Following the success of their laser tag arena in Syracuse, NY, Apex Entertainment hired us for new laser tag and escape room attractions at Apex’s upcoming location in Albany, NY.
In February 2019, we installed a futuristic New York City-themed laser tag arena for Apex’s Syracuse, NY facility. The laser tag arena quickly became the number 1 attraction at the 57,000 square foot space in Destiny USA Mall.
Apex’s decision to enter into a mall area was part of a growing industry trend, according to our VP of Sales, Russ Van Natta. “They are ahead of the curve with their location. Malls are looking to bring entertainment into their spaces because traditional retail is shrinking, while location based entertainment (LBE) still provides a draw to bring in more foot traffic.”
“Malls are looking to bring entertainment into their spaces”
The Syracuse facility features a wide variety of other attractions, including bowling, an arcade, Hologate VR, X-Rider, bumper cars, a large corporate meeting space, and a full service dining and cocktails area.
In addition to their other attractions, Apex knew they wanted their Syracuse location to also have a laser tag arena that could provide a fun and memorable experience to many guests at once.
Apex had previously worked with us on a Boston-themed laser tag project for their Marlborough, MA location a couple years back. They knew Creative Works’ experience and customized design options would allow them to accomplish their goal of a versatile anchor attraction in Syracuse.
Apex wanted the attraction theme to evoke the culture and aesthetics of the local region. “We always look to have the arena be something that relates to the community and area that it’s located in,” said Apex’s Chief Operating Officer, Marcus Kemblowski.
Apex wanted to hone in on what makes New York unique. We came up with a fun design concept centered around a giant Statue of Liberty prop. “[It] offers a unique multi-level arena that can host 30+ participants each game,” Kemblowski said about the attraction.
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Van Natta also mentioned that we drew inspiration from Art Deco and Blade Runner 2049 in order to accomplish the goal of a futuristic take on New York City. The arena also features targets that are blended into the props to make the arena more interactive and immersive.
Tori Addessi, a Concept Designer for Creative Works, detailed more of the inspiration behind the project. “[The] wall panels are inspired by some of the artwork and some of the imagery from Great Gatsby. Specifically for this arena, we wanted to give it more of a futuristic vibe by tying in some tron colors as well as some additional futuristic touches in the color pallete.”
To extend the theme beyond the actual arena and into the facility, we designed an entry arch that gives players an idea of the theme before they step into the arena.
“It has a skyscraper sort of look where we employed some of the elements of repetitive detailed line work that Art Deco is so well known for. Another unique piece of this arena is that at the entryway, we have projection mapping. The projection mapping helps create a story for the players before they even enter the arena,” explained Addessi.
Check out a video of the design process for this laser tag arena below:
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The combination of the unique design and attractive location has led to outstanding results for Apex. “Customers have absolutely loved our laser tag. It is our number 1 attraction in the facility, exceeding customer expectations.”
It is our number 1 attraction in the facility, exceeding customer expectations.
Following the success of this laser tag arena, Apex hired us to do two autonomous escape rooms and another laser tag attraction for their upcoming facility in Albany. These attractions are scheduled to be installed in December as part of their holiday rollout.
Van Natta says that Apex has been “a great client to work with.” Kemblowski echoed the sentiment, saying “Creative Works has been outstanding to work with, from start to finish they provide expertise in all areas and make the process extremely easy. [They] cover all areas of the project to ensure your venue will be successful.”
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