Tag Tourney at Optimaze
I anchored my Oklahoma/Kansas travels around a small, local tournament taking place at Optimaze Family Fun Center in Woodward, OK. What a delightful, family owned facility! When I heard they were hosting an event I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to plan my next tag trip, as I already had intentions of exploring some new sites in Oklahoma. This just gave me a reason to finally commit to a date and it was so much fun that this was how I got to experience a visit to this arena.
I arrived to meet owners Evan and Miranda and get a tour of their business that has only been open for about a month and a half. They have done a great job bringing laser tag to their northeastern Oklahoma community! It was an easy decision for me to register for this event when I saw they were using one of my favorite systems for their gear. It has been quite awhile since I’ve been able to have this particular experience and I was looking forward to playing a new arena.
Evan gave me a tour and they have a restaurant area out front, arcade games and some nice party rooms. The first one I saw was decked out with blacklight ambiance with a decorative space scape.
The one that impressed me the most was a more elegant setting that I could see being a perfect space if you are looking for a step up. I want to have a party in this room!
But the real party happens in the arena. Evan showed me the vesting room with brightly colored racks of Nexus packs. These phasers always feel like happy nostalgia to me.
Evan showed me around the arena, which is a nice use of a smaller space with some classic CW walls that they incorporated into their own layout design for the space.
Two robot-themed base housings were positioned in opposite corners with nice tuck-away positions where they can be tagged from an angle without having to be “out in the open”. The bases each took four hits for the deactivation, so it felt like you had to be very deliberate when you started the sequence.
I was handed my tournament admission token prior to heading into the arena for the games.
While the arena hovers around 2000 square feet in size, it fits their purpose. This is a small business in a small town, so it is just right for accommodating smaller player groups and kids parties.
They took this into consideration for tournament logistics as well. Although they had plenty of advanced sign ups, the event ended up being smaller in terms of how many players actually showed up, so they broke the field up into two groups for preliminary games that led into a top two 1v1 showdown for the final round.
I won my prelim game and advanced to compete against Jude, the winner from the other group. He played very well and I congratulate him on a great final game. While my experience probably made me the front-runner for this event, it is great to see local players excelling and enjoying laser tag, especially as this is a relatively new offering in this small town with the next closest laser tag being a couple of hours away.
Evan and Miranda told me that they opened Optimaze as a venue to give the local community something to do as an entertainment option and I hope it continues to gain interest and grow within the community. It’s always great to see local business owners working to make a difference in their community.
They also own a graphic business, so their signs and marketing images are on point! In addition to winning the giant check (and a cash prize of $100) I also got to take home a T-shirt…you know how I love tag swag!
This was a wonderful opportunity to experience some fun laser tag competition and build a tag trip to keep filling in my map as I attempt my “Oops, I did it again” second time around laser tagging all 50 states. This was my first stop in Oklahoma. The rest of my trip would include a detour into Kansas before exploring more laser tag in other parts of the sooner state. This tag trip was already off to a great start. And actually, the great start began even before I arrived in Oklahoma. While I was waiting for my flight, I kid you not, Pauly Shore sat down next to me in the airport and talked with me for about an hour. Talk about memorable experiences!
As far as my visit to Woodward goes, let me just say that Optimaze was Optimazing and I hope to return to play here again!
Comments or Questions?