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Gaming center gives teens entertainment option beyond malls and movies

Summerlin resident Andy Reanrungroch and Centennial Hills resident Bryant Dietz know how to make a gamer’s paradise: late hours, a snack bar, Xbox Ones and PS4s, large monitors, game rentals, a winners’ wall, cash prizes, arcade games, a pool table and themed nights.

Reanrungroch, 36, and Dietz, 26, started Press Start Gaming Center, 4840 S. Fort Apache Road, Suite 100, in November, offering a space for teens and adults to play video games.

“We really wanted to make a place that was family-friendly since there’s not too many in Vegas,” Reanrungroch said. “We try not only to cater to the hardcore gamers but also to the casual gamers. We want to give kids something to do other than going to the movies or bowling.”

The center can host about 40 gamers playing simultaneously, though some nights draw crowds of 80 to 100, Reanrungroch said.

“Right now, most of our customers are hardcore gamers because they’re on the (online) groups and forums,” he said. “All we had to do was put a couple posts up, and we had 40 or 50 of them show up. The next week we had 60, and then 80. It’s growing that way because it’s in their community.”

Although 30 Xbox Ones and PS4s are available for rental, customers are welcome to bring in personal consoles and computers.

“Every Saturday people come in and play Pokemon X and Pokemon Y,” said Reanrungroch, “but those kids bring in their (Nintendo) DSs and don’t even use our rentals. We just provide them with the venue.”

The idea of running a gaming lounge wasn’t new, Reanrungroch said. He tried to open a lounge about six years ago but was forced to put the plan on hold when the financial backing fell through.

Reanrungroch was working with Dietz at a local Sprint store when the idea was reignited.

“We came into conversation when we went to lunch one day,” Dietz said. “He said, ‘Oh, I was going to have a gaming lounge at that spot right there.’ It was like a five- to 10-minute conversation, and that was it. Later, I came upon some money, and I asked him again about the idea.”

So like Mario and Luigi battling Bowser or Jak and Daxter saving the world from dark eco, the duo banded together to save Reanrungroch’s business plan and provide a safe hangout for teens and young adults.

“When I was younger, my friends and I would either go to parties and get into trouble or hang out at a gaming lounge until 2 or 3 in the morning. Those were our options,” Dietz said. “Now, we’re reaching out to the young teens and adults who just want something fun to do. At the same time, it’s keeping them out of trouble.”

Reanrungroch said smoking or drinking alcohol inside the venue is prohibited.

“We’ve been asked a lot to start selling alcohol or let people bring in their own, but that’s not what we’re trying to do here,” Reanrungroch said. “We want it to be a place everyone can enjoy.”

The center hosts fighting game nights on Wednesday and Thursday, first-person shooter games on Friday, Pokemons X and Y on Saturday, FIFA 14 every other Sunday and Madden 25 every other Monday.

“We have a winners’ wall that players can get their name on,” Reanrungroch said. “Most of the tournaments that we host have cash prizes, so however many entries there are, that’s how much prize money there is.”

Stephen Dillinger, 17, recently found the gaming center while browsing online for things to do. He said he tries to go at least once a week.

“I just got bored of going to the movies and mall every weekend,” Dillinger said. “At least here I can play whatever game I want and be loud with my friends. It’s really fun, and I get to meet people who like the same games I do.”

Press Start Gaming Center is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, noon to 3 a.m. Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. Monday through Thursday, an hour of play costs $5. Friday through Sunday, an hour is $6. Other prices vary.

An all-day pass is $16.25 or $8 for those bringing their own gaming consoles or computers. Spectators pay $2.

For more information, visit psglv.com or call 702-227-4263.

Contact Southwest/Spring Valley View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at cbelcher@viewnews.com or 702-383-0403.

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