Located in Austin, Texas, Blazer Tag Adventure Center is a large-scale laser tag attraction, adventure park, and arcade. One aspect of the adventure is Austin SkyTrail, a ropes course that’s 20-feet high with seven elements that are termed challenging but entirely safe. Limited to ten participants at a time, the course is uncrowded and thrilling, with a 48-inch-high height restriction but no age restrictions. Laser tag is the main attraction at the center, however – it’s the biggest arena in Texas with over 10,000-square-feet for play. Described as a high-tech version of hide and seek, the attraction features three stories of towers and ramps. Players use a futuristic-looking phaser to tag opponents with a laser light beam, and can join a team or play solo.
According to center and arcade manager Joe Michael Ramirez, “Each Blazer Tag game is 20 minutes long. Our demographic is age 7 all the way up to 97. We’ve been in business for 19 years and are updating all the time.” The attractions draw birthdays, corporate outings, and of course, families.
For promotion, the adventure center uses Twitter, Facebook, and other social media as well as standard newspaper print ads, and email newsletters for visitors who subscribe to receive it. The center also uses events to draw attendees. “For our anniversary this year we offered 19-cent games of laser tag. It was a great promotion,” Ramirez notes.
All work in tandem to promote the center, which also features an arcade, and soon, a virtual reality ride.
“We have an extensive mix of redemption and video games in the arcade, with games such as our new Lane Master bowling, which takes the concepts of video games and skee ball and mixes them into one. The play on it is amazing, especially with the lighting and high definition details of the LED monitor. That’s our most recent addition,” he asserts. “We’re planning on adding other arcade games this year, as well as a virtual reality simulator ride.”
As to SkyTrail, Ramirez says “The ropes course last about twenty minutes long. You go through as many elements as you want to, you can do it backwards, forward, no hands, everything,” he laughs. “The attraction allows kids and parents to go on it together, or kids that feel comfortable with it to go on alone.”
Food isn’t neglected either: pizzas, specialties such as Frito pies, snacks, and ice cream, are all part of the experience. The attraction frequently hosts birthday parties, corporate events, and coming up soon, a Spring Break Bash.
At the Rogue Valley Family Fun Center and Amusement Park in Jackson County, Oregon’s Central Point, the large indoor and outdoor entertainment facility’s general manager Matt Chubb notes that his is essentially the “only entertainment center within several hundred miles. We’re located in a small town, in a small area, so we really stand out in the community as a kind of amusement park and family entertainment center. We’re very well known.”
Some of that familiarity, which draws regional crowds, is due to the park’s location. “We’re located right on a major interstate highway, so we are in a great location, everyone sees us and knows where we are. We also do radio and some social media promotion,” Chubb says.Another form of promotion is the park’s annual Halloween event with costume contests and gift certificate giveaways.
Recent changes in the park include a remodeling of their bumper boat ride. “We’ve painted it and re-themed it with a tropical, Tiki-style, Hawaiian theme.” Chubb terms the ride very popular, although notes that his extensive go-kart track is probably the favorite attraction. He has no plans to expand or revamp this year other than continuing to update his arcade with new games.
Also popular is the 3-story soft playhouse structure for the littlest attendees, which offers slides, tunnels, web crawls, and a variety of twists and turns.
While the indoor area of Rogue Valley is 12,000-square-feet, the outdoor park area is extensive, positioned on 12 acres.
There are two mini-golf courses, each 18 holes, and themed. Elaborate structures such as lighthouses and castles are standouts on the course. Go-karts hunkitraverse a course known as the Northwest’s longest. The park also features eight batting cages with a range of speeds from slow softball to a fast baseball. There are snacks with standard choices from pizza to pretzels and ice cream available in indoor and outdoor dining areas.
“We’ve been in business 21 years,” Chubb explains. “Over time I would say the industry has changed in terms of how things are built and made, and within the arcade, the games are of course quite different, and today, redemption is more popular than the arcade itself,” he laughs.
The park’s unofficial motto is “Come see us and you’ll come back,” he attests. “We offer a pretty special place for the Rogue Valley, we take pride in having a place for families to come and enjoy leisure time, and in having safe and clean attractions.”
And at Wahooz Family Fun Zone and Roaring Springs Water Park in Meridian, Idaho, Pinz Bowling Center, a vast indoor arcade and rides, and an extensive waterpark facility are all a part of the mix. The facility has been open since 1999, with new attractions added over the years.
Coming this summer is the new Bearfoot Bay water wilderness playground, with three new water slides, over 20 animal-themed play features, and an expanded new shallow wading pool, as well as six new cabanas. The attraction is directed at younger children, who must measure under 48 inches in bare feet. Adding luxury and comfort, giant umbrellas will shade parents seated on ledges around the area and kids playing in the pool.
Other popular waterpark attractions include the vertical drop plunge of the Cliffhanger, and Corkscrew Cavern, described as the “first 360-degree looping waterslide in the entire Northwest.” Riders step into a launching capsule, a trap door drops open, and G-force power sends riders into a slide all the way around that loop.
When it comes to dining, a wide selection of subs and pizzas are joined by the eatery Fiesta Springs, where burritos, quesadillas, and a taco salad with topping choices of beef, chicken, or pork draw attendees to the table.
Inside attractions on the Wahooz side of the park include a four-story, 17,000 foot expansion that’s brought eight new indoor attractions to the park, creating an indoor space that’s over 70,000-square-feet. The twister, a swinging capsule amusement park ride that lifts and tils and spins; new, futuristic glowing bumper cars; and the miniature drop tower ride Frog Hopper create fresh new family fun.
Upcoming changes, according to sales and marketing director Tiffany Quilici, include construction of a new 12,500-square-foot Galaxy Event Center scheduled to open in November, and plans are in the making to add an indoor water park to the mix of attractions.