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Jake’s Unlimited is my 550th Laser Tag Arena

I played my 550th laser tag arena while at Jake’s Unlimited in Mesa, AZ. This place has been mentioned to me on multiple occasions and it seems absurd that I had not paid a visit sooner, but this massive FEC seemed like the ideal spot for hitting both a minor milestone number and checking off Arizona once again as my 48th state on my "second time around". I had heard it was really worth checking out so I was ready to see what this place was all about.

When I walked through the door the vastness of the facility was a bit took me by surprise. The place was packed and featured plenty of activities. The first thing I saw was the sweet shoppe to my left an a buffet right in front of me. As I turned toward the counter I realized this was a “stay all day” kind of place with plenty to keep you busy, but my attention was laser focused on the laser tag arena.

The line for laser tag was long (as it should be, proving to be a very popular attraction here), so I waited and observed the party groups, the couples and the families anticipation as we waited to see what the experience would bring. I was excited to play some Helios Pro.

This arena had plenty of targets, pick-up pad and and all the bells and whistles. The game master told me their 4,300 square foot, two-story “Pandaar” arena is Avatar themed as she showed me the map.

I’ll say that this is a beautiful arena, but I don’t pick up on that particular theme. What I saw was certainly very attractive, but also a bit familiar.

Now, what I am about to say does not diminish how great the arena looks, but is more a constructive criticism for the industry as a whole. I took a pic standing on the upper level where you get the best view of this stunning, impactful structure that rises up from the center.

It looks great and for most people (especially those who have not seen 549 other arenas) they will absolutely get their jaw-drop moment here. My observation (regardless of which arena came first) is that if you look to play at another location ten minutes down the road you might see something all too similar (feel free to check out the cover pic on my next post). So, stunning arena, yes. But my challenge to the industry is to keep neighboring arenas all looking amazing, but also to make recommendations that help to keep them also looking distinctively unique from one another. Ok, if you get it, you get it.

My game experience at Jake’s was awesome. There appeared to be a full group going into every game (based on the constant line of people waiting to go in) and that is fantastic to see. I loved playing Helios Pro again and I could see why this place was so high on people’s radar. I’m truly amazed I hadn’t encountered it sooner.

When I left the arena after the game I was smiling, but just because I had gotten to play an excellent game of laser tag, but also because I had reached both my 550th arena and my 48th state, meaning I am truly in the home stretch for my goal.

I celebrated with a Straw-very-delicious cheesecake sundae in their sweet shoppe. :)

All in all, this was a really impressive site and next time I am in Arizona I will plan to explore more of the facility…and maybe join Jenna for a Unicorn Taco!

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