Blasting a buddy with a water balloon launcher and playing arcade games will be among the fun things people will be able to indulge in this summer at a planned new entertainment center in Fort Dodge.
''I look forward to seeing the kid come out in everyone's faces when they come in,'' said Todd McCubbin, one of the four Fort Dodge people developing the center.
The collection of indoor and outdoor activities will be centered on a former warehouse near First Avenue South and 32nd Street.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
From left, Joyce and Todd McCubbin, and Tim and Kellie Guderian meet at the site of their planned entertainment center at First Avenue South and 32nd Street.
It will be owned and operated by TJK Enterprises LLC of Fort Dodge. That partnership consists of McCubbin and his wife, Joyce McCubbin, and Tim and Kellie Guderian.
The project was announced in October and since then Tim Guderian said he has enjoyed listening to people talk about how excited they are about the yet-to-be-named center.
''It is something that everybody knows is needed in town,'' he said.
The Guderians won a $200.8 million Powerball lottery prize six years ago, which enabled them to consider getting involved in a big project like the center.
The original concept emerged about four years ago when Tim Guderian began thinking about building a roller skating rink.
''It started out like a small idea like a roller skating rink, something just to get me started, and it just exploded from there,'' he said. ''Next thing you know, we've got a family entertainment center .''
He said there is a ''constant brainstorm'' when the four partners in TJK Enterprises LLC get together to discuss plans for the center.
Those brainstorming sessions generated a variety of outdoor and indoor features for the center.
The outdoor attractions will include:
The indoor features will include:
The warehouse and surrounding property were purchased late last year from Decker Truck Line Inc. of Fort Dodge.
The center is expected to open in July or August, according to Kellie Guderian.
She said work inside the building will start next month and will probably take six to eight weeks to finish.
In April, construction is scheduled to start on an extension of First Avenue South that will bring it close to the center. The City Council has approved the use of tax increment financing to reimburse TJK Enterprises LLC for the estimated $1.2 million cost of extending the road.
Two houses on the property will be demolished. Twin Rivers Habitat for Humanity has already recovered windows, light fixtures and woodwork from the houses, according to McCubbin.
The center will employ 10 to 15 full-time workers and up to 45 part-timers.
McCubbin said a contest will be held to pick a name for the center.
Having fun at the center will not be free. Daily admission will be charged and there will also be monthly passes for sale. The fees haven't been decided upon yet, but McCubbin said the partners in the project are determined to keep them as low as possible.
''We want to make it affordable for families to actually come in,'' he said.''Our goal is to make it as affordable as possible.''
Tim Guderian said he believes the entertainment center will ''coexist pretty well'' with a proposed new recreation center in Fort Dodge.
He said the entertainment center is focused on kids games while the recreation center will be dedicated to physical fitness and sports.