A former Laser Quest employee is keeping laser tag alive in downtown Spokane with a new entertainment venue in the old state armory building.
Chad Cottier is opening LaserMaxx Spokane, 202 W. Second Ave., which was occupied by Laser Quest before it shuttered last year due to pandemic-related challenges.
“I believe that laser tag belongs in Spokane as many have grown to love and cherish the game,” Cottier said.
Cottier was employed with Laser Quest for 19 years, starting as a crew member in 1998. He rose through the ranks to become general manager of the Spokane location.
Cottier left Laser Quest in 2018 to pursue a career in the insurance industry.
When Cottier heard Canadian-based Versent Corp ULC, the parent company of Laser Quest, had ceased operations at many of its North American live-action laser tag venues last year – including in Spokane – he reached out to the landlord of the old state armory building.
“I contacted the landlord to see if he had any plans for the building and he didn’t,” Cottier said. “I had several meetings with the landlord and thought it was very important to keep the Laser Quest vibe.
“Obviously, I’d have to change the name, but I wanted to keep laser tag in Spokane. I thought it was very important to do.”
Cottier signed a lease for the building last month and has been repainting and changing signage in the space. The building and maze will remain, he added.
“It has a beautiful castle theme already,” he said. “I’m not going to do too much with that. It’s a very unique building.”
The old state armory building, constructed in 1908, once housed the Washington National Guard.
It was also used as a venue for concerts, dances and sporting events before the Spokane Coliseum was built in 1954, according to a Spokesman-Review article published in 2011.
In 1994, Laser Quest opened in the building. The laser tag venue was in operation for more than 27 years prior to closing.
LaserMaxx Spokane will provide a safe, socially distanced indoor activity as it has a 12,000-square-foot multi-level maze for groups to play games of contactless laser tag, Cottier said.
The venue will carefully follow coronavirus-related guidelines outlined by public health officials, he said.
“We have such a large arena there. I believe it’s a game that you can get together and play while being apart,” Cottier said. “That’s the beauty of laser tag. I think right now people are wanting to get out and do stuff together.”
Cottier hired four former Laser Quest employees to work at LaserMaxx.
He’s also ordered new equipment to expand the variety of laser tag games at the venue.
“We are going to do a lot of the same things Laser Quest did as far as fun activities,” he said.
Cottier plans to open LaserMaxx in November.
“I’m super excited to bring laser tag back to the Spokane community,” he said. “I can’t wait to open.”
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