In a black light room, Theresa Cruthird’s white designed facemask glows brightly. Strapped in a light-up vest and holding a laser gun, Cruthird maneuvers her way around the multi-leveled course, shooting green laser beams at obstacles and triggering effects like fog smoke and music.
“(I’ve played this) a lot,” Cruthird says about the laser tag game. “And I’m pretty competitive.”
Laser tag is one of five activities at Cruthird’s new business, Generations AdventurePlex.
The new two-story boutique entertainment facility located next to Movies 14 soft opened last week and features activities such as arcade games, axe throwing, bocce ball, laser tag and bowling, with room for more activities like rock climbing and outdoor beach volley to be added.
A full-fledged restaurant with a self-serve 12-tap beer wall is also available in the space, with two private rooms for events and parties.
Construction for the 33,000-square-foot building began late last year, with plans to open this fall. In other new-construction cases in the area, the coronavirus pandemic slowed production. But the AdventurePlex project pushed forward.
“I think because it was a passion project for our construction company,” Cruthird said. “They were here nights, they were here weekends. And I think a lot of their other projects were on pause because of the pandemic so they were able to donate a lot more of their resources to this.”
The concept was the brainchild of Cruthird, a local anesthesiologist who also owns the venture with partners Barry Wright and Joe Grabill. The idea, which Cruthird said was in the making for years, stemmed from a need for an entertainment space for families, especially adults.
“There are things for kids to do but we didn’t want to make it a strictly kid environment because our demographic showed there’s a deficit in the market that we can fill,” Cruthird said. “So we married the concept — which is why it’s called Generations — so the adult space is upstairs for a date night or corporate party and where you’re not overrun by kids. … There are going to be periods where we want your kids here and we want them to play and get exhausted, but by a certain period around 7 p.m., it becomes more of an option for adults.”
Food, which is often an afterthought at entertainment venues, is at the forefront at AdventurePlex. There, a classically trained executive chef makes items such as hand-tossed pizza, mozzarella sticks, wings, salads, wraps and bowls. COO Jack Vermillion said the menu is mostly made from scratch, with plans to focus on local vendors and produce. Food can be counter-served on the lower floor, or offered through table service on the second floor. Beer and wine are also available.
The business uses technology throughout the space, such as an arcade card that can be loaded with money and used at games, beer touch screens and menus that can be brought up with QR codes. Cruthird said part of the move to more technology advances was to provide a level of service that isn’t often associated with entertainment centers, but it also limits the amount of contact which is especially advantageous during a time when health and safety concerns are at the forefront for so many people.
Opening a large entertainment center in the midst of the pandemic has created some concern as many of the activities require a high-touch frequency with shared pieces.
In response, Cruthird and Vermillion have instated what they call “hospital style entry protocols” with strict sanitation and health processes. Upon entering the complex, each customer, no matter the age, will be temperature checked and masks are required to stay on at all times. The only time masks are allowed off, Vermillion said, is when people are sitting down to eat or drink and when someone who is up to bowl can place the mask below their chin level, but it must cover the nose and mouth once done. Hand sanitizer is also stationed throughout the space.
Employees are stationed at each of the activities and dining space, ready to help customers with games but also to sanitize equipment and games after each player or group is completely finished. Management has also limited the capacity to 50% below the requirement.
“The amount of disinfectant that we use, we are going through in about a week what we normally would go through in a month,” Vermillion said. “Just because we are trying to be as clean as we can.”
Generations Adventureplex is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m. Vermillion said a family of four wanting to take advantage of all services can expect to pay between $80 and $100.
Urban Air Adventure Park in Mishawaka not going to happen
The proposed indoor adventure park at the former USA Skate Center site on North Main Street in Mishawaka will no longer happen.
Broker John Mester with NAI Cressy, who oversees the property, said the contract with Urban Air Adventure Park for the building, at 3909 N. Main St., was terminated at the end of last year. Mester said the decision to terminate plans was mutual between the franchise ownership and brokerage company.
USA Skate Center closed in June 2016 and the building has been vacant since. The location is currently listed for sale.
Have you heard?
Blackthorn Top Golf Swing Suite remains closed and is listed for sale. According to a listing on local brokerage company Bradley Company, the space at 322 Toscana Blvd. is for lease and details the business and golf simulators are also for sale. The business opened in December 2018 and features a restaurant, bar and six golf simulators. Blackthorn Operating Group CEO Tim Firestone did not return several phone calls from the Market Basket reporter about the listing. … A new bank is being built near Costco. According to a construction design release, an INOVA Federal Credit Union will be building a Mishawaka branch just northeast of the shopping store. … Doreen’s in Mishawaka will close in 2 weeks. Owner Wayne Bieck has decided to retire after working at the sewing machine and vacuum retail and repair shop for over 50 years. … Barnes & Noble notified customers last week that the bookstore company was hacked online, which resulted in unauthorized access to certain corporate systems. In the email, Barnes & Noble said while financial data was not compromised, personal information such as email, billing and shipping addresses and telephone numbers may have been. The company said it has “no evidence of the exposure of any of this data, but we cannot at this stage rule out the possibility.” Customers with questions can call customer service at 1-800-843-2665.
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