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‘Level Up’

Arcade style gaming store opens Thursday

The Level Up team from left Blillie Wimber, Angie Wimber, Gary McVay, Hayven Klos and Travis Klos stand in front of the new arcade-style location.
The Level Up team from left Blillie Wimber, Angie Wimber, Gary McVay, Hayven Klos and Travis Klos stand in front of the new arcade-style location.

Who can remember scrounging up change from their weekend chores to go play a game of PAC-MAN or pin ball at the local arcade?

Gary McVey, owner of Sugar Rush, and Angie Wimber, owner of Studio 101, do. Both self-proclaimed video gaming enthusiasts, McVey and Wimber found they had a common interest in opening a gaming store reminiscent of arcades, which at one time could be found in nearly every town across the United States.

Arcades, which were first legitimized in the 1970s, and saw their peak during the 1980s. A decade later, arcades experienced a decline as technology changed. Because of this, most arcades began to lose their customer base to console gaming, which could be played by consumers at home.

Level Up

McVey and Wimber have brought a hybrid of the arcade model of the yesteryears and at-home console gaming to Creston.

The idea for an arcade began separately in the minds of McVey and Wimber, who unknown to one another, had similar aspirations for a gaming location in Creston.

“I always had the arcade concept in my mind,” said Wimber, “It wasn’t until I met up with Gary that this idea really began to become a reality.”

Enter Level Up, a gaming store for children and adults alike, McVey and Wimber said, Level Up will give patrons access to a range of games across the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC games and actual arcade games. Subscriptions, daily passes, tournaments and leagues for various games across competitive platforms will be available. The store will provide its customers with access to seven 50-inch televisions and one 80-inch television. Each television will be equipped with its own XBox One and PlayStation 4. Level Up will also provide a formal location for local fantasy footballers to participate in events.

“I was just excited that someone else had the same idea for an arcade style business in Creston,” said McVey.

Level Up is being built from a model that had existed in communities for decades and is intended to be a gathering place. Whether it was a skating rink, a bowling alley, circling the loop or a local arcade, communities had locations where people come together for a common purpose.

“The bowling alley and the skating rink were where everyone went,” said Wimber. “Now people game, so instead of being at home, they can come together with their friends and play.”

Since Wimber came back to Creston, she said she always wanted to have a place that was a good positive location for adults and children to go.

“I think this will be that place.” Wimber said.

Level Up, 101 W. Taylor St., is set to open 10 a.m.Thursday and will host its first Fortnight tournament on Saturday. More information can be found on Level Up’s Facebook page.

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