Virtual Reality arcade opening in Johnson City this weekend

Jonathan Roberts • Updated Jul 11, 2019 at 10:19 PM

The Tri-Cities is getting its first virtual reality arcade this weekend. Vision Quest VR, 1013 Hamilton Place, Johnson City, is set to open on Saturday with dozens of first-person games and experiences for guests to choose from.

Over the past several months, Vision Quest owner Cyrus Fees has been looking at bringing a VR arcade to the Tri-Cities after visiting one outside of Atlanta last year. On Saturday, that dream becomes a reality.

“I’m a gamer, but I’d never been in virtual reality before and tried games, and it blew me away how immersive it was, I was like, 'OK, this is incredible technology’,” Fees said.

Vision Quest will have six primary gaming stations with games that range from fighting zombies to space missions and experiences that include walking the streets of Paris or exploring nature underwater. There’s also six mobile gaming headsets, so people waiting have the opportunity to game and experience VR as well.

For Fees though, it’s not just about the games — it’s about education too.

“We’re not only trying to be an arcade, but we’re also trying to be a learning center as well,” Fees said. “Obviously we want to be successful, but we want to make an impact.”

Fees and his team has already brought their VR experience to four schools around Northeast Tennessee over the summer, and hope to make a bigger impact once they’re officially up and running.

“I want to impact the kids — impact the schools; if we can bring kids in here and help them learn and have a good time, that’s my ultimate goal,” Fees said. “I want to make an impact on the community with education and have fun doing it.”

Of course with VR still being relatively knew, Vision Quest is offering a five-minute free trial for anyone who’s curious or hasn’t experienced VR in order to get them to try it without having to commit anything more than a few minutes.

“Once you put it on, you’re going to want more,” Fees said. “I’ve never seen anybody put the headset on and be like ‘No, I’m not interested’.”

Should you want more, Vision Quest offers 30- and 60-minute gaming sessions for $25 and $40, respectively. Fees said he feels the pricing models fits with a lot of other arcades and that it’s very similar to that of escape rooms in the Tri-Cities area.

“I think it’s going to work with the budgets of people in the Tri-Cities,” he said.

The arcade will also offer birthday parties, team-building outings and other special events.

The grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.visionquestvr.com or check out Vision Quest’s Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/visionquestvr/.

“I just wanted to bring something new to the city, and I think it’s going to go over wonderfully,” Fees said. “Like I keep saying on social media, we’re in the smile business, and until you put a headset on, you can’t describe it.”

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