ORLANDO,Fla. -Diversification has been the mainspring for success in a highly “problematic market” for Pell Amusement here.
A “family affair”, Pell Amusement Co. runs jukeboxes and games, scales, a multiple operation which keeps founder Frank M. Pell, his son Robert, daughter Shirley and wife Thirza hopping.
Pell and active operator for 35 years is easily the dean of Central Florida’s Jukebox industry. Pell has more than 300 pieces out on location., split almost evenly between jukeboxes and games, but has always suffered from a prescribed, limited market. “Bars in our area close at midnight, with tight enforcement everywhere, “ Bob Pell indicated, which means the hours that are most profitable elsewhere simply don’t exist in the Orlando market. So, of course, we have to turn to other types of operations.”


At one time, Pell Amusement included cigaret vending in it’s services, but sold this out a few years ago, when it was found that this was too specialized a subject in a company which demands versatility and the ability to swing from one service to another with ease. The entire job is carried out by the Pells and one collector assigned to the jukebox route, who also handles the programming chores. From day to day the picture changes sharply, with the result that Pell may be repairing a phonograph on location, hauling two games to a new spot, shipping a scale, and ordering half a dozen new stamp vending units, all in a day’s work.


Probably the almost unusual diversification story with the Pell family has been the decision to expand into scales several years ago. Pell Jr. and Sr. have felt that the disappearance operators in general throughout the territory has meant plenty of room for a full-scale operator, with the result from an original purchase of a dozen machines, the scale route has expanded to more than 350 units. Locations extend from Orlando across the South Coast of the country to Hot Springs, Ark..
Scale locations are serviced by Pell himself, on the average of one service call every six months in the more remote areas. Oddly enough, in using a station wagon to maintain the far-flung scale route, Pell has never been put to the heavy work of carrying replacement along as cargo. Instead, through purchasing an existing scale route in Little Rock. Ark., where there was a predominance of fairly new machines, Pell moves machines from Little Rock to Hot Springs, as the need arises, and in this way has an operating warehouse of units which will eventually find their way into the Hot Springs area.
Pell likewise operates 130 stamp vending machines, all in the Central Florida territory which, of course require much more frequent servicing, but far less travel.
With their present office near mid-town Orlando, close to major highways which lead to all territories, Pell Amusement Co. Can readily expand in any direction, and will cheerfully add whatever equipment is needed, in new brackets , if necessary.

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