$4 million family fun center coming to Warner Robins

cgrant@macon.comJanuary 3, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Steve Rigby is creating a new entertainment option for Middle Georgia families.

Rigby’s Family Fun Center will offer activities for all ages in one place, something the local developer says has been hard to come by for area families like his.

Rigby has five children, ranging from second grade to college-aged, who have served as his inspiration for the project.

“If we go somewhere for the older kids, the younger ones are bored,” Rigby said. “If we go somewhere for the younger kids, the older ones are bored or really don’t even want to go. This will be a one-stop shop.”

The facility is scheduled to open in April, just in time for Rigby’s son Max’s 10th birthday.

“He wants to have the first birthday party here,” Rigby said Thursday, standing in the unfinished building. Construction began in August.

Rigby expects the more than $4 million fun center to create 65 to 100 jobs, and those interested can contact him through Facebook to keep up with the development process.

Rigby, who lost a recent bid for the Warner Robins City Council Post 2 seat, said in addition to housing developments, he has past experience in the bar and restaurant business.

“But nothing of this magnitude,” he said.

The 40,000-square-foot fun center will feature skating, bowling, laser tag, arcade games and a host of other activities.

For the grown-ups there will be an adults-only lounge, raised so parents can keep an eye on their children while enjoying a cappuccino. Rigby says this sets him apart from other area fun centers, and will make Rigby’s a one-of-a-kind place to visit.

“It’s like Dave & Buster’s on steroids,” Rigby said.

However, unlike the national chain, no alcohol will be sold at Rigby’s.

The food court will offer a variety from pizza and carnival-style food to wraps and healthy options.

Everything will be paid for through a debit card-like system. Customers can load and reload the plastic cards with money to pay for food and games, and points earned will be saved on the card instead of using reams of tickets for prize redemption.

“You can spend $8 to go roller skating or as much as you want,” Rigby said. “The average child will spend about $12.50 per visit.”

The complex, not far from Interstate 75, is expected to attract visitors from a 40-mile radius, based on a study conducted by a Las Vegas gaming company, Rigby said.

Several of the areas and activities, such as a bowling suite and laser maze, also can be used by businesses for team building exercises, said Stacey Schwartz, regional manager for Rigby’s rental properties and fun center.

Also, the skating rink is large enough to meet the standards for national roller skating competitions to be held there.

The building is located off Ga. 96 near Lake Joy Road, an area Rigby said is the fastest growing segment of Warner Robins.

Population has increased 140 percent since 2000 in the less than 10 square-mile census tract adjacent to the fun center, according to the 2010 U.S. census.

In today’s tough economy, Rigby said, the center will serve as an inexpensive family activity close to home.

“This allows families to have a nice day out without driving to Orlando or even the beach,” Schwartz said. “This is going to be a destination.

“We’re excited.”

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