By Tim Leeds
Get ready to strap on your fiber-optic armor, energize your phazer weapon, and go to battle, but watch out for enemy mines.
Lazer Tag Deluxe is holding its grand opening Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It costs $4.95 for 10 minutes in the "futuristic Lazer Runner Battle Station," and the first hundred customers will be treated to hot dogs and pop.
The system consists of a "combat" maze complete with black lighting, sound effects and motion activated strobe lights. Customers receive a vest with small targets and a laser target pistol. Hitting the vest targets with the pistol's beam creates shaking and a sound signifying a hit, and disables the target's own pistol for a period of time.
The battle station can be used as a competition, where teams try to score points on the opposing team's target while defending their own target, or it can just be a simple battle. "Mines" placed in the maze begin to flash red and increase their beeping noise, warning contestants that they are about to go off and score a hit if they are too close. There is also a viewing area where the mock battles can be watched as they go on.
Lazer Tag Deluxe was opened by Shawn Larocque and Jeff Truitt on April 14, between the Army Recruiting Station and the Drivers Licensing office upstairs in the Atrium Shopping Center.
Truitt and LaRocque said many places hold competitions and tournaments using the system, but it's also fun just to go in and battle. It's fun for "kids" of all ages, they said. Truitt said the other day they had a mother come in and play with her children in the system.
"I think she had more fun than her kids," he said. "She was talking about bringing her husband and other kids back."
LaRocque said they encourage people to come in groups. While any number can enjoy the system, the best group seems to be 10 or more people, they said. The system can hold up to 14 at a time.
They said they encourage people to use the system for parties and special occasions. They are collaborating with Wolfer's Diner in the Atrium on this, where Wolfer's would cater the party if the customers' wished, or they could provide their own refreshments. Lazer Tag Deluxe will provide the tables and chairs and accessories for any parties.
The owners said that the course is completely safe, with the maze itself padded, the equipment safe, and no pain from or cleanup needed with its use.
LaRocque and Truitt said they would like to thank everyone who helped them get the business started, especially Don Vaupel, the owner of the Atrium, Wolfer's, the Havre Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, and many others.
For more information about Lazer Tag Deluxe, call them at 262-5346.