Ultimate Gaming Xperience Celebrates Grand Opening In Greenwood
Photographer: Erin Feldmeyer
Grab your headphones and your joystick and head to one of the coolest new gaming centers in Indy. Ultimate Gaming Xperience recently opened in Greenwood in February, making it the first center to offer e-gaming, virtual reality rooms, e-sports tournaments and movie rooms all under one roof.
Greenwood resident Ron Cummings wasn’t planning on having the opening of a gaming center as one of his 2019 New Year’s resolutions. But his son Riley and his friend Jordan McCarthy had a different plan and now the gaming center is checked off the list.
The two friends came up with the concept and presented it to Ron in October. The pair decided to pool their skills and make a winning game plan. Riley graduated from Central Nine Vocational Trade Academy where he studied computer technology and networking. With that foundation, he’s been building computers since age 17. Jordan is the gaming aficionado and, together, they laid out their plans.
Riley and Jordan had good reason to approach Ron with their plans. Ron is a contractor, and the boys needed his business savvy and financial resources.
“I knew their skills were on point,” Ron says. “But, as a business mentor, I made them do their due diligence complete with a business plan and a budget. They took their time, did their research and came up with a concept that I thought would sustain the gaming industry on the southside. I’m proud of them. They’re young, they’ve got the drive to do it, and it’s something good for the community.”
“We started looking for a lease right away because our goal was to be in and open by Riley’s birthday, February 3,” Ron says.
They hit their goal. They found a storefront in a central location with convenient parking access, and the space was vacated at the end of December. The trio went right to work doing all the demolition themselves.
“Riley built 14 custom, high-powered gaming computers, acquired Xbox and PS4 machines,” Ron says. “The only thing we contracted out of house was the main server and the networking. The rest of it we ran ourselves.”
That’s a big job considering the center has one main room for e-gaming, four virtual reality rooms (each with a different theme – Fortnite, Call of Duty, Minecraft and Nintendo), space for e-sports tournaments and a movie room.
Ron, Riley and Jordan opened Ultimate Gaming Xperience almost on time. They held an open house (soft opening) in early February and an official Grand opening February 16.
“We had a continuous flow of people,” Ron says. “It took us a while to get the word out, but we keep getting busier every day. We want to be as full as possible.”
It’s no surprise that some parents may be cringing to see more opportunities for their children to spend more time gaming. But some experts say playing a video game allows children to see the best version of themselves through the game character. Ron sees another important benefit.
“Coming to the center gets your kid out of their room and out of the house,” he says. “It lets them be social, but this is for adults, too. We have guests in their 40s. Parents can come and game with their kids and bond as well.”
Ultimate Gaming Xperience held its first tournament in March. It was a two versus two tourney in Fortnite.
“Some are pretty competitive, but the tournaments are for all levels from novice to expert,” Ron says. “Our tourneys are open to an unlimited number of people who want to join.”
The center is just getting started, but Ron, Riley and Jordan are already ramping up for additional opportunities to offer. Their theater room is already available to show movies, and they’re open to organizing birthday parties or other functions.
“At some point, we’ll offer lock-ins when we figure out supervision processes,” Ron says. “Right now, kids 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
No matter how the three expand the business, they’re ready for it.
“We already know we’ll have to expand in the future and need more equipment,” Ron says.
One thing they’re already prepared for is catering partners for concessions and parties. They’ve already partnered with Chicago Pizza and they are meeting with Chick-fil-A for more possible catering opportunities.
In the future, Ultimate Gaming Xperience may expand the franchise to other Indianapolis communities. But, in the meantime, the center serves mostly Johnson County and the southside. For more information, visit them online at ultimategamingxperience.com.
Ultimate Gaming Xperience is located at 1285 N State Road 135 in Greenwood just behind Rise’n Roll Bakery.