A Hidden Gem - Lazer with a Z
I had to go a little out of my way, but it was absolutely worth the trip to visit Lazer Force Lazer Tag of Osage Beach, MO near the Lake of the Ozarks. No, that’s not a typo…this is Lazer Force with a Z. Although they currently run Gen 6 Laserforce equipment at this site, owner Ron Wilson told me that when he and his wife Debi opened for business 18 years ago they actually began operating with a different laser tag system and the name is purely coincidental. At the time when they named the business they had not even heard of the Laserforce laser tag manufacturer, but liked the name and opted to spell it with a “z” in order to purchase the corresponding website domain (www.lazerforce.com). It’s something of a coincidence that about five years later they switched over to using the Laserforce gear and have been using it ever since.
At one point they operated four stand-alone laser tag locations, but over time they cut back to just this one facility in Osage Beach. The 4000 square foot arena really impressed me and is what I would consider a real “hidden gem”.
Now, it’s not what I would call a “flashy” arena, meaning it’s not decked out with any decorative theming or props to create the aesthetic. However, what is far more important is that it’s an excellent maze with a balanced map and a really great space for a game. To get from the vesting room to the arena you have to go downstairs.
When you enter the arena you notice that the walls are painted black, but accented with trimming and paint splatters in colors that correspond with the bases in three distinct sections.
These colors help with the navigation of the maze that has plenty of windows, cutouts and open sight lines.
This is seriously one of the best mazes I’ve played in awhile and Ron told me he constructed the site himself. I asked if they host tournaments here because this is what I would consider an excellent arena for competitive play. He told me they don’t, but that’s largely because of the nature of the region. As I mentioned, this place is a hidden gem nestled within a premier tourist lake resort area and tucked away in the heart of Missouri. He told me that during the summer tourist season this region sees about four million visitors, however the local residents of the area only add up to around 20,000 people so it is much quieter in the off months and the return clientele is much different than you would find at an arena located in a city that is well-populated year-round. So, playing here is really a unique experience.
It’s a homegrown laser tag site, much different from the huge family entertainment centers popping up all over, and it feels like both a fresh experience and a nostalgic step back in time all at once. You definitely get that feel when you walk into their lobby arcade.
If you’re one of the tourists passing through, you’ll definitely want to take home a souvenir t-shirt.
This slogan doesn’t lie…Lazer Force Lazer Tag is “real lazer tag, real fun.”
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Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com