Oklahoma-based entertainment complex HeyDay Entertainment is moving south, and its first North Texas location won’t be its last.
HeyDay, which has locations in Norman and Oklahoma City, is beginning construction in Denison at the 94-acre mixed-use complex The Shops at Gateway Village. After the Denison location opens in summer 2019, HeyDay will target North Texas, adding a new venue every 18-24 months for the next five or six years, co-owner Brad Little says.
The Denison location, which is similar in size and scope to other forthcoming locations, will fill two stories and more than 42,000 square feet with a bowling alley, laser tag, several thousand square feet of arcade space, a ropes course, miniature golf, and a full-service grill.
For its next locations, the company is working on locations in Frisco, McKinney, and Plano. The company is targeting high-growth areas with young parents and school-age kids, including a possible Fort Worth location (or two), according to Bryan Cornelius, a principal at Venture Commercial, HeyDay’s retail broker.
Little says there could be a year when two HeyDay locations open up, and North Texas looks promising.
“We intend over the next several years to have a large footprint in great locations in the North Texas area,” Little says. “The population for North Texas is just crazy, and they’re projecting it to grow exponentially in the next five to ten years. There’s still a good market for growth right now.”
Little says the company targets adult customers who would like to bring their kids along to have fun, but also enjoy HeyDay’s various forms of entertainment themselves. “We’re very adult oriented,” Little says. “That doesn’t mean we don’t do birthday parties, but we really market for the adults and the companies—grown-up, interactive fun.”
Cornelius says HeyDay stands out among similar concepts because it targets both parents and their children, rather than prioritizing one group over the other. Unique among other entertainment venues, HeyDay has bowling lanes upstairs exclusively for customers 21 and over. “We really had no idea how popular that would be at the time,” Little says.
Cornelius says HeyDay is a family-oriented company, so it looks for locations teeming with other types of entertainment appealing to all ages, such as athletic fields or movie theaters.
“I think what’s going on in the market is people want to be able to go out and have an experience not only for themselves, but with their spouse and their family,” he says. “And that’s what’s driving a lot of these experiential lifestyle centers and shopping centers where you’re seeing entertainment in restaurants as the anchor versus just traditional retail. It’s a trend that’s already here, and it’s going to be here for a long time.”