Play laser tag in Broomfield
What: Broomfield's bowling alley, Chipper's Lanes, now has laser tag and an arcade at 100 Nickel St.
Info: For hours, rates, visit chipperslanes.com
BROOMFIELD — —The teenagers laughed as they darted among glowing neon bushes and industrial-looking shelters. Loud techno music throbbed in the background as they lined up their laser-sighted shots.
The high-energy, space-themed laser tag game is the newest attraction for Broomfield's Chipper's Lanes, a business best known for its longtime bowling leagues. On Wednesday, the business unveiled its new look, which includes a 3,000 laser tag arena and an area for 35 new arcade games.
The laser tag arena is uncommon for the area, but laser tag is a new trend for the bowling alley industry, said general manager Dan Crockett.
"We want to reach people in Broomfield, Boulder, Erie" and Boulder County, he said.
Though the metro area has some laser tag locations in places such as Denver, Loveland and Littleton, Crockett said the closest laser tag location to Broomfield is at the Boondocks Fun Center in Northglenn.
Crockett said laser tag is a new addition to Chipper's offerings, but it is a feature that many bowling alleys have taken on in past years to update the appeal for different age groups.
"It's the idea that this isn't the old, smoky bowling alley. It's something new. League memberships are down, and if you don't reinvent yourself, you lose your edge," he said.
Games such as laser tag are also what Crockett calls "weather-proof," meaning they can draw a crowd regardless of the season. That fits well with the bowling alley's longtime bowling fans.
Chipper's owner Matt Hoeven said laser tag has become a trend in the bowling industry over the past few years, and he wanted to focus on building "multi-entertainment faceted centers" to fit that trend, he said in a news release.
"Seeing how advanced laser tag has become over the last few years and how much fun people are having with these types of games really drove us to make the decision to upgrade our bowling center with new entertainment options for everyone in the family," he stated.
When remodeling, Chipper's also added 35 arcade games, which were installed in an area of the bowling alley that once housed a bar and grill. The business also reduced the bowling lanes from 24 to 18 in order to make room for the laser tag area.
During the laser tag center's opening night on Wednesday, Chipper's staff invited local high school students to test the new laser tag area for free. Many of the students already visit Chipper's for a weekend social outing with friends or a school-sponsored bowling class during the week, Crockett said.
Divided into two teams, the first group of players ran among the glowing orange and yellow plants while wearing backpacks fitted with flashing lights. After shooting the opposing team with lasers, each player tracked their shooting accuracy and other statistics by looking up their randomly-assigned code name at the end of the game.
"It was really cool, and kind of intense. I'd like to come back," said Heaven Scribner, a Broomfield High student who played under the code name White Cap. She happened to be wearing a white baseball hat depicting Finn, a character from the animated Adventure Time series.
Mackaylee Walton, another BHS student, said she found out about the laser tag opening from her dad, who bowls regularly at Chipper's. She knew about the laser tag remodel since its planning stages, and was happy to take part in the first test rounds.
"It was pretty awesome, even though I got last place," she said, looking at her statistics printout.
Adding high-energy laser battles to Chipper's bowling-centered offerings is a fun part of the job, said Shayne Chinn, who has worked at Chipper's for five years. Chinn —- code name Queen Diva —- said laser tag addition will open up possibilities for all ages who want to come to Chipper's for bowling and other attractions.
"Little kids get those big eyes when they see laser tag, but you get the same look from college students," he said.
Contact Enterprise Staff Writer Megan Quinn at 303-410-2649 or email@example.com