Amuse­ment for all ages at Prairie Juras­sic Fam­ily Fun Cen­tre

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WEEKEND - ERIN PETROW

You have to see it to be­lieve it.

From the gi­ant an­i­ma­tronic T-Rex that greets you as you walk in the door to the fog ma­chines and wall mu­rals, Troy Burke per­fected ev­ery de­tail when he opened Prairie Juras­sic Fam­ily Fun Cen­tre — fi­nally bring­ing eight long years of plan­ning to life. The idea first ma­te­ri­al­ized when Burke’s chil­dren started to get older and found there was no space in the city de­signed specif­i­cally for older kids to get out and have fun.

Though Prairie Juras­sic caters to the preteen and young adult crowd, it’s not unusual for adults to get just as ex­cited about the games as the kids do, Burke says.

“We all need to get lost some­times and kind of put our lives on hold and en­ter­tain our in­ner child,” he said. “I had a stagette come in here and they brought their dresses and they were go­ing through (the laser maze) with their dresses on — it was a blast.”

Boast­ing at­trac­tions like black light dodge ball, a laser maze, archery tag, laser tag in a glow-inthe-dark room rem­i­nis­cent of the crum­bling build­ings of Juras­sic Park 2 — which Burke said is one of only two laser tag are­nas in North Amer­ica that in­cor­po­rates an­i­ma­tronic el­e­ments into the game — and an ar­cade fea­tur­ing a num­ber of top-tier two per­son games not read­ily found in other ar­cades.

With a birthday room, com­plete with a pizza warmer, it’s the per­fect place to book a party. Though you don’t need to bring a group to get in on the group com­bat games like laser tag — just tell them you want to play and they will find you a place in a large, lively game.

But even with such a one-ofa-kind space Burke is eager to con­tinue ex­pand­ing. Around the end of Septem­ber peo­ple can look for­ward to the new­est com­bat game: Ba­zooka Blast — which is sim­i­lar to laser tag but instead of lasers, play­ers shoot foam balls from guns pow­ered by com­pressed gas.

But, that’s only the be­gin­ning. Burke also has plans for a sec­ond level to add more play­ing space and also wants to cre­ate an at­trac­tion that bet­ter in­cor­po­rates his two an­i­ma­tronic di­nosaur suits.

“I’ve got a few other at­trac­tions that I’ll be look­ing at as time goes on — but we got to get some bling in the bank first,” he fin­ished with a laugh.

PRAIRIE JURAS­SIC FAM­ILY FUN CEN­TRE

Owner: Troy Burke

Ad­dress: 618 Cyn­thia Street Web­site: www.prairiejuras­sic.ca Hours: Tues­day to Fri­day from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Satur­day from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sun­day from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone: 306-952-2817

Check Face­book and In­sta­gram

A long­time hobby has mor­phed into the per­fect business op­por­tu­nity for Slade Sillers — who of­fi­cially opens the doors to his new mo­tor­cy­cle re­pair shop Slade’s Cy­cle to­day.

Sillers grew up around mo­tor­cy­cles and quickly be­came “ob­sessed” with them thanks to his dad and un­cle who both rode. He re­ceived his first bike at only three years old and the skill of learn­ing how to fix them wasn’t far be­hind.

“I al­ways had to fix my own bikes be­cause I couldn’t af­ford to pay some­one to do it,” he said. “And then I just ended up fix­ing everybody else’s bikes and it just kind of evolved from there.”

Work­ing out of his home was a great way to start out, but the dou­ble car garage sim­ply be­came too tight as more peo­ple started bring­ing their bikes for re­pairs. So, when his friend — and local tat­too artist — Katja Heinze pitched him the idea of shar­ing a business space he knew it was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand — and give his neigh­bours some much needed peace and quiet, he said laugh­ing.

Work­ing on older bikes are some of his favourite projects, but he en­joys fix­ing any make or model re­gard­less of age and says any­thing from gen­eral ser­vice work to me­tal fab­ri­ca­tion is no prob­lem in his shop.

Sillers says his favourite part of be­ing in the new space is the re­laxed, stress free at­mos­phere that has friends and strangers alike wan­der­ing inside to chat and han­gout while he works.

“I had friends who would come and go when I was work­ing out of my garage, but the in­ter­est has just been out­stand­ing here,” he said. “At first I was kind of un­sure that I would be able to make a go of it but it’s al­ready look­ing promis­ing for next year. I have a cou­ple builds lined up over the win­ter so it’s al­ready look­ing busy.”

SLADE’S CY­CLE

Owner: Slade Sillers

Ad­dress: 1909 11th Street West Hours: Drop in or call to make an ap­point­ment — set hours ex­pected to be­gin in the new year Phone: 306-361-1995 Check In­sta­gram Erin Petrow is a re­porter at The StarPhoenix. If you have started, ex­panded or moved a small business in Saska­toon within the last few months, con­tact her at epetrow@ post­media.com. Twit­ter.com/petr0w

PHO­TOS: ERIN PETROW

Troy Burke is the owner of Prairie Juras­sic Fam­ily Fun Cen­tre, which of­fers games like laser tag, black light dodge ball, a laser maze and a va­ri­ety of ar­cade games.

Long­time mo­tor­cy­cle rider, me­chanic and over­all en­thu­si­ast Slade Sillers’s new shop Slade’s Cy­cle of­fers his ex­per­tise on ev­ery­thing from gen­eral ser­vice work to me­tal fab­ri­ca­tion.

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