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New FEC concept set to reinvigorate shopping malls across US

Attractions coming to Elev8 Fun Sanford include an arcade with more than 150 state-of-the-art and retro arcade games.

elev8 fun family entertainment centre

Elev8 Fun, a new family entertainment centre (FEC) concept with plans to reinvigorate struggling retail spaces across the US, is launching its first location in Sanford, Florida.

Scheduled to open in December 2021, Elev8 Fun’s flagship location at the Seminole Towne Center mall features more than 125,000 square feet of family-friendly entertainment.

Attractions at Elev8 Fun Sanford include a multi-level go-kart track, an arcade with more than 150 state-of-the-art and retro arcade games, 12 bowling lanes, laser tag, interactive mini-golf, F&B, and a ropes course.

Sanford venue debuts in December

“We could not be more excited to welcome Elev8 Fun to Seminole Towne Center,” said Lisa Ferrazza, leasing manager at Kohan Retail Investment Group (KRIG), which owns Seminole Towne Center.

“With the ever-changing paradigms of the retail environment, experiential destinations are exactly what’s needed to change (or elevate) the dynamics of malls and communities.”

Elev8 Fun Sanford will be the first of many locations in the US, according to David Goldfarb, a consulting partner in Elev8 Fun and the founder of PrimeTime Amusements, a provider of arcade machines.

“We are thrilled to bring entertainment and excitement back to malls – to create a place to gather socially and resurrect the sense of community that malls have always represented to all of us,” Goldfarb said.

Elev8 opening in Tampa in 2022

“Our first Sanford location will be a huge landmark for the community, providing a fun and safe environment for the families in the area. And we’re confident we can replicate this across the country.”

Elev8’s second location is set to open in Tampa, Florida in 2022. The company is in talks with developers across the US, with plans to reinvigorate struggling or abandoned shopping malls and department stores.

“Malls throughout the US are in a world of hurt, with some or all of their anchor tenants leaving or dying,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University.

Cohen said Elev8 Fun’s concept “could soon provide a tremendous lift to hundreds and hundreds of great American malls by redeveloping space vacated by anchor stores, drawing customers back, and bringing malls desperately needed viability and traffic”.

Images: Elev8 Fun

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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