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The “In-Between”

When you only have a few hours to spend in a city you try to check off as much laser tag as possible…well, at least I do. So, I had a couple more possible sites to visit in between my main objective (LQ) and returning to the Salt Lake City airport to catch the red eye flight leaving at midnight. Since I was already in Sandy, UT I proceeded a short ways up the road to All Star Bowling and Entertainment. They have several location and one was very convenient to where I was, so I was all set to play some Zone…although as it turns out this is actually a Laserforce site, so apparently all my pre-trip notes were incorrect, lol. OK, switching gears and ready to throw on a Gen 7 pack.

I arrived during a quiet time of day and asked if a staff member would be willing to do a 1v1 so I could try out the arena. The manager said he had a guy who was getting trained on running the laser tag, so he’d have him go in with me. In walks Austin who asks me to watch the briefing video. Little did he know I could practically recite that video from memory, but I appreciate that he was properly doing his job. Time to play!

This was a single level arena with a typical (and familiar) CW theme.

And what I loved most was that they had a miniature version of the tower I see everywhere!

I went up to hug the tower, which at this pint I refer to as “my old friend”.

And yes, even though it is shorter than the others this one counts for the wristband contest. Just drop me an email if you know how many arenas I’ve now played with this particular structure as part of the décor. The number is constantly growing, but if you get it right I’ll send you a glow in the dark “Laser Tagging America” wristband (U.S. entries only, please).

Austin and I played a pretty balanced 1v1 game of Laserforce. Although he is new to running the tag games, he is an experienced player and told me this is the first time in a very long time that someone beat him at laser tag, so I took that as a complement. The game was quite close! I had a great time and am glad I was close enough to get to play at this site. Thank you All Star Bowling and Entertainment!

When I was done here I went out to my rental car and made a couple of phone calls. The first was to the operator of a new mobile laser tag business in the area. A couple days ago I had spoken to Spence from Shangri-Laser (a name that I absolutely LOVE), which is a new mobile laser tag that will be using Battle Company tactical equipment. He told me he was expecting a shipment to arrive by Thursday and invited me to test it in a local park with them, but unfortunately an issue came up so the equipment was not ready to be tested just yet after all. However, I want to give them a shout out anyway because I wich them lots of success with this new enterprise.

I also called ahead to another site called Laser Zone, I was aware from my research online that they were selling their business, but I figured it would be worth a call just to see if they were still running games in the meantime. Unfortunately, they were not, so this freed up a little more “in-between” time before I had to catch my flight.

So, I headed over to another, different corporate FEC in the area that runs Lasertron.

I’m not going to name this place. They have multiple locations and I had played at one of their sites previously and not had the best experience. But I figured that this time might be better. It wasn’t.

After I purchased my game ticket I walked over to the waiting line where there was chaos going on in front of me. Some pre-teens were using inflatable mallets from the prize center to playfully, but VERY aggressively hit each other. There were unattended little ones climbing on the railings and people not waiting their turn to barge ahead in the line. Now, I realize that most of this is lack of parental attention and I don’t really fault the FEC for allowing it…until we get into the briefing/vesting room. The pre-teens continued to go after each other with those stupid inflatable mallets the entire time they should have been watching the video and even after putting on their laser tag packs. Nobody listened (which I realize happens a lot), but there was also no attempt by any employee to control the chaos. It was insane and in my opinion should not have been permitted. A family group opted not to play in that game (left the briefing area before it started) and I don’t blame them. Even if they stayed they would not have heard any of the rules.

As we walked into the arena the game master asked if there were any questions and I said I had a question. I asked him why he allowed that to happen? His answer (and he was a teenager himself) was that if they don’t pay attention and get hurt that’s on them and that he’s tried to talk over loud people and it just doesn’t work. I find this to be an unsatisfactory answer, but I do get that it’s probably hard for a teenager to exert much authority over other teenagers…still, it can be done.

I’m actually amazed that nobody did get hurt because one kid was lying on his back on a ramp for way too long before a different employee came in and told him to get up. Gee, if only he had listened to the briefing video he might have known not to do that! Well, since I was in a game with nobody else but these rowdy boys I decided this was a chance to exert some “Tivia justice” so I took my playing up a notch. When the game was over the teenage employee who I spoke to at the beginning said to me “Damn, you wrecked them!” when he saw my score. Thank you and good night.

So that ended my “in-between” games for the night and I headed back to the airport. Next stop, Ohio!

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