New rock climbing venue wants to take you higher

Fred Herbert of the new Skywalkers Rock Climbing facility on London Line. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

The longtime owner of Sarnia Lazer Blast has high hopes that adding a rock climbing attraction will take his venture nowhere but up.

“I think it will give new life to the business,” says Fred Herbert.  “The laser tag doesn’t really make it on its own but I think people will come if they know there’s HiWay Bowl out front, a water park out back, laser tag and rock climbing all under one roof.”

Herbert is the original owner of Lazer Blast at 1886 London Line. Sixteen years ago, at the urging of his kids, he converted a number of racquetball courts from a former fitness centre into a laser tag attraction.

“I built it myself and I’ve been happy with it. We host birthday parties and summer camps and it’s pretty steady all year round,” he said.

At the beginning, another company operated a rock climbing business next door to Lazer Blast. The two businesses complemented one another and drew a lot of teens and families. But ownership of the rock climbing changed five times over the years and the place was often closed, according to Herbert.

It’s been shut down for two years and business in the entire complex has declined. The building was recently acquired by local real estate investor Dan Desveaux.

So Herbert leased the space from Desveaux this winter, invested in climbing equipment, ropes, shoes and new rocks.  He spent several weeks refurbishing the facility and opened this week.

“I’ve made significant safety improvements,” he said.  “It’s all been inspected by the insurance company.”

Skywalkers Rock Climbing can accommodate up to 12 at a time. All ages are welcome but anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by a guardian.

Birthday guests pay $5 each to rock climb. Walk-ins pay $10 for three climbs or $20 for two hours.

Skywalkers can also be rented for all-day events, such as corporate team building, at $25 a person.  Memberships are available.

Birthday packages that include both laser tag and rock climbing are available, and a party room is on site for special events and charity fundraisers.

“We can get the kids away from the gaming and they have a ball here,” said Herbert

Skywalkers and Lazer Blast are hosting a March Break Lock In.  Visit wwww.lazertagsarnia.com for details or call 519-542-1001 Wednesday to Sunday.

 VIOLENCE/HARRASSMENT AT WORK

Human resources consultant Anthony Folan of Integral HR Solutions Inc. in Sarnia, is hosting a breakfast workshop on Thursday, March 5 from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at Jack Doyle’s on London Road.

Folan will facilitate an interactive session for business owners, supervisors, HR and front-line managers about investigating allegations of workplace violence, harassment, discrimination and misconduct.

Cost is $75, with breakfast. Visit www.integralhrsolutions.ca to register or call 226-784-1466 for details.

 Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca or 226-932-0985.