Round1

Katie Le, Contributor

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To gain back popularity at the mall, Round1 will be opening in the near future. Lincoln’s Gateway mall is changing with stores relocating and new shops opening up. A fast-growing entertainment company recently decided to open their first location in the shopping complex.

The mall announced a few months ago that Round1 Bowling & Amusement, a Japanese company running its operations in the United States based in California, its opening. It is said to officially open sometime in the spring of 2019. The 50,000 square-foot entertainment center will be located by the JC penny wing of Gateway, with an exterior doorway accessible on the east side of the mall.

Round1 operates 365 days a year and offers many fun activities families can enjoy such as bowling, arcade games, 8-ball pool, karaoke, and a lot more. There is also a restaurant inside. The company also offers many exclusive Japanese arcade games. Round1 along with Dave and Buster’s is one of two places in the United States with official e-AMUSEMENT service, an online service operated by Konami, used for online functionality on arcade video games. In many ways Round1 is similar to Dave and Buster’s, but instead, it offers a more extensive selection of activities than they do. The closest Dave and Buster’s location to here is in Omaha, and not everyone would be willing to drive that far. With a center similar to that coming to Lincoln, people wouldn’t have to spend an hour on the road.

Relatively new, Round1 has 20 entertainment centers open with plans to open around 20 more nationwide. Before planning to open a center in Lincoln, the closest Round1 location to here was located in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado. There were also two locations on the outskirts of Chicago.

Gateway is making a successful move in adding new sources of entertainment options outside of traditional retail establishments. People usually go to the mall to purchase clothes or other material items, but now, there will be another opportunity to have fun while out shopping.

“We are excited to open out store in the Gateway mall. We hope to bring in our unparalleled family entertainment experience to the community and will strive to provide unforgettable service to all customers,” says Shane Kaji, director of business development at Round1.

According to CoStar, a real estate data company CoStar group, about a tenth of space in large malls are now dedicated to entertainment, which draws in more people and improves their experience there in general. Adding an entertainment center to a mall is refreshing in a way as it helps fill up space which could be occupied by the usual retailers such as Younkers and Dillards. In Gateway’s case however, they are not filling up empty space because eight different retailers are being relocated to other spaces in the mall to make way for the large area Round1 will take up.

Officials at Gateway say that the center should be expected to be complete by April 19 of next year, which by then the demolition of previous spaces and construction of Round1 had undergone. This opening will revamp the mall and hopefully bring past and even new customers to the store.

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