All new laser tag business owners of are asking one question «Should they buy a ready-made arena or do it yourself?». No one has a definite answer to this question. Every business (even from one industry) is specific. Trying to write instructions about building an arena is as such ridiculous as advising how to make home improvement in the personal apartment. The adviser can describe the basic principles and give some practical recommendations, but you will still choose the color of the walls and tiles in the bathroom, the number of cabinets in the kitchen and the furniture upholstery material because all of this depends on personal preferences, financial opportunities and the availability of free time.
Option 1: buy a new maze
This is the most trouble-free, but also the most expensive option. There are several proven companies specializing in the manufacturing of high-quality laser tag arenas. These firms provide arena design services (of various sizes and layouts) and produce structures designed in the style selected by the client. Very often such constructions are supplied with lighting equipment and sound special effects gear. Sometimes they also supply laser tag gaming equipment.
There are a lot of local contractors that are engaged in the design and construction of ready laser tag arenas. This means that you will get a fully equipped entrance zone and playing area. Such contractor will make a complete or partial room redecoration, order and deliver the maze constructions from the manufacturer, install and mount them, decorate the room in accordance with the selected theme, equip it with light effects and smoke generators, install music speakers, mixer and microphone for a game manager and so on. All that you need to do is to specify the details, confirm the work plan and pay when everything is ready.
Pros: excellent quality of construction, manufacturer’s warranty, compliance with safety requirements, saving time (turnkey construction takes 1-3 months). You can even save a little, if you order only the construction of the maze, and make design and equip it yourself.
Cons: high price (from $6000 to 80 000 depending on the size of the arena, upcoming work, and functionality).
Option 2: buy a used indoor laser tag arena structures
Buying used indoor laser tag arena structures is a good option for thrifty people. But it will be a good option only if you get a maze in perfect condition. As a rule, after a year or two of active operation, the partitions of the maze require redecoration, because players often stumble upon them (and sometimes even try to climb over them), that’s why sometimes fixations are loosened, the paint is erased, chips or fractures appear, depending on what material the structures are made of. All this can be easily put in an order at your location. However, if you disassemble the arena structures for transportation, you may find new problems that are not so easy to fix. As a result, you will spend money on the purchase of an arena that has been used, and on its repair. That is, it may happen that buying a new indoor arena structure would be less expensive.
Pros: the price is lower than the market price. Sometimes you can get additional technical (sound, illumination) and even gaming equipment at a reasonable price.
Cons: no quality guarantees. No one will return your money if you find a marriage, do not repair and do not replace non-working equipment. You’ll install all these structures yourself. And this will be much harder than assemble a cabinet from HomeDepo.
Option 3: build a maze yourself
This is a most complicated, but quite feasible option. Even if you have not previously engaged in the design, construction, and repair, it’s never too late to start. Fortunately, there is a lot of information about the construction of arenas on the internet. You can find a lot of useful tips, examples of arena schemas, and descriptions of the construction process including video tips.
If you are not in rush, then think about the layout of the arena, start room renovating, buy construction materials (drywall, plywood, plastic and other options), hire an assistant and a designer and move forward.
Pros: the result will depend entirely on you. You can find less expensive construction materials, create a good and high-quality maze and decorate it the way you want.
Cons: you can hardly save much. Construction materials are expensive, and the time is money. It will be a good option only if you have your own separate room for your indoor laser tag and you have time to start. In another case, if you are opening laser tag business in a shopping center, where every day of idle time will cost you a large sum it wouldn’t be a good option. In addition, without large construction experience, it will be difficult to create a high-quality, competitive arena. However, this is a really good option for those who are used doing everything on their own and who is not afraid of difficulties.
We should note that, whatever option you choose, you have to spend a large amount of money. However, don’t let these costs frighten you. Serious business always needs large investments. And as the well-known business proverb says: “What is worth doing at all is worth doing well.”