At Z Fun Factory, you can ride or race go-karts, bump the bumper boats, take a quick descent on a water slide or play a round of miniature golf.
But in between all of those activities, you can meet other people — and maybe even get to know the one person who will become your significant other.
Z Fun Factory’s customers clearly recognize the family fun center as being more than just a place for games and water recreation. They picked it as the Best Place to Meet New Friends and Best Place for a Non-Movie Date in 2012 in Yuma’s Best, the Yuma Sun’s annual reader poll.
In the same survey, Z Fun Factory, located at 4446 E. County 10th St., also won in the category of Best Facebook Page and won second in the category of Best Restaurant for Kids.
Formerly know as Yuma Fun Factory, it had been in dormancy amid the bankruptcies of former owners. But then longtime Yumans Brice and Becky Zeller acquired it in 2011 and revived it with new attractions specifically geared toward providing fun and fine dining for the entire family, says Jay Walker, who serves as Z Fun Factory’s head chef and media liaison.
The Zellers’ efforts to turn around Z Fun Factory, he says, reflect the couple’s longtime commitment to the Yuma area and its residents.
"Their philosophy is they want to be part of the community."
Perhaps the most significant addition to Z Fun Factory was the opening last summer of Waylon’s Water World, the Yuma area’s first full-scale water park, featuring 15 water slides for children, teens and adults, plus pools, a tropical rain forest area and full-service cantina.
Apart from the go-karts, bumper boats and miniature golf course, Z Fun Factory also features arcade games and a full-service canteen that serves lunch and dinner.
"It’s where fun is created, where fun is manufactured," said Walker.
It comes as no surprise to Walker that respondents in Yuma’s Best would pick Z Fun Factory as the Best Place to Meet New Friends and the Best Place for a Non-Movie Date. After all, he said, the Zellers’ mission is to attract a diverse range of residents from around the area by offering activities and entertainment that appeals to everyone and is suitable for all age groups.
"If you’re looking for new friends, this is the place to come," he said.
And given that Z Fun Factory provides family-oriented entertainment, he said, parents can relax as they send teen-age sons and daughters off on dates to the fun center.
Likewise, he’s not surprised at the Yuma’s Best first-place honors for its Facebook page, considering Z Fun Factory’s efforts to promote itself and its menu offerings through social media.
"We do work hard on it, and we have plans to make it even better," Walker said. "Keep tuning in."
In the years ahead, he vows, Z Fun Factory will be working to claim top honors in some dining categories.
"Every day we’re trying to do something new" with the menu. "Bring the family out. The food is great. The lunches are great, the dinners are great. Come out and give us a chance."
Z Fun Factory can be reached at 726-6000. Its website is www.zfunfactory.com.