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Sun Valley Lanes and Games opens $4.5M expansion

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A $4.5 million expansion to Sun Valley Lanes and Games had the owners on edge for a while. It was a project that was going during the midst of a pandemic, but it’s banking on a roaring 2021 summer to make up for it.

The project was finished about six weeks later than planned. However, given the current market for construction essentials and ongoing international supply chain issues, owners said they feel lucky about that timeline.

The changes are aimed at giving the space a more modern, nightlife feel while still being in the business of fun.

Even long-standing customers like Tina Benes are just discovering the updates.

“I think it’s amazing,” Benes said “I can’t wait to tell my friends and family and have my grandkids come out and play.”

The owners added onto the space and renovated some existing square footage. It includes a large green space for lawn games and outdoor dining and drinking, which used to hold the old parking lot.

Inside there is an updated arcade, a second-of-its-kind technology-based mini golf system, and a custom two-floor military-themed laser tag setup.

On the back of the building there are four sand volleyball courts where they host a league a few nights a week.

“All the time still we’re getting people that come in here and say oh my gosh look at this it’s so fun,” said John Losito, the owner. “So we’re pretty happy about it.”

Losito admits a project of this size during a pandemic was certainly unnerving at times. They didn’t know when vaccines would be available or restrictions would be lifted - in a business model that relies on social interaction.

Thankfully essential items to stock and build only saw small delays and a few pieces that are missing because of supply chain issues can just be added as they show up.

“Was either en route or already been delivered,” Losito said. “When it came to the actual expansion but some odds and ends stuff between some equipment here and an arcade game there.”

The expansion requires extra staffing. Losito hopes to keep 60 people on staff. Right now, he’s short about 20 employees but admits that’s better than most in his same industry.

“We’ve had about 25 percent of our staff been hired in the past six or seven weeks as people are starting to get back to life and get out,” Losito said.

All parts of the expansion are ready for customers and this summer it’s hosting multiple leagues for things like cornhole and volleyball. It also hopes to partner with other local companies soon for theme nights as well.

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