I've written many times about how East Texas needs more entertainment options. I love our restaurant choices but we don't need another sports bar or Tex Mex or burger joint. We have plenty. What East Texas needs is more things to do. That's why I'm excited about this new venue opening soon in Lindale, Elite Arcades.

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I've written before about the lack of entertainment in East Texas. Dave & Busters isn't building anything new in the United States right now. TopGolf could come to East Texas but I don't see anyone pooling together the $18 million or so to build one. That doesn't mean that someone couldn't take either of those concepts and build their own. The names are copyrighted but not the concept.

That's why it excites me when an East Texan comes up with an entertainment idea and builds it. One such East Texan is doing that in Lindale with a virtual reality arcade called Elite Arcades. It will be opening soon next to Level Up Nutrition and Energy. I reached out to the owner, Randy Rexroat, to get some more details on his new venture.

What gave you the idea to open a business like this?

Story after story on facebook about kids and young adults with nothing to do in the small town of Lindale.

Are you a gamer yourself? What kinds of games do you like to play?

We are not gamers, but more about wanting to give back to the community.  Our children are gamers and loved the idea and promised to handle all of the gaming aspects and teach us. Now I have played on these virtual reality sets and they are AWESOME! I have found myself spending hours upon hours immersed in shoot em’ up games. The VR world is so detailed, where you have to reload weapons as you would in the real world. I was amazed at the VR world and interacting with individuals around the world.

For those that may not know, what is virtual reality?

Virtual Reality is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment using headsets that cover your entire viewing area and controllers in your hands to simulate actual hand and arm movements. You are immersed into a video game, watch a movie, simulated in riding roller coasters, etc., and trick your mind as if you were really there.

Describe the setup to play these virtual reality games.

We will have 4 virtual reality rooms where individuals can play video games individually or groups within the arcade. There will also be 2 free roam areas were groups of 4-8 people can interact in games together as a team, and move around in that area.

What kinds of virtual reality games will people be able to play?

Everything that is offered. The list will grow as more companies start offering games.  There are some unique VR team games that we will have in the free roam areas and we may have a VR escape room!

Will there be a time limit for play?

We will charge by the hour. It becomes too addictive, we may have to send you home!

I saw a comment on your post in the Lindale Facebook group about wanting some arcade cabinets for the older gamers. Will that be a part of the experience as well?

Yes, thinking about having Wii, Xbox, Nintendo 64, etc., for some nostalgia.

Will people need to schedule a time to play or is it just walk in and have fun?

Both. Of course we would prefer to have everyone schedule in advance.

Will people be able to rent an area for parties?

Absolutely. Birthday parties or group events. We can probably handle 25 people at a time.

Do you have a price point yet for playing or is that still being determined?

Still being determined.

When do you expect to open and what will the hours be?

Planning on opening by 3/15. We will start with 10 am-10 pm and see if people show up and adjust our times accordingly.

You can find Elite Arcades at 1414 South Main Street Suite A1 in Lindale or on their Facebook page for updates. This is going to be a blast. Everyone talks about wanting to support local businesses, well here is your perfect opportunity. Keep Randy busy while you have some fun. That's a win win.

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