Business

New arcade and bowling alley will have special hours for the 21-plus crowd

A new family attraction opening on the beach in Biloxi next week also is geared to be fun for young adults.

What was Big Play Family Fun Center becomes Big Play Entertainment Center once the finishing touches are complete on the 26,000-square-foot combination bowling alley, sports bar and arcade.

The building is on U.S. 90 at Veterans Avenue. It’s adjacent to the miniature golf courses and other attractions operated by RW Development that are seasonal and at the mercy of the weather, said owner Brandon Wooldridge.

“South Mississippi is still deficit in family entertainment since Hurricane Katrina,” he said, and it made sense for the company to add a year-round component to Big Play.

“We want it to be kid-friendly,” he said.

The 12 Brunswick lanes have bumpers that allow young kids to bowl without gutter balls. The arcade will have popular games kids like to play.

But Big Play is also for adults, and at 10 p.m., it transforms into a club for 21 and older.

It’s not the bowling alley or arcade baby boomers grew up with. Big Play is high energy and high tech, with running lights along the lanes, neon-colored bowling balls, electronic scoring, projector screens and a video and sound system. The lights can be programmed to create an Alabama vs. Ole Miss competition between lanes.

Bowlers will sit on comfortable couches and have their shoes, burgers, pizza and beverages brought to them.

“It’s full-service food and beverage to the lanes,” Wooldridge said.

In the arcade is Laser Maze, which Wooldridge compares to “Mission Impossible.” Players choose an easy, medium or hard mission and navigate past the lasers through a foggy room to reach the target, while those outside the room monitor their progress.

“This is the only one of these on the Coast,” Wooldridge said.

A card swipe system lets players load the money for arcade games onto a players card. The points they earn while they play are tallied on the card they take to the redemption wall to claim a prize.

In addition to the popular claw game, Big Play has The Big One — a giant claw that grabs jumbo stuffed animals.

Wooldridge said Big Play will accommodate events from birthday parties with a burger and hot dog bar up to corporate functions with a prime rib carving station.

Brandon’s Sports Bar is filled with photos and memorabilia, “something my father and I have collected over the last 20 years,” Wooldridge said.

Banks of televisions will air the games while customers choose from 16 beer brands on tap and 40 total.

Instead of happy hour, Big Play will have happy days, Wooldridge said, featuring shots, bombs, grenades, Long Island ice tea and, to carry the theme, a “Play with Your Food” promotion that combines food and fun in the arcade.

Wooldridge said Big Play will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

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