Marty Kaczmarek and family have opened Cascade Laser Tag in Sisters. photo by Ceili Cornelius
By Ceili Cornelius
Running through a black-lit, fogged-up arena, players fire infrared beams across the room. The players wear colored vests and aim for sensors in order to "tag" their opponent. It's happening now in the shopping plaza near Bi-Mart.
Marty and Jaymie Kaczmarek, owners of Cascade Laser Tag, opened up their arena for games on Halloween night.
The couple and their sons decided to open up laser tag because of their fun experience with it on spring break vacation in Arizona. Jaymie - hesitant at first - played and fell in love with the game and the competition.
"We came home and started looking into equipment and software. We also saw it as something to do in Sisters for younger people," Jaymie said.
The couple owns Outlaw Martial Arts and decided to expand into the adjacent space and create a laser tag arena.
"The arena was the hardest part for us to conceptualize because we wanted it to be a large, interesting space," said Kaczmarek.
The arena is 2,600 square feet and is jam packed with pallets and obstacles, places to hide out and nets. The walls are covered in graffiti art done by Tony Gonzalez and glow-in-the-dark murals painted by local artist Nicole Duenes.
"We were going for the nostalgic look of the '80s, but reinventing that look with all the things we can do today with the game and space," Jaymie said.
"Playing it just kind of stuck with us and we contacted the company that we used in Arizona," Marty said.
The company is called Delta Strike. They carry a variety of guns, vests and the software needed to stage a game of laser tag. The game is set up via software and computer systems; players play tag in an arena with vests and guns that are attached by wires to the computer program.
"With the program, we have we are able to create games, and create what happens with an opponent," Marty said.
Everything is color coded and attached to the computer system and basically opponents shoot the vests and have to shoot in a certain place for the vest to go "dead," all while running around the arena. Once the vest is dead players gain points and whoever has the most points, wins. Cascade Laser Tag has more than 25 custom games that they are able to create via use of the computer. Their son Tate, who is 13, oftentimes run the games and helps create the programs and custom games.
"Tate is here and is often the one people play with; he loves it and is here all the time," the Kaczmareks noted.
They hope to expand their presence into the community. They have already hosted many corporate business parties and birthday parties.
"It is a great bonding experience for people; nobody leaves unhappy," they said.
They play a variety of music during the games and everything in the arena is black light, and fogged up so players can see the lasers across the room. The idea is to create a challenging and fun environment for the games.
"We wanted to make a really fun place for people to go have fun," Jaymie said.
They are going to be starting up a few programs in the near future, including an after-school program for kids. A membership would be Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. It is catered directly towards school kids to come in after school and have fun.
Jaymie is also going to be starting a Laser Fit fitness class starting January 5-6 where the trial classes will be free, and then continuing on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. All fitness levels are welcome and there is no maximum age.
"It is a really good cardio workout, so these classes would be focused fitness classes using the space and laser tag ideas," she said.
They want to further their involvement with other community organizations.
"We really hope to continue our business and expand the private party use as well as involvement in the schools and we really just want to open it up to everyone and bring people together," they said.
Laser tag games are called "missions" and one mission costs $7 and prices go up depending on the number of missions played. They also do $20 days with unlimited play and those are announced on the company's Instagram and Facebook.
"Everyone will always have someone to play with and we open it up to all ages, and levels, even someone who has never played can come and say they want to play a game of laser tag," the Kaczmareks said.
Cascade Laser Tag is open Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 7 p.m. and Friday 3:30 to 9 p.m. and on weekends they often host private parties from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open play runs from 3:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays 1 to 3 p.m. Cascade Laser Tag can be reached at 541-604-6968. The arena is located at: 465 W. Hwy. 20, Sisters.