Ryan Family Amusements’ longest standing employee, Rob Nichols of Hyannis, is retiring this month after nearly five decades with the Cape-based company.
This April would mark Rob’s 47th anniversary with Ryan’s. He began his career at age 20 as a “gopher” as Rob says. He ends it as President and Partner.
Rob was asked by company founder Jim Ryan to work for the business just for the summer in 1977. Rob says he was essentially a gopher, doing everything from fetching coffee and sweeping floors to maintenance on pinball machines and delivering games to various locations. At the time, Ryan’s had two bowling locations (Needham and Falmouth), but also supplied games to several hotels, bars and other bowling centers from Provincetown to Boston.
Rob recalls pinball being the craze during those days, as well as the debut of Pong. He also recalls that games were all coin operated and part of his job was to wheel the coin bags full of quarters in a cart from Ryan’s Hyannis headquarters to the bank next door.
Rob had no idea that the summer would turn into a nearly 50-year career. Jim Ryan sent him to school to learn the industry and Rob became especially adept at servicing machines and doing repairs.
Over his career he’s seen the industry evolve from coin operated pinball machines to the debut of virtual reality and attractions like axe throwing. Through it all, he says his favorite part has been the social aspect and the people he’s been fortunate enough to meet and work with along the journey.
“I’m especially proud of the fact that our team at Ryan’s has been able to carry on Mr. Ryan’s philosophy of making our locations a wonderful place for family and friends to meet,” said Nichols. “When I look at my life and my career, I feel truly blessed to have worked for such a tremendous family business. I can genuinely say that is was a pleasure going to work every day, and that’s a rare thing.”
Please join us in wishing Rob well in his retirement years, where he plans to spend more time golfing, bike riding, going to the gym and spending time with his family.