Sometimes potential customers cast a doubtful glance inside Josh Wheeler’s 800-square-foot inflatable laser tag arena and tell him it looks boring.
Wheeler counters by offering to comp them one round. If they don’t have any fun, no harm, no foul. If it is fun, they pay for the round.
He hasn’t given away a round yet.
“I want to give something for kids and families to do that’s affordable,” Wheeler, owner of Casper-based Shadow Ops Laser Tag. “It’s nice, safe fun for our community.”
The inflatable laser tag arena is just the first phase of what Wheeler hopes will eventually morph into a full-fledged family entertainment center with things like indoor minigolf and a small arcade.
The first step is finding a permanent home for his operations. Wheeler is trying to move into the mall in August.
The mobile laser tag arena has appeared at Rock the Block and the Art Walk. It found a home at the fair this past week.
Assistant Manager Felicity Kehm said the business is so new - it opened in May - people’s first reaction is often surprise.
“We are the only one in Casper, so everybody that plays seems to love it,” Kehm said. “It’s satisfying to see the smiles on their faces when they come out.”
The oldest player was in her late 70s, the youngest was 2, Kehm said.
About a half dozen people work for Shadow Ops right now, and there are often after-hours competitions. Kehm claims pretty good accuracy compared to the rest of the group, and she offered parting words of advice to future players.
“Keep your eyes and your ears open,” Kehm said. “And keep your gun up, that way as soon as someone walks by you’re ready to go.”