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Entrepreneurs take YouTube show to reality with new Spy Ninja HQ — PHOTOS

Updated March 7, 2024 - 2:56 pm

In a recent episode of “Spy Ninjas,” a YouTube cloak-and-dagger show for kids, our heroes, Chad Wild Clay and Vy Qwaint, are trying to save their fluffy puppy, Clue, from the clutches of the dreaded cyberterrorist group Scattered Skull.

In order to rescue Clue, Clay and Qwaint must figure out how to open the cage, while Skull henchmen lurk downstairs and can show up at any time.

At the end of the 20-minute episode, the Spy Ninjas and Clue escape, knowing that Scattered Skull is planning an attack on Spy Ninja headquarters.

And that sets the scene for the next episode.

Clay and Qwaint, former Minnesota college students-turned-Las Vegas entrepreneurs, are close to realizing their dream of providing a playground for Spy Ninja fans to re-enact their adventures with the opening of the Spy Ninjas HQ theme park.

Justin Hawkins, who has known Clay since he was 12 after meeting at a karate school, has now become co-creator and brand ambassador for the two-story, 55,000-square-foot indoor park that officially opens Saturday at 7980 W. Sahara Ave., just west of Buffalo Drive.

Clay and Qwaint met while attending separate Minnesota colleges. Clay worked at developing programs to battle ransomware; Qwaint ran a fitness studio. Both liked to create YouTube videos as a hobby. Eventually, they discovered that some of their videos appealed to boys who liked the martial arts aspects of what they were doing, while girls liked the puzzle-solving elements. That’s how Spy Ninjas was born.

The park had a soft opening in February and hasn’t advertised its availability and the business partners now hope that Spy Ninja HQ will become a frequent hangout for some of the 44 million fans Clay and Qwaint have on YouTube.

“As you can see, there’s a lot going on here,” said Hawkins, who also presided over Clay’s and Qwaint’s wedding.

Hawkins called the park “a ninja warrior training ground crossed with a McDonald’s play structure on steroids.”

Spy Ninjas HQ is believed to be the first adventure park based on intellectual property created exclusively on social media.

Also collaborating on the project was Bryan Severance of Las Vegas-based Fallout Zones Consulting, which designs, builds and runs a variety of family entertainment operations.

“You can spend hours and hours here without getting bored,” Hawkins said.

Included in the park are a 115-foot zipline — the longest indoor zipline in Nevada — trampolines, three escape rooms, two of them multilevel, virtual reality attractions, climbing walls, ax throwing and a skill-based arcade. All of the attractions are built around the Spy Ninjas theme.

The attraction has a redemption room for participants to trade points for Spy Ninja merchandise, which also is sold at Target, Walmart and on Amazon.

The attraction is tech-heavy. Buy a wristband and scan a chip on it to play the skill-based games and keep a record of your speed completing a game or challenge.

There’s a glass-walled lounge upstairs serving cocktails and mocktails so that parents can keep an eye on their children as they play.

There’s a scaled system to purchase wristband credits, starting at $10 for 45 credits ranging up to $100 for 777 credits. Passes that provide access to the trampoline zone, aerial ropes course, five-level obstacle course, climbing walls and zipline for children 8 and up are $30 for 1½ hours or $40 for three hours. They’re large enough for adults to play. Many of the attractions are connected by ladders and slides.

Guests 12 and older can participate in fruit chops for $96 for 30 minutes for one person or $166 for 30 minutes for two. The virtual reality attraction costs $50 for 30 minutes. Ninja star and ax throwing is $39 for an hour. The 30-minute escape room is $36 while the 60-minute rooms are $56. A “mini-ninja” play area for ages 2-7 is $11 for an hour or $23 for three hours.

The park normally will be closed Tuesday – the days the video team records Spy Ninja adventures.

Around 100 employees work at the park.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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