By Natalie Anderson
CyberZone Entertainment Center, a locally owned and operated entertainment venue, had to shut down its doors right before spring break, resulting in a season of loss. Owners Elaine and Simon Bak have been in the entertainment industry since 2005, with Simon starting in the industry in 1996 with the Walt Disney World company. The Opelika couple have been working non-stop to prepare their customers, employees and the local community for a safe and fun environment upon their future, unknown reopening date.
“There’s going to be a lot of changes and a lot of new normals. We’re involved in the industry so much and are in a lot of groups (on social media) that are worldwide… we all communicate throughout the industry, we’re seeing what other states are doing and what’s working for them and what’s not working for them,” Simon said.
As for CyberZone, every single game has been moved and measured to be spread out six feet apart.
“Any of the games that are two to four players, will have signs up and people will have to choose to play those games with families or those that they come with. (But) some of the games can’t be separate, such as SkeeBall or four-player HALO,” Elaine added. “We will also be placing more focus on private parties and events, and when we do get the authorization to open, we will begin with limited public hours and open sections of the building only as we feel confident in making the area as safe and comfortable as possible.”
The local couple has even ordered an “Ozone machine” to ensure that the building is as clean as possible for the safety of everyone involved.
“The Ozone machine disinfects the air and disinfects everything in the room,” Simon explained. “For safety reasons, the Ozone cleaning procedure is done after hours when the store is completely empty. Every night (the Ozone machine) will kill everything. It runs for about an hour and is safe after 30 to 40 minutes afterwards.”
While maintaining a clean environment has always been a priority for CyberZone, the business will now have two employees whose main job as an arcade attendant is to go around cleaning the surfaces of the arcade machines and essentially any surface.
“We’ve ordered products including a cleaning agent, BioCide 100, that kills 99% of contaminants that will even clean Coronavirus … it adheres to the surface and continues to disinfect over 12 hours,” Elaine said. “There will also be markings on the ground, sneeze guards and sanitization stations that will have cool graphics to stand out.”
“We had some new games that were literally delivered the day after we closed,” Simon said. “The building inside is going to look completely different, everything has been moved and new games have been added.”
“People want places like us to get some fun in especially in times like these, come relax and have time together as a family or as a date night,” Elaine added.
While the entertainment venue is preparing to open and taking extra precautions, customers are able to support the locally owned business by purchasing gift cards online such as purchasing a $100 gift card and receiving a $50 credit for free (other increments available.) Customers are also able to book parties for future dates.
“We’re a part of this community and all the questions and concerns that everyone has… we have as well,” Elaine said. “We try to support one another in the business community and it’s a very uncertain time, but we really appreciate our community and all the support that we do get.”
“We’re local, we’re here, and we care, it’s not just a business for us, it’s our passion. Be kind to one another and be patient while adjustments are made during the reopening process,” she added.
“Thanks to everyone who has been supportive and we can’t wait to be able to celebrate parties and special events with the guests again.”
For more information, visit cyberzone334.com or follow “CyberZone Entertainment Center” on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the venue and their reopening date. The venue is located at 107 N. 9th St.