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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Laser Quest is permanently closing down all North American operations

Laser Quest, the laser tag chain that served as a staple for birthday parties and the early social outings of countless pre-teen cliques, is officially shuttering for good in North America.

The company made the announcement on its website with a short message that feels like a stab to the heart for millennials who will fondly remember the pastime as the pinnacle of their youth.

The reason, of course, is the pandemic, which has led to irrevocable losses for the brand. 

Though the activity lends itself extremely well to physical distancing, months of forced closure have taken a toll.

It has also presumably been a little difficult to maintain the proper indoor sanitization and capacity limits now needed given the high-touch nature of the equipment and facilities, as well as the group nature of the sport.

"As much as we wanted to re-open, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting uncertain economic climate have made the continued operation of Laser Quest North America next to impossible," the team wrote in the statement.

"Over the past 27 years Laser Quest has brought fun to life with countless birthday parties, day camp and youth group events, plus numerous corporate and educational outings. As we bid farewell, we at Laser Quest want to thank each and everyone of you for your support throughout the years."

The brand signs off with a heartfelt "Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Stay informed. Your friends at Laser Quest."

Laser Quest, based in Mississauga, had more than 100 outposts worldwide, including 36 across Canada and the U.S. It opened its first North American location back in 1993.

There has not yet been an update about the fate of its international centres.

There is a glimmer of hope for fans in parts of the U.S., as the company says that a few centres south of the border — including four in California, two in Virginia, and one each in Tennessee and Washington — will be reopening under new ownership.

But the rest of the continent is out of luck, and many are already taking to social media to share their LQ memories and mourn the loss.

As we all sit and marinate in nostalgia, we can try and honour the brand by living by the lessons it taught us in our youth: "I will not run, climb, or jump. I will not sit, kneel, or lie down. I will not cover any sensors. I will not use offensive language. I will not make physical contact with other players. I will play fair, play smart, and give it my all!"

by Becky Robertson via blogTO

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