Video Game Center Spotlight: Elite Zone – Fayetteville, NC

Elite Zone from Fayetteville, NC is unique only serving customers 18+ years old.  There are many of us that envy stores who limit their age.  Although the younger demographic is quite a bit of our income here at eBash I know that the kids also require a ton more management and can cause most of our headaches.  They have been open just over a year and are in the tough period before their second years is finished.

Elite Zone from Fayetteville, NC is unique only serving customers 18+ years old.

Here is what owner John Larson had to say about his center:

In one “tweet” describe your center (140 characters or less).
Elite Zone offers adult gamers of all types a unique experience to play and/or compete with their favorite games in a social atmosphere.

Why did you get into the video game center business?
I had seen in my travels a few LAN centers and knew that Fayetteville, NC had nothing like that here.  With Fort Bragg, there are lots of troops looking for something to do.  I read somewhere that the Army calls this new generation, “the XBOX” generation.  My center also offers financing as an alternative to renting to own of Computers, TVs and Game Systems.

What is one of the sweetest events you have had at your center?
Our first CoD4 tournament was a blast, we had just grown from 15 xboxes to 22 xboxes.  Monster Energy Drinks and Gamer Grub really helped with the prizes.

Any example of a tough situation you have been able to overcome?
We have been open a little over a year.  I have become over zealous at hiring people at times.  Staff is very important.  Trying to squeeze 41 stations in 1200 sqft has been tough also.

The Elite Zone Storefront

Name some other game centers you steal ideas from.

After I opened I was told about GamePad in VA, I called them and asked a few questions.  I joined iGames and have seen a few centers.  I have stolen most of my ideas from active members of iGames on the forums.

What is a guilty pleasure game that you play?
People are shocked to find that I am not a gamer.  I tell them it would be like a crack head selling crack.  I started a myspace and facebook page to do marketing for the game center and I play a few facebook games.  To kill time on the overnighters, I played farm town, farmville and cafe world with my wife.  Now I kill facebook time playing Knights of Camelot.

Some quick facts about Elite Zone:
Owner: John Larson
Age: 44
City/State: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Store Hours: 11 am – Midnight (overnighter on Friday night)
Date Opened: April 1st, 2009
Area Population (County): 300k
Cost to Play: $3 for 1 hour & $10 for 4 hours (Day Passes $15)

Top 5 games played at your center: Console: MW2, MW2, Halo 3, Left 4 Dead 2, CodWaW (nazi zombies) – did I mention MW2?  Also the GuitarHero games see some action.  PC:  WoW and Eve see lots of action here.  A few folks are playing APB, which seems like they enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of Fayetteville Feed

What type of music do you play at your center: I keep the radio on Rock 103, which I also advertise on.

Internet Feed: Dual t-1 (Fiber Optic almost here!)
PCs: 10
Xbox 360: 31
PS3: 0
Wii: 0

Thanks John for allowing me to feature you as this week’s Game Center Spotlight!  If you own a game center and would like for me to feature you just drop me a comment or email!

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