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Cumming Stars and Strikes expands, renovates laser tag arena
Company’s original branch features two-story outer space theme
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The FCN staff got exclusive play time in the new two-story Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center's Laser Tag Arena before its opening Saturday. The company's original location opened the arena as a part of an ongoing renovation project and celebrated with promotions for new arcade games, free laser tag and food specials.

CUMMING -- As the newest Star Wars movie hits theaters this weekend, families might get a taste for epic battles with futuristic armor, space ships and laser beams.

Luckily, they won’t have to go far, far away.

After closing for three weeks, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center opened its new two-story laser tag center Saturday as a part of an ongoing renovation project for the business’s original location off Atlanta Highway and celebrated with promotions for new arcade games, free laser tag and food specials.

“This is an outer space theme, a futuristic theme,” said Chris Albano, co-owner and managing partner. “We went from a single-story laser tag to a two-story game, which is a huge difference because you can play vertically as well as horizontally. Then we brought [designer Creative Works] in to do the theming.”

Albano said the previous two laser tag arenas did not have themes and called Creative Works an industry leader in design.

“All the walls are painted in dimensional paint to be like you’re in outer space when you see it,” he said. “Then, all the partitions and everything are glow-in-the-dark, really cool looking colors. We have a drone hanging from the ceiling … just some very cool things.”

To build the new facility, the old one had to be gutted, including changing lighting, electrical work and getting new sprinkler systems.

Albano said the second level “adds another dimension to the gameplay.”

“It’s really fun because you’re shooting up and down, so you can get hit and not even know where it’s coming from because someone is up on the platform,” Albano said.

Along with the laser tag arena, the center also has new games, including themed ones from popular shows and movies like “Ghostbusters” and “The Walking Dead.”

“That Walking Dead game … that’s the only one of its kind that’s out on the floor right now in the country,” Albano said. “We ordered more that we’re going to ship over the next week or two, but we’ve been testing that product for four weeks now.”

Another renovation is planned to begin in April around the center’s bowling alley. Those improvements will include revamping the bar to add seating on both sides, projectors to show sporting events or music videos at the end of the lane, and new furniture and flat-screen scoring monitors.

Stars and Strikes now has nine locations and is planning two more openings, but Cumming was the first location, opening 11 years ago.

Albano said the renovation is to ensure those first customers have all the same bells and whistles as the new locations.

“This is our first location, and the only reason we were able to expand to nine locations is because this one was a success,” he said. “The people of Forsyth County in particular have been great customers of ours and have been really loyal to our product.”