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New arcade gaming business opening in Idaho Falls next month

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IDAHO FALLS — If you’ve been to the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls lately, you may have noticed a new business moving in.

Ka-Ko-Jo’s, a new gaming center, is slated to open inside the 5,200-square-foot space across from Barnes & Noble bookstore Feb. 16. A grand opening with giveaways and prizes is in the works for the first week of March.

“I think we’ve got a lot going here and a great community for it. I think it’s going to fit really well,” Regional Manager Levi Benjamin tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Ka-Ko-Jo’s will include a variety of 45 different arcade games, along with a bounce house and play area for kids. They will also have access to more than 300 virtual reality games and a snack and beverage area for customers.

Owners Sean and Bobbi Kennedy first opened Ka-Ko-Jo’s in Greeley, Colorado three years ago. A Casper, Wyoming store opened last May. They decided Idaho Falls was an ideal spot for their third location.

“It’s a fantastic community with a lot of family-oriented stuff and we’re just hoping to add to that for everybody,” Benjamin says.

Despite recent concerns of declining traffic in the mall, Benjamin says there is a larger mall-walker population in Idaho Falls than at other locations. He’s confident the business will have a bright future.

Arcade gaming has made a huge comeback in recent years, Benjamin says, and there is a huge demand for gaming centers nationwide and in eastern Idaho.

“The industry is doing really well and is growing. It’s actually very competitive,” says Benjamin.

Most games at Ka-Ko-Jo’s use a swipe card, and customers can purchase any dollar amount they want.

“The more you put on the card, the more bonuses you get out of it,” says Benjamin.

One of Ka-Ko-Jo’s most popular games is “Ticket Time,” which consists of maneuvering a claw to try and get more tickets.

“It has tons of rolls of tickets — anywhere from 25 to 500. People can’t help themselves with that one. It’s kind of like gambling a little bit,” Benjamin says.

Another popular game is a traditional “coin-pusher” called “Spongebob Pineapple Arcade.”

New games are being added over the next several weeks, including a bowling game and some other brand-new games that were just released this year.

“Our motto is ‘Limitless fun for everyone.’ We want people of all ages to participate,” Benjamin says. “We are big on birthday parties for any age, and if (businesses) want to have a party for their employees, we’re willing to do almost anything to make sure that everyone has tons of fun.”

Ka-Ko-Jo’s gets its name from the Kennedy’s sons, Kaden and Koen, who each have some form of “Jo” in their middle name. It’s being built inside the former Hallmark store and will be the mall’s first permanent business at this spot in the last six years.

“It’s something that gets you out of the house and (allows) you to have a bonding experience with your friends,” Benjamin says.

Ka-Ko-Jo’s hours of operation will be the same as the mall: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Learn more on the company’s website.

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