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Round One — A place for fun

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New amusement center opens in Southwest Plaza

By Deborah Swearingen

The flash of colorful lights and persistent beat of popular music is enough to draw those walking through Southwest Plaza into Round One Entertainment.

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But take a step inside, and the fun really begins.

Round One offers arcade games galore, as well as bowling, karaoke rooms, ping-pong, pool, darts and more. The amusement center has roots in Japan but opened in South Jeffco just over six months ago. The company, which has 17 locations in the United States, has plans to expand to 50 in total in the next five years.

Mostly, it’s a family friendly hangout, offering games for all ages and a spot for parents and children to enjoy time together. However, the amusement center is also open until 2 a.m., transforming into more of a nightclub later in the evening. Beer and wine are sold at the bar, and Round One becomes 18 and up at 10 p.m., and 21 and up at midnight.

Employees say every day at Round One is a unique experience. It’s tough to predict what an average day will look like.

“Every day is something new,” said Amanda Bowles, food and beverage manager.

Trevor Beack, amusement manager, agreed, calling employment at the entertainment center fast paced.

“Whether you’re doing your own paperwork to being with customers to helping your staff, just keeping everything afloat,” he said, “it keeps you on your toes.”

For bowling manager Skye Jefferson, Round One evokes fond memories of his childhood.

“I just enjoy arcades,” he said. “It’s always a little feeling of nostalgia. As a kid, I always enjoyed arcades (but) never lived around one. So every time I’ve gotten to go, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Once he began working at an arcade three years ago, Jefferson knew he’d found a home.

Since its January grand opening, employees have been working to make Round One a community staple.

“We’re really trying to become an integral part of the community,” said Tyler Jordan, Round One amusement manager. “We’re one of the new go-to destinations around here, and we really want to be seen as part of the community.”

In addition to traditional arcade games, Round One offers photo booths and skill-based crane games. It also has licenses with Sega and Konami, which allow the company to provide certain exclusive games, such as Initial D, a Sega racing game, and Disney’s Tsum Tsum.

“With the arcade that we have, it’s kind of vast in the different kind of games that there are,” Beack said. “It brings in all these different gaming communities and groups of people.”

Some customers come to Round One for a special event, birthday party or fun night out with friends. But others frequent the amusement center, hoping to beat a score on an arcade game or win some of the larger prizes, such as a PlayStation 4 or a Samsung tablet.

Rylan Olson, 16, of Littleton is one of the Round One regulars. Last Friday, he sweat it out on Dance Dance Revolution, a Konami music video game series where players stand on a dance platform and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues.

When Olson is playing the game, he forgets the worries of everyday life.

“This game is a complete distraction,” he said. “Every Monday when I get a paycheck, I’m here.”

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.