Gilbert to get family fun center for bowling, laser tag and more - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Gilbert to get family fun center for bowling, laser tag and more

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Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:15 pm | Updated: 4:19 pm, Wed Dec 3, 2014.

Some new family fun will be open in entertainment-starved southern Gilbert at the corner of Queen Creek Road and Val Vista Drive by the end of the year.

Flipside will be a hybrid-entertainment location, complete with 28 lanes of bowling (including a six-lane private VIP room), four mini-bowling lanes, laser tag, a laser maze, an arcade, bumper cars, party rooms, restaurant, coffee shop and three-level climbing structure full of shooting foam balls.

“Basically 50,000 square feet of awesomeness,” said Ryan Owens, one of the owners.

Co-owner Nathan Crane II said, “We thought with the high number of families in the south East Valley, it would be a good location.”

The business could provide between 70 to 120 jobs depending on how many part-time workers they employ, the two said.

It’s meant to be a place where parents feel safe dropping off their teenagers.

“We’re happy about providing a safe, fun place,” Owens said. “It’s going to be a well-lit, clean environment.”

And keeping with the family-friendly environment, Flipside will not serve alcohol.

“It’s not your traditional grungy bowling alley,” Crane added.

Part of what drove the two men to open the entertainment center was their own families. Crane lives within a few miles of the location and has an 8-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter. Owens, who lives in Queen Creek, has three children between the ages of 4 and 10.

Crane and Owens also own an aviation maintenance company, something they hoped to replicate at different locations throughout the country.

“We’re aviation guys,” Crane said.

However, they say, the shrinking economy made them reconsider their business plans and open what they call a “hybrid-entertainment center.”

“We needed something more recession resistant than the aviation sector,” Owens said.

The idea of opening up the business became feasible in 2009, Crane said. And the search was on for the perfect location and a bank willing to finance their endeavor.

Alliance Bank provided the loan to finally open the entertainment center.

Construction began in July, but the exact opening date is still up in the air.

“We’re telling people that we’re planning on opening December-ish,” he said with a laugh. “Soon there will be a sign going up that says opening soon-ish.”

Flipside will open in the former Bashas’ grocery store location at 4874 S. Val Vista.

For more details about Flipside and to keep up with updates, visit

Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or

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