The tempo was upbeat, as arcade lights glowed and music pulsed through a surround-sound system at last week’s grand-opening celebration for Main Event, a new entertainment venue next to Tampa Premium Outlets.
Visitors had a chance to get their first peek at a place that’s obviously dedicated to being a fun destination for people of all ages.
Main Event, at 2839 Creek Grass Way in Lutz, offers a wide array of activities, including bowling, arcade games, laser tag, gravity ropes and other activities, plus various food and drink options.
Members of the North Tampa Bay Chamber gathered to welcome Main Event to the community and their enthusiasm was apparent.
It was the chamber’s first big, in-person ribbon-cutting ceremony since concerns about potential spread of COVID-19 shut down such activities beginning in mid-March.
Hope Kennedy, president and CEO of the North Tampa Bay Chamber, put it like this: “We’re so excited to be able to have a grand opening — figure it out, logistically, with all of the CDC regulations.”
She’s also enthused about what Main Event will bring to the community.
“This was the one thing that was lacking in Wesley Chapel — family entertainment, where you felt safe to come with your entire family, have a great time,” the chamber executive said. “It appeals to all age groups. It’s a needed addition to our community.”
Christa Watson, the sales manager for Main Event, explained, in an interview, why the entertainment center chose the Pasco County location.
“This appealed to our company because it’s an underserved market,” Watson said.
“We knew this area needed something for families.
“The way that Wesley Chapel and Lutz are growing — there are families here, who want to have some fun.
“There isn’t anything for families to do, like this, for about 22 to 25 miles,” Watson said. “Why not Wesley Chapel? Why not Lutz.”
The sales manager detailed some of the center’s offerings.
“We have over 50,000 square feet of family fun entertainment center, here.
“We have 22 bowling lanes that are state-of-the-art. We have a two-story, indoor laser tag arena. We have a suspended gravity ropes course with zipline, indoors — hello, how fun!
“We have over 125 arcade games, a full kitchen and restaurant,” she said. There’s also a grab-and-go food option, and a full bar.
“We have meeting and party space, as well,” Watson said.
The center officially opened on July 17, at noon, and it will be open 365 days a year.
Watson addressed the logistics of trying to open the business in the midst of a global pandemic.
“It’s been challenging, but honestly, any great business just pivots.
“We’ll open mindfully and thoughtfully, at somewhere between 10% and 15% of our capacity.
“That way, we can properly socially distance at every one of our activities, at the bowling lane, and our bar and at the restaurants,” Watson said.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, Main Event gives people a chance to go out and have fun, she said.
“Right now, people and families haven’t really been able to do anything,” Watson noted.
But, precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of staff and customers, she added.
All staff members are wearing masks and gloves, and everyone over the age of 4 who enters the center will be required to wear a mask, in accordance to Pasco County’s regulations.
“Every single game and activity is sanitized after each individual person. We work in zones here, with team members.
“We have a bowling valet that serves you and fits you for your balls and your shoes, versus a self-serve touch environment.”
“Constant safety is really important to us at Main Event because we know that it’s the only way families, in an environment (COVID-19) like this, will be able to come out, get out a little bit and have some fun,” Watson said.
She also advised potential visitors that they should check Main Event’s website to find out about new promotions and specials. There also are different kinds of packages available for groups, she said.
And, she noted that Main Event has partnerships with AdventHealth Center Ice, Wiregrass Ranch sports complex and various hospitality entities.
Main Event is looking forward to offering a fun option for families traveling to the area for sporting events, Watson said.
Lisa Goodnite, general manager at the center, thanked all of the people who helped get the center ready to open.
Main Event is based in Plano, Texas, and has locations across the United States.
Alex Garza, director of operations for a territory of the company, said Main Event intends to be a fun destination for people of all ages.
He noted that it also provides job opportunities for the local economy, noting the one which opened last week in Pasco County already has added 100 jobs to the local economy, and expects to have 160 to 170, when things begin looking up.
Chris Morris, the company’s president and CEO, attended the grand opening to help celebrate the new center.
“We are so proud to be part of Wesley Chapel,” Morris said. “We want to be part of your community. We look forward to being here many, many years.
“We can’t wait to have a lot of fun and see smiles on faces,” he said.
And, it didn’t take long for the good times to begin.
Chamber members were having a blast, as they hurled bowling balls down the center’s state-of-the-art lanes — a Main Event ceremonial ball roll.
What: A family-focused entertainment venue, offering ways to have fun for people of all ages.
Where: 2839 Creek Grass Way, Lutz (adjacent to Tampa Premium Outlets, off State Road 56, west of Interstate 75)
When: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight; Monday, 10 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Details: Center offers bowling, billiards, arcade games and other activities, as well as food and drink.
Cost: For more information, call (813) 909-2695. Or you can check the website, MainEvent.com/location/florida/wesley-chapel/33559.
Published July 22, 2020