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Everybody's Business

Gators Games mobile arcade brings vintage video games to your home

Children gather outside Gators Games mobile arcade. The air-conditioned interior offers a number of vintage video games.

Special to the Times

Children gather outside Gators Games mobile arcade. The air-conditioned interior offers a number of vintage video games.

BRANDON — Jorge Sanz is a man of whom it can be truly said, "He's got game."

Actually, he has got games. Lots of them, from Pac Man and Donkey Kong to Crazy Taxi and those crane games that let revelers grab candy and other prizes. And he gladly brings them all to customers' houses.

Earlier this month, Sanz launched Gators Games, a mobile arcade that he loads with all sorts of games.

The inside of his 22-foot truck is air-conditioned and features neon-colored decor, glow-in-the-dark ceiling carpet and LED lighting. Sanz can fit 10 arcade games into the truck, and when the weather's nice he can carry a couple of extra goodies — including a dome hockey game — that he places outside.

"It feels, looks and acts just like an arcade you would walk into," said Sanz, who lives in Brandon.

A lot of kids already own fairly sophisticated game systems, so Gators Games tries to give them an experience they can't get at home, Sanz said. Among the offerings are classic arcade games and a full-sized driving game.

"They can play with their Xbox at home, but they can't sit in a full-sized driving game where they have their hands on the steering wheel and feel the seat rumble and shake," Sanz said. "We also have a candy crane, and we customize that with prizes besides candy if that's what the parents want."

The outside of the Gators Games' truck features a flat-screen TV so parents can watch a movie or a ball game while the kids are playing. So the parents are nearby, but the kids and adults can stay out of each other's way.

"It keeps the kids out of the house, which the mothers like," Sanz said.

Sanz charges $300 for a three-hour session. The games are all set for free play, so the kids don't have to pump quarters into them.

Sanz said he expects that parties will make up most of Gators Games' business, but he's also available for festivals and sporting events. Gators Games will go anywhere in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties. If it's as big a hit as Sanz expects, he'll add more trucks and perhaps expand his service area.

For information, call (813) 689-7529 or visit gatorsgames.com.

New York pizza franchise opens here

RIVERVIEW — If you happen to hail from upstate New York, there's a good chance you're familiar with Mark's Pizzeria, which has more than 40 locations in Rochester, Buffalo and the surrounding areas.

Now Mark's has come to Florida. The first Mark's Pizzeria franchise outside of New York opened in Brandon earlier this month at 10839 Bloomingdale Ave., in Bloomingdale Hills Plaza (the old Albertsons Plaza).

Besides pizza, Mark's also offers wings, subs, calzones and finger foods.

The focus is on take-out and delivery, which costs $1.50 within about a 3-square-mile area. The location also has a few tables but no table service.

Mark's Pizzeria is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (813) 689-7500 or visit markspizzeria.com.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, contact Marty Clear at mclear@tampabay.rr.com.

Gators Games mobile arcade brings vintage video games to your home 04/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2011 5:31am]

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