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No adults allowed

Ted Alvarez Vail Daily, Vail Colorado
AE Game Garage1 KH 12-21-06
ALL |

BEAVER CREEK – At Beaver Creek, adults have the run of the village once the mountain calms down and it’s time for apres relaxation, and the really young ones have snowhills and warm cookies to keep them occupied, but kids too old for snow play and too young for the bar often get left out in the cold. Not anymore: Beaver Creek’s Game Garage, located adjacent to the Dusty Boot Saloon in the St. James building, caters directly to the teen and tween set, with video games, movies, foosball and plenty of space to lounge and schmooze with kids their own age. And like any exclusive club, a strict velvet-rope policy will be enforced: Only kids ages 10-17 can get in – absolutely no adults allowed.”Beaver Creek does a great job serving younger kids and providing nightlife for adults, but there’s a weakness in serving that tween group,” said Brian Hall of Blue Creek Productions, who Beaver Creek commissioned to design and build the space. “We designed it to have a fun, retro-garage look, with all kinds of vintage gas station signs. We bought three dozen vintage license plates off of Ebay – a few are from Colorado’s Centennial. We basically wanted to fill it with things we thought that age group would like to see.”The faux-garage is loaded with plush, red leather couches for lounging, and sports games or movies are broadcast on a 52 and a 32-inch flat screen TV. A wide selection of snowboarding and skiing DVDs, along with other movies, are available to watch for free. The garage also features a selection of current and vintage arcade games for guests to while away the hours shooting aliens or driving digital cars.

“You can only ice skate so much – this is something else that caters to their natural interests,” said Tony O’Rourke, executive director of Beaver Creek Resort Company. “But because of the hours, it doesn’t really compete with skiing or snowboarding. We don’t necessarily want kids in their playing from 7 in the morning until 9; we still want them to be able to participate with their family in the activity that brought them out in the first place.” The Game Garage will open at 3 p.m, just as the mountain slows down, and close at 9 p.m. While adults aren’t allowed in, adult supervisors are present to ensure visitors don’t get carried away.”It’s another safe hangout – we have adult supervision, but we very much want it to be their space,” O’Rourke said. “We changed the atmospherics so kids feel like it’s their haven, but it’s properly supervised and safe. Last night, we had almost fifty kids in there, and each of them spent 45 minutes to an hour playing games. As soon as kids find out about it, they’re just going to descend on it.”Response so far has been positive, and both O’Rourke and Hall will be constantly on the lookout to improve and renovate the space as needed; plans are in motion to bring in an air hockey table and new arcade games.

“The resort sponsors and the families have been extremely happy about it, so it’s going to rock,” Hall said. “When it comes to kids, the resort has made a commitment to provide programs and amenities for free. It’s basically a home run for the kids and their parents.”The Game Garage attraction goes beyond its designated age group, though: When adults see what’s available for the kids, they may want in on the action.”We have gotten a lot of interest from adults, actually,” O’Rourke said. “Depending on the growth, we may have to open up a separate Game Garage for them.”

Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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