Roll a bowling ball, smack a golf ball and have a ball watching movies, maybe a film festival featuring “Caddyshack,” “Tin Cup” and “The Big Lebowski.”
NewQuest Properties predicted those activities, or something similar, when in 2019 it broke ground on Cottonwood Creek Market, a development heavy on fun and entertainment on Interstate 35 near New Road. Most of the gang is all there. Main Event, a Plano-based company specializing in placing laser tag, bowling, gravity ropes, billiards and more in one big package, will host a grand opening of its Waco property Friday.
It will join a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater and a new Topgolf prototype, one that offers climate-controlled hitting bays and table-side food and beverage service found at all locations, but also miniature golf, yard games, big-screen TVs and gathering areas for families with youngsters.
“Bring out the big scissors,” screams a press release from Main Event, touting ribbon-cutting ceremonies from 10 a.m. to noon Friday. Guests scheduled to appear include the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Tyquan Thornton, the Baylor University wide receiver who dazzled onlookers with a 4.28-second time in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine this month.
Activities Friday will include the venue’s “first bowl,” and the first 200 people in line will receive free laser tag privileges when the doors open, Main Event spokesperson Beatrix Panitz said by email.
“Very excited about Main Event. I think they will do very well just like Topgolf and Cinemark,” said Austen Baldridge, a Baylor University graduate and NewQuest senior vice president instrumental in putting together the 143-acre project that also will have restaurants, retail and multi-family housing.
“We’ve nailed down several tenants. We’re just not ready to announce who at this time,” Baldridge said. “Most of the I-35 frontage is spoken for, so now we’re focusing on securing tenants for the two buildings we have under construction straddling the lawn. Looking to add exciting restaurant/bar concepts to bring lively patio vibes … in front of Cinemark.”
Brooke Hill, manager of sales and community engagement at Waco’s Topgolf, said the brand has cultivated a loyal following that includes Main Event and Cinemark, “which tend to follow behind and open close by.” She said the brands well complement each other as they provide entertainment options.
Topgolf Waco will celebrate its one-year anniversary April 23, and Hill said its performance has gone above and beyond home office projections.
“Our maximum capacity is 350 guests at any given time. We’ve had multiple full-venue events when we had to close the facility to the public,” Hill said. “Because we are so popular, and not as big as some Topgolf locations, we’ve had three- to four-hour waits for some without reservations.”
Carla Pendergraft, who markets the Waco Convention Center and monitors local attractions, said Main Event may glow in the dark.
“It will give both visitors and local more to do in the evening, after museums and attractions close,” Pendergraft said via email. “The Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to promote it because this make it more likely that visitors will stay overnight and spend more money in Waco.
“It makes it harder to take just a day trip to Waco.”
The almost 50,000-square-foot Main Event will have 22 bowling lanes, along with “two-story laser tag, games, virtual reality experiences, high-flying gravity ropes and billiards,” according to a company press release. Its dining menu will have options for kids and adults.
Waco’s Main Event is among the few nationally to offer Multiball, a melding of digital gaming and interactive sports, according to the press release.
It will have space and accessories for hosting birthday parties, and for private and corporate events. The release said offerings include audio-visual technology, full-service catering and free Wi-Fi service.
The Main Event in Waco will employ about 200.
NewQuest Properties announced in January it has contracted to place nearly 200 build-to-rent dwellings in Cottonwood Creek Market, with groundbreaking during the second quarter this year and availability in 2023.
Creekview Holdings LP, meanwhile, will build a 300-unit apartment complex on 12 acres in the development, NewQuest Properties announced.
Get the latest local business news delivered FREE to your inbox weekly.