Wednesday, August 08, 2001

GameWorks to play on Levee

Entertainment attraction planned

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — It's official. GameWorks on Tuesday announced that the company will open one of its flagship entertainment facilities in February at the Newport on the Levee complex.

        It will be the third GameWorks that the Glendale, Calif.-based company will operate in collaboration with Steiner & Associates of Columbus, developer of Newport on the Levee. Previous GameWorks opened at Steiner developments in Tampa, Fla., and Columbus.

        GameWorks officials said the Newport on the Levee venue will follow the design of the Tampa complex and include a full-service Jax Grill restaurant, a Hopscotch Bar and Arena Bar.

        GameWorks was founded by Sega Corp., Universal Studios and movie mogul Steven Spielberg. Mr. Spielberg is no longer associated with the company. Sega and Universal are GameWorks co-owners.

        GameWorks was originally aimed at teen-agers and offered the latest in electronic games and attractions.

        However, the first GameWorks did not make money. Ron Bension became president and CEO of GameWorks and changed the entertainment direction to attract primarily adults.

        “Our one-stop shopping approach to entertaining adults and families at our Tampa venue will be re-created at the Newport venue,” Mr. Bension said.

        He said the Tampa GameWorks is the most profitable of the company's entertainment complexes.

        The Newport GameWorks will cover 25,000 square feet of the $200 million Newport on the Levee complex that will include a 20-screen AMC cinema, a 3-D IMAX theater, restaurants, shops and the Newport Aquarium.

        There are 14 GameWorks flagship locations worldwide, including 12 in the United States and one each in Guam and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

        The company also operates seven smaller U.S. facilities called GameZone that do not offer food and beverages.


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