Take 5 is a meetup with a local entrepreneur.After visiting a laser-tag game arena in Spokane, Kris and Melissa Froehlich decided to bring the sport to Yakima to give youth something constructive to do.
Tactical Tag, on West Yakima Avenue, opened in November, offering players the traditional “death-match” battles as well as objective-based missions that teams must complete. Among the scenarios are “Witness Protection,” where one team has to move a person from one point to another while the other team tries to “kill” the person.
Kris Froehlich compares those scenarios to a live-action version of the “Call of Duty” video game series.
Kris, 31, and Melissa Froehlich, 32, live in Yakima with their four huskies. The Froehlichs are training two part-time employees and have two volunteers who help them keep the business running.
What led you to open a laser-tag business?
We’ve always wanted to do something with youth, and Yakima is lacking in fun activities. After visiting Laserquest in Spokane, it kind of just fell into place.
Were there any challenges you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?
Yes, more than anything it was difficult finding the proper avenues to go about certain processes with the city. The government doesn’t spell it out and make it easy to start a business. We pretty much had to ask millions of people, going from one department to the next until we found the right place.
Who do you look to for inspiration or advice when it comes to running the business?
We look to Brice and Melissa Baxter of Baxter Construction. They have been so successful in growing their business the last 30 years and always offer sound advice.
What do you consider a good day at the office?
A few younger kids having fun at birthday parties earlier on a Saturday then seeing groups of friends coming in after 7 p.m. for our one-hour mission packs where they get to really compete and test their skills.
When you play laser-tag, do you prefer to be on the same team or on opposing teams?
Kris would like to be on the same team, though Melissa doesn’t think we have had that opportunity — we always end up on opposing teams. Melissa enjoys being on a team but it can also be fun to try and kick each other’s butts.