In the early 1980’s laser tag began its global rise, invading North American cities. It didn’t take long for George A Carter to realize the demand for this kind of fun, and by 1993 he opened the first Laser Quest in Manchester, United Kingdom. Fast forward to Sept. 15 and the international laser tag powerhouse has announced all North American locations will be closing.
The global pandemic has taken its toll on the entertainment industry as attractions like amusement parks, concerts and more have been almost impossible to attend safely, and it seems like Laser Quest started to feel the effects of this.
Laser Quest reopened shortly during stage 3 of the COVID-19 lockdown with heightened safety protocols in regards to new social distancing rules, cleaning of the field of play and equipment, and more. But ultimately this would not be enough to keep their doors open.
This news has come as a shock and has saddened many people, like Keenan Brab a Burlington, Ont., father who has been a fan of this chain since he was young.
“I remember my dad bringing me to our local Laser Quest in Burlington and it was honestly some of my fondest childhood memories,” Brab said.
“Laser tag was something I definitely wanted my boy to experience at the same place I did growing up, that would have been cool.”
Brab and his girlfriend brought their child Wesley into the world just a year ago, and hoped the introduction to laser tag would be coming in a few years.
Fathers looking to share an experience with their newborn children isn’t the only demographic of Canadian’s who will be missing this beloved chain.
Lynda Trudell is among the group of people who were sad to see the chain close its doors. “I was first introduced to Laser Quest at a work party in highschool when I was working for Mcdonald’s. And after that it turned into something my friends and I would do for fun quite regularly.”
In a post made to their corporate Facebook page on Sept. 22, they did touch on the fact that some locations may stay open under new ownership but no new news on which locations or on any timeline in which they may reopen.
Laser Quest has said farewell to their consumers in a statement posted on their website.
“As much as we wanted to re-open, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting uncertain economic climate have made the continued operation of Laser Quest North America next to impossible… As we bid farewell, we at Laser Quest want to thank each and everyone of you for your support throughout the years.”