Gurnee's entertainment portfolio will expand with indoor facilities for baseball, softball, laser tag and paintball, village officials have decided.
Michael LaLond plans to open Premier Hitting Zone and Paintball City in an industrial park building on the village's east side near Delany Road. Brian Blume's Tactical Combat laser tag operation is pegged for a Lakeside Drive business park on Gurnee's west side.
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Village board members recently voted 6-0 in favor of both proposals. Mayor Kristina Kovarik complimented LaLond and Blume for bringing the businesses to the village. The businesses didn't publicly commit to target opening dates.
"We've got some fun and exciting additions to our tourism here. More to do on the weekends," Kovarik said.
LaLond told Gurnee officials that Premier Hitting Zone and Paintball City will share a 31,000-square-foot building.
Seven cages will be available for baseball and softball practice, LaLond said. He said Premier Hitting Zone also will have strength and conditioning professionals and an equipment storage area. Netting will divide the hitting cages from the paintball arena.
LaLond said start times for the two paintball arenas will be staggered. He said paintball typically has 10 players.
Rick Delisle, whose Mundelein-based RD Strategic represented LaLond in finding the location for Premier Hitting Zone and Paintball City, said he expects the businesses to be longtime amenities for Gurnee.
However, at a village advisory planning and zoning board meeting this month, resident Michael Coan, an architect, questioned whether there will be enough parking and if the site is appropriate for the sports activities because of semitrailers he's observed passing through the area.
Tactical Combat's laser tag facility on Lakeside Drive will be geared toward adults, Blume said. He said he plans to invite local law-enforcement agencies there to train for free during nonbusiness hours.
"Laser tag is considered a safe activity," Blume said. "The laser actually isn't a laser at all. It's an infrared light and it's invisible to the human eye and it's 100 percent safe."
Blume said the facility will have a combat simulation style of play.