Apex Entertainment teams up with Creative Works for new attractions

Following the success of its laser tag arena in Syracuse, NY, Apex Entertainment has hired Creative Works for new laser tag and escape room attractions at Apex’s upcoming location in Albany, NY. 

In February 2019, Creative Works installed a futuristic New York City-themed laser tag arena for Apex’s Syracuse, NY facility. The laser tag arena quickly became the number one 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 Creative Works’ 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.”

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 its other attractions, Apex knew it wanted the 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 Creative Works on a Boston-themed laser tag project for its Marlborough, MA location a couple years back. The company knew Creative Works’ experience and customized design options would allow it to accomplish its 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. Creative Works came up with a fun design concept centred 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.

Russ Van Natta also mentioned that Creative Works 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 colours as well as some additional futuristic touches in the colour palette.”

To extend the theme beyond the actual arena and into the facility, Creative Works 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.

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.”

Following the success of this laser tag arena, Apex hired Creative Works to do two autonomous escape rooms and another laser tag attraction for its upcoming facility in Albany. These attractions are scheduled to be installed in December as part of a 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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