Most Viewed Stories
Yuma Fun Factory has soft opening
Yuma Fun Factory was definitely still a work in progress for its soft opening Wednesday evening before its official opening next week.
But that didn't seem to slow the fun for hundreds of people who came out for a sneak preview of the community's newest happening place located off the North Frontage Road between Avenues 4E and 5E (access the road off Avenue 3E across from Arby's).
Kids of all ages queued up for a chance to try their skill behind the wheel of a go-kart, while others sampled the pasta and pizza or kicked back in the bar where Mirage was performing.
That's all just the beginning for the fun planned at the factory that includes restaurant, bar and arcade in a 17,000-square-foot building packaged with a rustic "factory" look. Outdoors, activities are spread over several acres with water features, misters and shade will help keep participants cool.
More is yet to come by the time the doors officially open for business, said Robert Busse of Fear Farm fame in Phoenix who came up with the concept and design for Yuma Fun Factory.
Starting Monday, the facility will be open for business from 10 a.m. to midnight Mondays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to midnight Sundays, with the bar staying open until 2 a.m. For more information, call 344-4449. The Web site at www.yumafunfactory.com is under development.
Nearly 200 jobs were created by the project, all of which have been filled, Busse said.
Still under construction are two 18-hole miniature golf courses, one with touches of Yuma's history, while the other enacts Yuma as the new beach complete with a simulation of an earthquake to push California into the ocean, Busse said.
"They'll be educational and visually entertaining as well as fun," he said.
Other features include bumper boats and an arcade that when completed will have a total of 60 to 70 games. In addition to the Da Boyz restaurant, there's also a snack bar and children's party area. An outdoor patio overlooks the valley.
The bar comes with a state-of-the-art audio package and a stage for live entertainment. It also has a 12-foot screen for Wii, X-box and Play Station.
"That should provide for a really great time," Busse said.
By next summer, plans are for a six-acre water park below Yuma Fun Factory with a lazy river, splash pads, wave pools where people "can surf in the desert" and a 5,000-seat amphitheater.
And four more acres have been purchased for future expansion and additional parking, Busse said. From the response to Wednesday's soft opening, it will be needed.
The goal of Yuma Fun Factory, Busse said, is to provide activities for families to do together. Or if they prefer, alternative entertainment for the kids and their parents.
"It's been exciting to design to give something to the community ... a fun, positive experience for families," said Busse, an entertainment specialist who each fall puts together the Fun Farm Corn Maze and Fear Farm Haunted Attractions on 58 acres in the Phoenix area.
"A lot of vendors have said (Yuma Fun Factory) is one of the most unique family centers they've seen," Busse said. "The partners are extremely happy to provide this facility for the community and hope it will provide fun for families for years to come."
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6853.