Inflatable Super Mario here to stay
Gone Broke Gaming wins lawsuit against Orange Park sign ordinance
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The owner of a video game store won his challenge of an Orange Park law that sought to prohibit him from setting up an inflatable Super Mario outside his store.
Scott Fisher, the owner of Gone Broke Gaming, used a 10-foot inflatable version of the classic video game character last summer to attract attention to his business at 686 Kingsley Ave., but was told to take it down or face a $100-a-day fine.
"Running a small business isn't easy from the start," Fisher said. "Then having the city tell me they're going to cut some of my profits out from under me in the form of not having my advertising, it kind of hurts."
Fisher argued that inflatables were allowed on residential properties but not commercial ones and that was an unfair interpretation of the town’s sign ordinance.
Orange Park law bans business owners from installing inflatables or other portable displays that convey a message related to their business.
Fisher said his business is set back 30 feet from the street and sales have suffered without the iconic character out front. He said Super Mario drew attention to his small storefront and it became an attraction for both kids and adults.
A court hearing has been delayed until February of next year to give the town the chance to rewrite the sign ordinance.
There will likely be some restrictions on the size of inflatables allowed, but the Mario will likely be allowed to stay.
The inflatable Super Mario has remained in front of the game store on Kingsley since the lawsuit started because the town gave Gone Broke Gaming the ability to keep it up during litigation.
Town Manager Sarah Campbell said the town is currently drafting a new ordinance that would allow inflatables.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.