(Gillette, Wyo.) Sterling Albers has been a resident of Campbell County for over forty years, and worked as a coal miner for the last ten years, before being laid off in March. About a year and a half ago he was in Seattle with his son playing laser tag during a swim meet. JR -- who's 15 now and helps out with dad's business -- mentioned how much fun it was, and how there was nothing like it in Gillette. Sterling began looking for space to set up a laser tag business. When they couldn't find a suitable building at an affordable price, they ordered a mobile system at the first of the year. JR's Laser Tag
launched on March 13th, as soon
as the equipment arrived. Eventually, Sterling planned to leave the mines
to work on his business full time, but layoffs sped that process up.
"It's been in the works for quite a while," said Albers. "It's something
different than anything else we've had around here, entertainment-wise."
The closest possible laser tag arenas before this were in Rapid City or
Casper. In just a few short months, his laser tag setup has become very
popular. Albers credits that to how anyone of any age can participate.
"With laser tag, the whole family can play as a group, and enjoy time
together," he explained. "We've had [players] from 3 years old up to 71 so
far in the arena."
Along with bookings for birthday parties, laser tag has shown up at local
ice arenas, parks, and for grand openings like at Stretch-A-Dollar
Consignment. Tomorrow they'll be at Synergy Dental for their grand opening.
All next week they'll be in the Central Pavilion of the Cam-Plex during the
National High School Finals Rodeo.
But on Sunday, the 24th of July, Albers will be taking his laser tag arena
to Rapid City, to help with the Make-A-Wish program in South Dakota.
The organization called him and asked if he'd be willing to help Sam, a 13
year old with brain cancer. Sam's wish was for a party for his family,
friends, and classmates where they play laser tag. Sterling is happy to
donate his time and his laser tag equipment to make that happen.
Running an entertainment business like mobile laser tag means giving up a
lot of weekends and evenings. But Sterling has been a paramedic, as well as
a coal miner, for 20 years, so he's no stranger to a difficult job and
challenging work schedule. But he calls his career with EMS his "fun" job.
"So now I've got two fun jobs."
He's also running for Campbell County Commissioner. We'll have more on that
later. This Saturday JR's Laser Tag will be at Kiwanis Park from 2 - 6 p.m.
If you're interested in booking mobile laser tag, call (307) 567-5297.
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