December 2, 2021

Set your phasers to fun

Cortlandville laser tag business sees warp speed growth

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Hunter Crandell, left, shoots his brother Ryder Crandell in a game of laser tag on Saturday at Tag Me 607 in Cortlandville.

Screams of excitement and a rousing orchestral score filled the air Saturday as nine kids ran around playing laser tag at Tag Me 607 in Cortlandville.

“It’s been a good first day of birthday parties,” said Walt Davis, the owner.

Saturday marked 15 days since Tag Me 607 opened.

The 1,000-square-foot business off Route 281 near Subway in Cortlandville, is split between a laser tag room for up to 12 players and PS4 and Xbox One consoles in the lobby.

Pool, air hockey and ping pong are also available.

Davis first got the idea to open a laser tag business in 2016 when he was attending his 4-year-old son’s birthday party at Skate Estate Family Fun Center in Vestal, where he, his son and friends played laser tag.

“Everyone really enjoyed themselves and I said, ‘We need something like that in Cortland because there’s not really much for young people to do in town,’” Davis said.

In 2018, Davis shared his idea with a co-worker at his job who liked Davis’s idea and became his business partner.

From June 2019 to late February, Davis worked to literally build up the business by building, repairing and painting the walls, along with installing plumbing for a kitchen area.

Two weeks after it opened, Davis said that the business’s Facebook shares and views reached more than 20,000 people.

“The community’s response has been great,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be a great addition to Cortland,” said Nicole Davi, the member relations specialist for the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce. “It will give families with kids of all ages something fun to do.”

No events have yet been planned between the business and the chamber, she said, but that may change.

“We wish them the best and welcome to the community,” she said.

Jaxon White, wished for lots of kills at seventh birthday party Saturday. He got them.

“I got killed a lot and I got a lot of kills,” he said, adding he liked laser tag because “you get to shoot people.”

Davis hopes this business can help inspire children to follow their dreams.

He reflected on the struggles he had growing up with a father with a drug abuse problem and how Davis had no positive influence to lead a successful life.

“I had a challenging path,” he said. “But I want to show, ‘Hey, if you can get your stuff focused, you can challenge yourself and follow your dreams.’”