Army pilot turned Realtor to open new laser tag arena at airport

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Battle House, a new combat-style laser tag facility, is set to open in Wilmington later this summer. Photos courtesy Battle House.
Battle House, a new combat-style laser tag facility, is set to open in Wilmington later this summer. Photos courtesy Battle House.

Call it “Call of Duty” come to life.

Taking a scene or two from the video game phenomenon, Darek Huckbody–former U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot turned local Realtor–is opening Battle House, a new laser tag complex, later this summer.

Huckbody is in the final stages of a lease agreement with Wilmington International Airport to rent half of a 20,000-square-foot building at 1817 Hall Drive once occupied by AAIPharma.

“We needed a big space…a large almost warehouse space with tall ceilings,” he said. “It’s difficult to find properties that fit into that category…The airport worked out to be a perfect fit. One, the building works for us and two, it’s easy to get to. People know where it is.”

Battle House is a business Huckbody is modeling after the one his father opened last year in Illinois.

“I’m taking his plan and scaling it down a little and trying to make it work with this area,” he noted.

The Wilmington laser tag complex will be modeled after this one, which opened last year in Illinois.
The Wilmington laser tag complex will be modeled after the original Battle House, which opened last year in Illinois.

Huckbody’s version will include a mock city set-up, with some two-story obstacle structures, in about 8,000 square feet of the facility. Battle House will be able to accommodate up to 30 participants at a time in a variety of mission- and time-based scenarios and will include two rooms for birthday and bachelor parties, corporate retreats and other functions.

“There will even be one area that looks like an outdoor area, but it will all be indoors,” he said.

With the “Call of Duty”-style set-up and team gaming, Battle House will be targeted at older kids–12 and up–and adults, Huckbody said.

“We want to keep it where it doesn’t have that kiddie feeling,” he said. “We don’t want younger kids mixing with teenagers and adults.”

The cost to play will be $30 per player for an hour-and-a-half session.

Reusing a lot of his father’s research into equipment and construction, Huckbody believes he will be ready to open up shop by mid- to late-July or early August.

More information and updates are available on Battle House’s Facebook page.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6341 or hilary.s@hometownwilmington.com.