I recently had the chance to play LaserTrek at what I believe may be the last arena in America still operating with this particular system… and it was completely unplanned!
When I set out earlier that morning to drive to Ohio I had a laser tag itinerary already in mind, however by the time I stopped for a lunch break I realized that I needed to make some adjustments for travel time. So I started looking for other laser tag arenas closer to my final destination. That’s when I found the website for Putt N Stuff in Orrville, OH and this was the luckiest thing that could have happened!
I might have easily missed this one because laser tag at a mini-golf course in November would not have typically been at the top of my list. However, when I saw the orange and green packs pictured on their website I immediately recognized them as LaserTrek and I called the site to get the scoop. I talked with the owner, Dana, who confirmed that they were in fact using LaserTrek gear and I told him I would make a beeline for his fun center. Four hours later I knew this stop was worth the detour.
I remembered several years ago another LaserTrek operator in Mansfield, OH told me that there were only two sites left using the LaserTrek brand, his and a mini-golf course, but I never got the mini-golf business name, so to stumble onto it like this seemed like fate. That is also why I believe this is likely the last site still using LaserTrek in the country, but if anyone can verify otherwise please let me know.
When I arrived I took a moment to look around and my heart leapt to see this unique stargate!
Needless to say, I had some questions! Dana told me that near the end of 2003 they had purchased the LaserTrek gear for a song from a bank that had acquired it from a Wisconsin arena that had gone out of business. By 2004 they had opened their laser tag attraction and nearly 20 years later the equipment (with some maintenance) is still holding up.
Inside the vesting room I got a closer look at the racks where the phasers are holstered to charge.
Because these phasers already have stripes, the repair job may be more camouflaged if you don’t look this closely.
So the phaser sensors may not work as well as they once did, but that really didn’t alter my enjoyment of the game. I’m more appreciative of the fact that they are continuing to keep this system operational. And I was able to clearly read the screen on the back.
We gathered together a group for a 2v2 team game.
And then it was time to enter the 3500 square foot arena that Dana and his brother designed with ramps, levels and lots of neon!
I really love unique, homegrown arenas like this and they did a great job! Necessity is the mother of invention, which often paves the way for ingenuity. At first I thought I was seeing some Tron tubes, but in actuality they built these similar structures using ADS pipe and a neon-painted cap.
One of the simplest decorations was the most impressive to me. Check out how they replicate the look of laser beams using neon string strategically positioned by their mega-base in the center. Brilliant!
Four bases were positioned in the corners.
Let’s check out what the experience was really like!
My team won our game!
And I was given a printed scoresheet (it has been a while since I’ve received one of those!), which mostly shows that I was getting my bearings (and cut me some slack as I was completely unfamiliar with this gear…and momentarily forgot we were even playing teams!) and my partner was carrying our team while I just played around, lol. However, I’m sharing it because it has some interesting info and may be the last one like this that I ever receive.
I am so fortunate that I stumbled onto this opportunity. Thank you to Dana and family for a really unique experience playing LaserTrek at Putt N Stuff!
Comments or Questions?