SALEM, IN (WAVE) – It was opened as a safe hang-out for kids in Washington County, but word is getting around it is anything but. The owners of a new arcade business believe a rumor may be tarnishing their image and their profit.
The Sweet Spot Arcade has just been open for a little over a month. It's located on the square in the heart of downtown Salem.
"We're two 20-year-old boys trying to do something good for this town," said Blake Bobo, owner.
For Nicholas Weymouth and Blake Bobo the corner shop was a dream in the making. With the help of some inheritance, they were able to make that dream come true outfitting an old Chinese restaurant with TVs, video games, and 14 different arcades.
"We grew up around here and we wanted to give back to our community and give back something that would help them out and give the kids something to do and something we never had when we were kids," said Weymouth.
The owners say in the first two and a half weeks, business was booming, but they quickly went from making $300 on Friday to just $20.
"Some nasty rumors have been going around about us that we've been busted for drugs and that we sold drugs out of here and that's not true," said Weymouth.
When in fact they say they preach the exact opposite. Weymouth says it didn't take long for the gossip to spread.
"A lot of kids that were allowed up here that did their homework here everyday, that were our repeat customers," said Weymouth. "That really helped us and supported us, but now their parents won't let them up here because of that rumor."
Johnathon Wrightsell says he comes to Sweet Spot two to three times a week to play X-box.
He says when he heard what was going around, he knew it wasn't true.
"I didn't really believe them because this is a pretty cool place, I don't see people handing out drugs or anything," said Wrightsell.
But these young business owners fear they may never be able to bounce back. "We're going to try whatever we can to stay open and not close," said Bobo.
Salem Police say the only time they have been called to the arcade was for a minor traffic issue. They say there has never been any reports of drug use or suspicion at the business, nor have they ever had any trouble with the two owners.
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