HONESDALE—Residents looking for a fun way to beat the cold have a new option on Church Street: Warehouse 51.
Sitting across the street from Van Gorders, Warehouse 51 is usually open 3-7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 3-9 p.m. on Friday and12-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
During the winter, Warehouse 51 also offers Snow Day Specials, where they open at noon regardless of normal operational hours.
Snow Day Specials also include a reduced game cost of $5 per game. Normally, rounds are $7 or can be bought in groups of five for $30 and ten for $50.
Games run in a ten-minute cycle and can consist of anywhere from two to 14 players.
Open since December 9, Warehouse 51 sheds a unique light on laser tag which allows participants a chance to live a video game experience in live action.
Dubbed “tactical laser tag” by owner/operators Megan and Heath Gustafson, the warehouse offers a 4,300 square foot arena dotted with an arrangement of obstacles to replicate a military bunker.
“I think the whole design is awesome,” said Megan, “Because the whole design is built by two-by-two squares so that the entire arena can be disassembled and redesigned in a matter of hours.”
The layout to date has been the same, but the Gustafsons look to rearrange the arena in the near future for a new experience.
In lieu of a black-lit battlefield like most laser tag establishments, Warehouse 51 features room illumination – or tenebrosity – to suit a variety of scenarios aimed at making use of the customizable “taggers” participants use to score points.
“The taggers are all the same but they can select from … semi-automatic, fully automatic, you can use different ones, snipers, shotguns,” explained Heath.
This features in certain games where the various types of tagger are unlocked the more experience a participant has unlocked.
This idea of experience is augmented by the Callsign app which players can download and sync with the system's software allowing matches to be tracked in real time from the lobby and a leaderboard to be established by returning players.
Building off of this idea, the Gustafsons are looking into ways to establish a laser tag league where teams can compete in ranked matches.
“Ultimately, our purpose behind our business is to provide a happy, family-friendly environment for all ages, from four to 94 and to give kids who are hanging out in Honesdale a safe place to come,” said Megan.
“We just want fun in Honesdale,” said Megan.
Heath agreed, noting he felt a lack of similar entertainment when he was growing up in the area.
Describing the facility as offering “live-action gaming,” Megan added the experience is great for kids as it “...is a perfect opportunity for them to exercise and be active.”
The Gustafsons are old hats in the laser tag business, offering a mobile equivalent for the last four years that has traveled to parties and events in Lackawanna, Pike and Wayne counties.
Settling in the permanent facility has been a welcome experience as it allows for a greater variability in gaming scenarios as earlier described.
Warehouse 51 is looking to get involved in future Second Saturday experiences in town.
Coming up on February 10, the warehouse is holding a “Tag Your Sweetheart” event where couples can enjoy an afternoon of bonding over laser battles.
The Gustafsons noted Warehouse 51 is also available for group events and party hosting.
More information about the recreational destination can be found on their Facebook page or company website www.warehouse51.business.site.