The winner of a start-up business award in Burgess Hill has described the moment he opened in January as a ‘surreal experience’.
Apollo Lasertag in The Martlets was named the best start-up business at the Business Matters Awards, run annually by the Mid Sussex Times and its sister titles, last month.
Phil Karn, who lives in Burgess Hill and is one of the three directors, said the moment they opened their doors was a ‘surreal experience’.
He added: “It’s always really nice to be recognised for what we have been doing. There’s nothing in Burgess Hill for kids, we have a small cinema and a skate park, but then there’s nothing in the way of youth clubs.
“It’s nice to be recognised for bringing something new into the town.”
Almost a decade ago Mr Karn worked for a lasertag centre in Enfield and was involved in helping to set up a centre in the area. After he moved down to Burgess Hill the deal fell through, but he and Sam Godfrey another director kept the project on the back-burner.
Then when a third director Chris Terry got involved, they found a premises in September 2012, and with the help of friends and family opened in January.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming but with friends and family we got through.”
Their first booking before their official opening was a party. Mr Karn explained: “To see people up there enjoying themselves on something you had put together was unbelievable.”
He ascribed Apollo’s staff and the teamwork in the business as one of the main reasons for its success.
“It’s one of the most fun jobs and they enjoy coming into work,” he explained.
“They are completely the success because they are the face of the company.”
He said he remembers first getting into lasertag 24 years ago at the age of 18, and said the appeal lay in being one of the few activities that could be played between different generations, with children playing against and with their grandparents.
While Mr Karn works full time in IT, and describes it as ‘heavy going’ sometimes, he said he was focus on driving the business forward.
Apollo Lasertag is offering a £10 play all day wristband during the half term from Saturday October 26 to Sunday November 2. For more information visit www.apollolasertag.co.uk