Main Event opens new location in Waco

Main Event's 50th location officially opened on Friday, April 1. Grace Everett | Photographer

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

Friday marked the grand opening of Main Event’s Waco location and 50th location in the United States. Crowds lined the doors anxiously waiting to enter the newest attraction.

Inside there were Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, members of the Waco Chamber of Commerce, directors from Baylor Scott and White — one of the location’s many partners — and Waco mayor, Dillon Meek, among others.

Michael Thompson, general manager at the Waco location, said he has been with the company for six and a half years. He started in Frisco then traveled to Jacksonville, Fla. then Fort Worth and finally Waco.

“As far as operationally, it’s been the best company I’ve ever been a part of,” Thompson said.

Waco was attractive to Main Event mainly because of the community, Thompson said.

“We just wanted to be a part of a growing community with excellent character, and we’ve had nothing but hospitality from the entire community throughout,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the Waco location includes a unique VIP lanes area with a private sitting area for guests, and a special laser tag arena.

“Our laser tag arena is one of the most updated from our center,” Thompson said. “This is the second arena that has this kind of look to it.”

The first 200 people in line were rewarded with free laser tag for a year.

Wacoan Brian Ozols and his family were the first people lined up outside the doors. Ozols said they had been waiting since 10 p.m. Thursday.

“We wanted to make it a whole event and experience,” Ozols said. “We love laser tag and free laser tag for a year, I thought it was worth it.”

Ozols said this was not his first time at a Main Event location either.

“We went a couple weeks ago down in Houston and we really enjoyed it,” Ozols said.

Bethany Chávez, a game attendant at Main Event, said she has been working for the last four weeks preparing for the grand opening.

Chávez said she decided to work for Main Event because it allowed her to interact with a variety of different people. Her favorite part of the job is “everything,” Chávez said.

“The management is so amazing and my coworkers and the whole job is wonderful,” Chávez said.

Thompson said the biggest reward he has gained from working at Main Event is being able to watch the flourishing of his employees and coworkers.

“I’ve had nothing but support from my leaders to help my career grow and so I try to reinvest that into my team members as well,” Thompson said. “I want to see their careers grow if they choose to stay with Main Event. The ones that don’t, that want to go to school, we implore them to do that by offering tuition reimbursement. [This is] a way for them to grow on their own and professionally too.”

Main Event will be having other fundraising activities planned throughout the weekend for their partnership with The Cove, a safe community for high school children experiencing homelessness. Such as, for every strike made on lane 11, $10 will be donated to the nonprofit, on top of a $2,500 donation.