ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque, it’s time for the Main Event.
Main Event Entertainment — a Dallas-based chain of “eat-bowl-play” venues — will open its new Albuquerque location to the public on Tuesday afternoon, following months of construction on what had been a vacant lot alongside Pan American Freeway, near Comanche.
The new 50,000-square-foot entertainment emporium marks location No. 27 for the company. It’s one of 11 centers set to open this year, and part of a big expansion push Main Event is making across the Sun Belt and into the Southwestern U.S., District Manager Steve Jackson said.
“Albuquerque seemed to us to have a need for more family entertainment options and from all indications we’ve gotten so far, people are excited we’re here,” Jackson said Wednesday on a pre-opening tour of the building.
Main Event joins a sea of chains that have converged on Albuquerque in the last two years. That includes Dave & Buster’s, a restaurant-bar-arcade now at Winrock Town Center; plus Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Cheesecake Factory and LongHorn Steakhouse. Jackson noted that the market has a reputation for high-performing restaurants.
“Things do well here from what I’ve seen,” he said, addressing the recent influx. “(If not), Cheesecake wouldn’t be coming here; we wouldn’t be coming here.”
Main Event’s Albuquerque site boasts 22 bowling lanes, 110 interactive and video games, a two-story laser tag arena, a “gravity ropes course” suspended above the arcade and more than 100 TV screens. It has a full-service kitchen with a diverse menu (the range goes from pizza and salads to chicken and waffles) and a full bar.
The company hired 202 people from about 3,000 applicants to staff the venue; Jackson estimated about half are younger than 21.
Main Event hosts a variety of group events, but Jackson said most of the business comes from walk-in traffic. The average guest spends between two to four hours inside, he said.
An hour of bowling for up to six people starts at $22, though Jackson said most guests will buy some kind of package. The current summer fun pass includes unlimited bowling, laser tag, billiards and gravity ropes and runs $9.95-$17.95, depending on the time of day.