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‘Tag’ a friend at Galactic Tag Nerf Arena

Aug 27, 2018 03:09PM ● Published by Travis Barton

Guests reload blasters between two shooting arenas.

Galactic Tag Nerf Arena in Herriman is now open. Beyond the storefront lettering at 13256 S. 5600 West is an indoor, air conditioned, abandoned toxic warehouse scene. Hiding behind 55- gallon barrels and crouching around wooden crates is a way to escape the summer heat, yet keep the body moving and playing. Here, exercise can be as active or relaxed as one makes it. There are chairs for a front row seat to watch kids and take pictures, but participation is highly encouraged for anyone, preschooler to adult, who wants to join in as a sneaky toy dart sniper. 

The arena has racks of Nerf blasters, spongy swords and loads of foam ammo ready for any size group. Choose orange team or yellow. Put on the safety eyewear provided, load the squishy darts and start to mow people down—loved ones, people you live with, someone you just met, people you work next to, homies you hang with or even strangers. Everyone participating wins. Actually, some lose—but it’s all in fun. This venue accommodates drop-in visitors with prices, operating hours and details listed at www.galactictag.com

Jessie Welsh took his two boys to Galactic Tag. All three of them played together. Welsh said, “I had a lot of fun. How many places can you go where you can shoot your kids and get away with it?” His sons Jack (11) and Eli (9) both left giving an identical response, the sign of “two thumbs up.” Eli also added, “Five stars.” That’s double blaster-style praise. Kids are often known to be honest sharpshooters about their feelings. 

Galactic Tag can host parties, team-building events, fundraisers and family reunions (with advance scheduling). Monthly passes are available for frequent guests. In the front is a snack station and soda fridge to purchase treats, and there are clean restrooms at the back. 

Owner Keith Rust wants people have fun, but have fun using basic practices of respect. A reminder posted on the Nerf blaster rack seen walking in reads, “Be honest, no head shots, no cussin’, be smart (and) shoes required.” Those guidelines make the games accessible and appropriate for all ages and abilities. 

Nicolas Farmer, employee referee, has been working at Galactic Tag since its opening. Referees are there to help cue players from game to game. They assist younger children in reloading darts, and also keep things going smooth after a team wins a round. Farmer said he is the “primary blaster repair guy.”  He stays near the action and “watches to keep people safe and make sure everyone is having fun,” he explained. Farmer suggested, “If you are looking for a great time, any number of people any time of day, this is the place to do it." 

Rust described how the indoor Nerf center began by saying, “It was a long time coming, trying to figure out how I wanted to progress with my career… my background is in product life cycle management. The more I’ve been in consulting, I find that we actually are more in ‘the people business,’ trying to help people work together more effectively. The idea is having some way to be able to have a fun venue to teach teamwork, honesty, and integrity—which are kind of our three pillars—and that’s what the business is about. This is just a fun avenue to learn those skills.”

There seems to be no disadvantage to putting on a yellow or orange team vest before entering the arenas. The advantage is in the strategy—loading a blaster in the shadows of a box crate and metal drum, or patiently waiting for an opponent to emerge from the barricades. Being quick to take cover could result in a win—who knows? But, there is always victory in getting out and experiencing things with family or friends and in supporting a local business.

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