There’s no shortage of things to do in Norman: whether it’s playing a few games at the neighborhood bowling alley, racing go-karts or scaling climbing walls, Norman is becoming an ideal place to live and play. 

HeyDay Entertainment recently underwent a dramatic change, making the venue look unrecognizable. The expansion cost nearly $9 million and added 28,000 square feet and two levels, enhancing the existing 14,000-square-foot facility at 3201 Market Place in Norman.

The Lanes at HeyDay boasts 16 bowling lanes and four private party rooms on the lower level and eight bowling lanes and three private rooms on the upper level, which also includes a lounge with a fireplace, an island bar, enormous television screens and arcade games.

A space-themed laser arena and a laser maze offer a high-tech diversion, in addition to the challenging ropes course at the venue. The expansion also included upgrades and new landscaping to its 18-hole miniature golf course. The expansion adds about 42,000 square feet of indoor space.

Moore architect Shane LaBeth, of Cornerstone Architecture, designed the expanded HeyDay entertainment center. LaBeth has designed several bowling venues throughout the United States over the past five years. Oklahoma City-based Miller-Tippens Construction served as the general contractor and builder. First American Bank provided financing.

In addition to boosting its indoor seating capacity from 135 people to 450, the entertainment venue also more than doubled its number of employees from 45 to 125.

“This expansion has brought a lot of new customers as well as provided hundreds of jobs,” said Kurt Crooks, the entertainment manager at HeyDay Entertainment. “It provides people in the metro area a fun and safe environment to spend time with their friends and families.” 

Across the street, Andy Alligator Fun Park & Water Park a family owned amusement park, is well on its way to finishing all of its planned expansions.  The original building opened in late 2007 and was followed by the addition of a water park in 2012.

General manager Kyle Allison said his family has watched the area develop from a vacant lot over the past eight years, and after envisioning future changes and selling out its party room every Saturday, the business took steps to expand its space.

Andy Alligator will include three party rooms, an expanded arcade, dining room and menu, an indoor rock climbing wall, a rookie go-kart track and an Earth adventure themed laser tag arena.

He and his family focused on features that would enhance the indoor experience to market the park as more of a year-round destination. There will be a six party rooms total, too — meaning the business can celebrate six birthdays at once now rather than one at a time.

“We’ve always been open year-round. We’re open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving, but we’ve been known more as an outdoor place with the go-karts, miniature golf and climbing wall, but adding the new attractions has heightened awareness that we have tons of things do indoors everyday of the year — whether it’s raining or snowing, there’s still things to do” Allison said.

“We’ve taken every little piece of the park and thought of ways to enhance it,” Allison said, “Just to build capacity. A lot of people in the community know that when you come here on Saturday, it’s a hoppin’ and busy place. We’re just looking at ways we can expand and help more guests.”

The expansion will cost approximately $1.4 million to complete. Aztec Building Systems Inc. was the contractor of the original facility and is at the helm of the expansion. The newly remodeled park, which will add 7,000 square feet to its existing space, is scheduled to open in the first or second week of May.

Climb UP is a new modern climbing facility in Norman, becoming the first full-service modern climbing gym in Oklahoma in December last year.

The 12,000-sqare-foot space located at 2701 Washington Dr., just off Flood Avenue and Highway 77 in the north part of Norman, features climbs suitable for all levels of climbers from those brand new to climbing to experts.

There is a huge boulder in the center of the gym, a 70-foot-long by 16-foot-tall bouldering wall suitable for competitive events, numerous top-rope climbs, steep lead climbing terrain, auto-belay routes, a speed climbing training wall, climbing specific training area, multimedia event venue, as well as a dedicated kids boulder, group area, pro shop and a yoga studio.

“We worked really hard on the concept and layout in order to maximize the functionality of the space while maintaining an openness that encourages people to explore, to observe, and most of all, to climb,” said owner Aaron Gibson.

Sarah Kirby

skirby@normantranscript.comFollow me @skirbyreports

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