasons.

Once or twice a season, somebody gets a big-ticket item?

Robichaud: I would say even more than that. Like, see the fishing rods? We’ve already given out four of them. There are two more up there.

So kids start saving ...

All adults. Adults love it. They’ll win a jackpot. I know some woman now that’s saving for that TV. It’s 28,000.

How have the games changed? What are some of the older games people still play?

Casey: A lot of people do come down just for the Skee-Ball. They’ve been coming since they were kids.

Robichaud: Skee-Ball. They usually update the games; every season they’ll be two or three more games. Like, the Big Bass is new. Fruit Ninja is new — touch screen.

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