When Energyplex Entertainment Centre closed its doors on March 18, it was a couple of days into its busiest two-week stretch of the year.
Spring break is a boon for the Kelowna business, as families descend upon the McCurdy Corner facility in droves to play laser tag, dash around the four-level playground and do some rock wall climbing or one of the many other fun activities. The COVID-19 pandemic essentially ended that fun before it began, and it also kiboshed the school trips that are usually made in April, May and June. Because of this financial hardship, Energyplex was forced to take out the trampolines and airbag. For now this is still a play gym, but owner Erik Brouwer says they are excited to be working on a new plan for this area.
Energyplex is a family owned and operated business, as Erik and Caro Brouwer became owners of the entertainment centre not long after arriving in Kelowna in 2011 from The Netherlands. Now that the Brouwers have been able to put their own stamp on Energyplex, the attractions include laser tag, SkyTrax high rope climbing, Ballistix ball shooting arena, 30-foot rock wall, four-level playground, a play gym and an arcade area.
“Every year we added a new activity,” Erik says, noting many of the new attractions cater to older children.
And then, once the pandemic hit, they were all silent. The Brouwers had to lay off 35 staff members, but, in a testament to the working environment at Energyplex, several of those former employees returned on numerous occasions to volunteer their time and help with upgrades around the building. The concession has a modern look and new menu, several areas have been painted, and the place has been cleaned from top to bottom.
The Brouwers are hoping to see everyone back having a ball now that the facility is open for business once again. Now that it is up and running again, measures are in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Staff members are wearing masks, there are restrictions on the number of people in specific areas, each customer is screened, there is one-way traffic throughout the facility, the tables have been spaced out, and touch points and equipment are cleaned constantly.
And, of course, everyone is asked to adhere to physical distancing rules and to sanitize their hands.
“That’s the responsibility that brought us this far, and that will help us maintain this level of safety that we see throughout B.C. right now,” Erik says.
Energyplex has also resumed its summer day camps for kids ages 5-11. Parents can book a spot on weekdays, drop their kids off at 9 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5 p.m. The camps are a great way to get the kids active again and back with friends.
To celebrate its reopening, Energyplex is conducting a contest for two full-day passes, including laser tag and SkyTrax. To enter, click here.
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