WABAC machine

Originally posted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette March 10, 2004.

With no ZIP code or post office of its own, Scott officials have for years worried about the township’s lack of identity. That could change soon with the arrival of not only a new business in an empty building but also an international tournament that could make Scott a destination point for hundreds of pinball players.

Kevin Martin, CEO and founder of South Side-based pair Networks, plans to buy the vacant JetNet building in an industrial complex on Keystone Drive. The location is near the Scott-Carnegie border and a stone’s throw from Interstate 79.

After doing some renovations to the 40,000-square-foot office-warehouse that formerly housed a food industry packing business, Martin plans to install several businesses of his own. One is a disaster recovery operation for computer systems and another involves pinball storage.

The pinball connection is significant because the building will host the Professional/Amateur Pinball Association’s international tournament, known as PAPA 7, for three days in September. It will be the first PAPA tournament since a 1998 event in Las Vegas.

Entrance fees will pay for PAPA 7’s more than $10,000 in prizes.

Scott Commissioner Eileen Meyers, in whose ward the JetNet building is situated, is thrilled.

“I’m real glad to see them coming in. For this building to be utilized in a way that’s bringing publicity to the township is great,” she said.

Scott commissioners paved the way for the tournament by waiving its mechanical devices fee for five days in September and allowing those younger than 16 to compete. An ordinance amendment dealing with those issues will be drafted for approval at a commissioners meeting later this month.

No gambling would take place at the tournament, but about 180 pinball machines stored at the site will be used.

Martin, who holds a computer science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was a research systems program at Carnegie Mellon University and a project manager at Sega Pinball before launching pair Networks in 1996.

In addition to the upcoming PAPA 7 tournament, he has co-hosted an annual tournament called Pinburgh that draws pinballers from across the nation, and he helps run Steel City Pinball.