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Life & Work with Mike Amrhine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Amrhine.

Mike, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was a public school teacher with an interest and experience in technology. I left teaching in 2007 to start a performance company (A+ Assemblies) where we would travel to various schools to provide content-based assemblies for elementary aged students. They were basically game show parodies involving video projection systems, high-end audio, audience involvement, props & prizes, and more. The shows would be centered around science, math, character education, or other topics that the schools would select. This led to the idea of having a fixed location where we could take these performances to the next level via field trip offerings. We opened in October of 2010 and then evolved to also host parties, group events and to start a before and after school program and summer camp. We now feature three distinct rooms – An activity area with bounce houses/slides and a rock wall, a game parlor that includes table and video games, and an interactive theater with seating for 300 where we host group game shows, dance parties, and other functions.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like most businesses, success takes time and is the result of a lot of effort and continual improvement. When we first opened, nobody knew what we really did, and we had to figure this out ourselves and make adjustments along the way. Advertising was tricky and expensive. We were losing money but knew that we had something unique and that customers valued. Then after starting to gain some traction two years in, I fell while working in the rafters of our building and shattered both ankles. I was in shock trauma for a week and in a wheelchair for three months. The recovery was slow, and if not for a ton of help from my wife, mom, and other family members, I’m not sure that we would have made it. This forced me to slow down a bit, and to prioritize and to accept some help (I have always been the type to want to do things on my own). Through some of these early struggles, I not only learned many invaluable lessons and skills, but we also slowly built our brand and client base. This organic growth allowed us to refine and improve our offerings at a steady pace and also kept us afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we were positioned to absorb some of the financial losses while also providing a basic and in-demand level of service that allowed us to keep our doors open.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Our facility is a family entertainment center, offering more varied attractions than you find in most other locations. We have physical activities – bounce houses, rock walls, basketball, and a turf area. Various table and video games – air hockey, skee-ball, pool tables, pin pong, vintage video games, large screen Wii & X-Box, slot car track, etc. We also feature a technology-driven theater that hosts group game shows, dance parties, trophy presentations, musical performances, sports broadcasts, and more! Having these offerings allows us to also diversify our services. Before & after school care and summer camp are now the staple of our business, but we also host upscale events (After prom, b’nai mitzvahs…), child birthdays, end-of-season team celebrations, and general public events (New Year’s Eve party, game show fundraiser nights, etc.). In addition to our unique venue and range of offerings, we also pride ourselves on cleanliness and customer service. We’ve often said that although we have a lot of cool activities for the whole family, that many of our compliments are centered around our interactions with customers and the fact that we do our best to accommodate their needs.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Being thorough is most important to me. Whether it be with the maintenance of equipment, supervision of children, organization of the facility, preparation of paperwork, or any other task, this transcends everything. It’s what allows our guests to feel confident that their time here will be safe, enjoyable and will hopefully exceed their expectations.

Pricing:

  • $215-$255 per week for summer camp
  • $75-$125 for before and after school care
  • $495-$895 per hour for most large events
  • $295 for two hour standard birthday parties

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Petruzzo Photography

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