By HANNAH STEELE- In a town where teenage hotspots are limited, finding new Friday-night activities can be difficult. But, one company’s goal of bringing fun to Indiana could put an end to this dilemma. On November 1, Go Bonkerz Entertainment opened a second establishment, featuring an arcade, a Laser Maze, and a Laser Tag and Nerf Arena in the Indiana mall.
“The goal behind the creation of the Laser Tag facility was to give the ‘older Indiana kids’ ages 8 to 18 a place to come play and cut loose for a bit,” stated owner and operator John Fordyce. “I know we have a lot of local kids who are looking for things to do on the weekends.”
Prior to expanding, Go Bonkerz included a bounce house facility and a glow-in-the-dark golf course across from each other. After IBEX Global moved spaces, Fordyce took the opportunity to amplify the “Mischief Glow-in-the-Dark Golf Course” into a large joint-facility connected to the Laser Tag arena.
The newfound entertainment space has had a positive impact on the struggling mall. “We’ve drawn thousands of moms, dads, grandparents, and kids to the mall that wouldn’t have necessarily been there over the last few years. That is a positive thing for the other businesses there,” expressed Fordyce.
Senior Grace Mullen got to experience the fun before the official opening, “I knew it would be a success as soon as I tried it out.”
One round of laser tag is 7.5 minutes of fun. Each participant is equipped with a vest that has four targets on each side and a laser gun. The goal of the game is to shoot the other players’ targets more times than getting shot by a competitor. When shot, the vest deactivates for ten seconds, and deactivates the player’s gun. During this time, they cannot be shot, so the participant is able to run to safety.
“I’ve played glow golf before and had a good time,” expressed junior Brady Kodman. “I can’t wait to try out the new Laser Tag.”
Although Fordyce has had success with the new entertainment spot, his ambition for more expansion doesn’t stop. “We aim to bring in and expand our arcade games to include more redemption based games which will be happening soon,” Fordyce asserted, “We’ve completed the drawings and aim to install a kitchen/café in our space so we can make our pizza and snacks in house. We have our eyes on some additional spaces [at the mall]. I often hear requests for a Roller Skating rink in Indiana, and when something is requested to me, magic begins to happen.”
“I had so much fun playing Laser Tag with my friends,” stated junior Kasey Anderson, “I recommend trying it out.”
Go Bonkerz’s goal of entertaining the youth of Indiana has impacted many. Whether bored on a weekend or looking to have fun with friends, Go Bonkerz is bound to bring a smile to customers’ faces. The facilities can be found across from the newly closed Bon Ton and are open on Friday’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s.
[Photo by John Fordyce]
Photo Caption: “The brightly lit neon entrance instills excitement into eager Laser Tag participants.”
Hannah is a junior co-editor and has been on the High Arrow staff for three years. In regard to journalism, she enjoys writing the truth and delivering credible news.