YORK-Play A Round Family Fun Center is adding a new feature to its amusement repertoire.
The amusement center plans to open a new electric go-kart track, equipped with 10 go-karts, this fall. It will be approximately 500 feet in length.
“Though we thought we’d be opening the track in September, we needed to push it back a few weeks to complete some work,” said Wes Cowan, co-owner of Play A Round Family Fun Center. “Right now, we’re finishing up on some electrical work and hope to open the track within the first few weeks of October. We don’t want to necessarily pinpoint an exact date for fear of disappointment should the track be delayed.”
Play A Round Family Fun Center offers a 36-hole miniature golf course; laser tag; more than 40 arcade games, including Space Invaders, Deal or No Deal, Skeeball, air hockey, basketball and ring toss; and a concession stand that serves items such as homemade pizza, hot dogs, slushes, and hand-dipped Blue Bell ice cream.
Cowan and his wife, Samantha, opened the establishment in York County on July 3, 2018. Play a Round Family Fun Center was originally located in Warwick Village Shopping Center in Newport News. The property, which opened in 1971, had previously operated as a Putt-Putt Golf franchise. The Cowan family bought the business in 2004, but by 2014, the property in Newport News was closed and demolished, and the Cowans decided to build a larger, more modern facility.
Cowan grew up in Virginia Beach and naturally fell into the business.
“I would travel to my local Putt-Putt location at the time, it was the Putt-Putt franchise near Pembroke Mall,” said Cowan. “I started playing competitively, began working there as a 16-year-old, and worked there for a number of years before becoming a facility manager.”
Cowan said he started working for the Putt-Putt location on Warwick Boulevard in 1990, where he remained until the facility was sold in 1998.
“Basically, I went with the sale, so I was moved to different locations up and down the East Coast before eventually working at the franchise headquarters in Fayetteville, North Carolina,” Cowan said. He moved back to Hampton Roads when the Newport News location became available for purchase.
For the Cowans, the business has always been a family affair. During the early days at Putt-Putt, he met his wife, who also worked for the company, as did all her siblings. The Cowans have two children. Their daughter just graduated from the University of Mary Washington and decided to stay in the Fredericksburg area after helping out throughout the years.
“My son, who graduated from York High School this past June, continues to work here,” he said.
Cowan said that patronage has been on the upswing since the height of the covid-19 pandemic.
“At the beginning of 2021, we were starting to see more positive months, where we were meeting previous months’ business prior to the pandemic,” said Cowan. “And 2022, knock on wood, has been phenomenal thus far.”
Play A Round Family Fun Center is open 363 days a year, only closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours vary by season and are currently noon to 9pm Sunday to Thursday, noon to 11pm on Friday, and 10am to 11pm on Saturday. The facility opens at 11am on weekdays when students enrolled within the York County School Division have the day off from school. The amusement center is located at 5021 George Washington Memorial Highway in Yorktown across from Dunkin’.