Months later than planned, Surrey’s new Central City Fun Park opened last Friday.
The entertainment centre, billed as “Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park,” is located in 27,000 square feet of space near Pattullo Bridge and Scott Road SkyTrain Station.
“We are finally ready to open and welcome the community to our Fun Park,” operators posted on the facility’s Facebook page earlier in the week. “Things will be a little different than what we had originally planned but our goal to provide a FUN & SAFE facility remains.”
Central City Fun Park features a roller skating rink, bowling, nine-hole miniature golf course, 65 arcade games, Hologate virtual-reality game, party rooms, a pizzeria and more, in the former SkyZone trampoline park space at 11125 124th St.
The fun park, operated by Surrey-raised brothers Erik, Glen and Steve Vilio, in another of their Willow Industries entertainment ventures, was set to open at spring break, but the COVID-19 pandemic ended those plans.
“It was frustrating, but this is the way of the world,” Steve Vilio said. “We feel lucky to be able to open when we did, even though it’s not the way we wanted. We’re not making money, the numbers aren’t high enough, but some income is better than no income.”
For now, during the weekend-only operating hours, facility access is limited to 20 people per hour, and the maximum length of stay is two hours.
“We wanted to be able to control the crowd and make sure the numbers are good,” Steve said. “We’re at just 10 per cent of capacity, so there’s lots of room to move in there and keep distanced. We were very conservative with the number of people we wanted in here at one time. We wanted to be safe.”
So far, people seem to be most excited about the roller skating rink.
“People are already booking ahead, and they’re coming from all over the place,” Erik noted. “We have some regulars already, from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, North Van, West Van, everywhere.”
Occupancy has been reduced from 300 to 40 people, and the use of face masks is mandatory – “free or bring your own,” operators say.
“We spaced out the Arcade to allow for social distancing,” says the Facebook post. “We have limited Roller Skating to 12 skaters at a time. We have reduced the number of Bowling Lanes in half. We have enhanced our sanitation & cleaning procedures.”
The Hologate VR attraction and pizzeria will remain closed until further notice.
Admission tickets are $20 and must be purchased online prior to arrival. More details are posted to centralcityfunpark.com.
Next door, The Hive Climbing & Fitness facility has reopened after months of being dark.
“We’re doing a phased reopening, with members first, and we’ll go from there, with members of the general public welcome starting June 15,” general manager Brad Blackwell said on Sunday (June 7). “It’s all through a reservation booking system on our website, for specific time slots.
“Right now we’re doing two-hour time slots and then everybody has to leave, we clean the whole place, the contact surfaces, and then reopen with a new group of climbers,” he added.
Hand washing is currently mandatory upon entry at The Hive, which opened in April 2019 and was forced to close in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had some spring camps for kids lined up, and an annual birthday party that also got cancelled, and some other events,” Blackwell said. “We’re still trying to figure out what we can do for our programming this summer, including youth programs, and we had a film premiere planned here that had to be cancelled. We’re trying to do the best we can do and make for the least risky environment possible.”
Blackwell said he’s “super excited” about having Central City Fun Park now open next door.
“It’s great for us,” he said, “because it’s been kind of unfortunate for us to not have a neighbour in that space for the year we’ve been open, just because the more foot traffic coming through, the better. It looks like a good time in there.”