When it comes to fun, Amazing Jake’s more than excels the standards — and after 12 years, they’re elevating their status as the entertainment destination in Mesa through a renovation and rebranding to become Jake’s Unlimited, slated to reopen to the public in December.
Since Amazing Jake’s opened in August 2005, the entertainment destination in Mesa has become a go-to place for families to enjoy games, rides, food and have fun. Amazing Jake’s is shifting its focus to utilize their space more effectively by expanding their attractions, games and food options — including Jake’s After Dark — an adults-only happy hour.
“We look at Jake’s Unlimited as being the big brother of Amazing Jake’s,” said Jeremy Hoyum, manager of operations for Amazing Jake’s. “We have between 300,000 and 350,000 people (a year) that come through Amazing Jake’s currently.”
Part of the renovations include being able to accommodate the large number of people that visit and have fun at Amazing Jake’s each year. New attractions include a two-level laser tag arena, VIP bowling suites, six mini bowling lanes, and an open-space bumper car arena with the newest bumper cars. A custom-designed carnival-style ride will be added alongside existing rides such as the Chocolate Tea Cups, Frog Hopper and Mini Coaster; for more fun, Jake’s Unlimited will also have more than 170 arcade games, midway games, a full redemption store, and an expanded kid zone.
Hoyum said after 12 years of being in business, Amazing Jake’s has had a lot of new competitors, and got to the point where they needed a new look because when they opened, their decor was mainly focused on kids, and the perception from the date night crowd in the facility was a children’s place. Therefore, Hoyum said their goal is to make it more adult-friendly visually while still offering a lot of the same type of entertainment in the facility including bowling, attractions, and games.
The 87,000-square-foot building on Gilbert and Baseline roads will undergo renovations on interior design elements including paint, flooring, lighting and finishes by Arizona-based A.R. Mays Construction, as well as updated games, new food and beverage offerings, and more event space to accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 3,000 people.
Not to forget about the foodies, Jake’s Unlimited Executive Chef Scott Nelson will be updating the all-you-can-eat buffet, as well as an a la carte menu with new entrees, appetizers, and specialty desserts. Adults can also enjoy the two full bars on property featuring cocktails, wine or draft beer.
Birthday parties, group gatherings, and corporate events will remain a large part of Jake’s Unlimited, with its expanded 9,400-square-foot event space that can cater groups ranging from 10 to 3,000 people; four themed dining rooms and eight party rooms of varying sizes will also be renovated.
In addition, Jake’s Unlimited is offering extended hours for Jake’s After Dark, an adults-only happy hour starting at 8 p.m. every night after the park closes. The after-hours event will include DJs, food and drink specials, as well as attraction specials.
“We know birthday parties and family events are our bread and butter, but at the same time, we know there is a great opportunity to tie in some of the older, adult crowd as well,” Hoyum said. In the evenings, Hoyum said they’re pretty much closed right now, and after looking at the nightlife happening in downtown Gilbert and Chandler, “it makes sense if we shift our focus a little bit and we repackage what we have right now, what we offer and adding on some new and fun things, it appears to be a recipe for success for us.”
Tim Ernst, co-owner of Amazing Jake’s, said he and his partners bought Amazing Jake’s in March 2017 with the intent to renovate and augment it. Ernst owns real estate in the same parking lot as Amazing Jake’s and said Hoyum has told him over the years how he envisioned growing Jake’s — and he and his partners planned to invest a significant amount of capital into Jake’s after the purchase to make the business even more successful than it already is.
“I think it’s a proven location, it’s a very successful, family-oriented business, and it’s under-utilized,” Ernst said, mentioning the expanded event space, which will be able to host larger groups and parties.
“We have purchased and are purchasing new rides and games that are very popular,” Ernst said. “We’re tripling the size of our now two-story laser tag, the most popular items there, we’re pushing it to another level. So, I have great faith that the market will love it and we’ll make a very successful facility even more so.”
Part of the renovations include the work A.R. Mays Construction has already begun to revamp indoors with interior aspects like new lighting, paint, flooring and finishes, which Ernst said that part of the process is fun, to take a facility like Jake’s that is successful but dated and elevate it to the best it can be, as well as the updated attractions and games that will transform Amazing Jake’s into Jake’s Unlimited.
Hoyum said he’s excited for the whole renovation process, and said since he helped open Amazing Jake’s 12 years ago, they have evolved and become really efficient.
“The vision that we have for where we’re going, our possibilities are endless and we’re really excited to take the new path we’re laying out for ourselves right now,” Hoyum said. “The excitement of the staff is already here, everybody is really energetic and willing to help…the changes are happening, we’ve been planning it for a while and now it’s actually coming to task.”
Amazing Jake’s will remain open to the public Friday-Sunday until Oct. 15, and will close from Oct. 15 until the debut of Jake’s Unlimited in December 2017.
“The fun thing about this business, is people come here and have a great time with their family, so the kids come in excited and they leave even more excited,” Ernst continued. “It’s just a fun, family experience looking at the anticipation of the kids coming in and the joy that the family has when they leave. I can’t imagine a better type of business to be in than making people happy.”
Amazing Jake’s, 1830 E. Baseline Road, will remain open to the public Friday-Sunday until Oct. 1, then will be open every day for fall break Oct. 1-14. The facility will close from Oct. 15 until the December debut. To learn more about the renovation and rebranding, visit: Jake’sUnlimited.com.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.