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Barrymore s Family Entertainment Center on Hall Road has gone from a rowdy roadhouse to a family friendly recreation destination.
The transformation will rise to the next level with an ambitious expansion that likely will make the Clinton Township facility a regional tourist attraction.
But we are building a great entertainment center that is clean and safe. A majority of our business is families, corporations, churches and schools we ve never been busier.
The company s five year plan calls for:
Two roller coasters one will be assembled this fall and in operation by next spring, the other will be added in another year or so.
A two seat zip line that will take customers soaring from inside the park to Hall Road
A new go kart track that will include a 50 foot high spiral lift
A 65 foot drop tower
A 2 story laser tag roomThe first roller coaster will be constructed in back of the complex, topping out at 36 feet in height. Employees over the winter will be taught how to operate the three car coaster.
It features two drops and a loop.
It s a family ride with an extra loop for the older kids, Soled said. I know Rick s been on the hunt for the perfect roller coaster for his property. Barrymore s beginnings.
The Iceberg family started with a driving range in the 1970s, long before Hall Road became a freeway.
In 1982, they added a go kart track and batting cages, setting the stage for the center s future of a multi attraction site.
Two years later, they opened a bar on the property and things went crazy, according to Iceberg.
We had to have 15 bouncers because there were some rowdy folks in here and we had women dancing up on the bar all the time, he said, quickly adding: The days of bouncers and booze are long gone for us. A fire destroyed the bar in 1986. Undaunted, Iceberg rebuilt and business was back to booming a year later. Barrymore outlets were built in Michigan and California, but those are now closed.
Around the early 1990s, in response to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) campaigns, lawmakers toughened up drunken driving laws in California. Business dropped by 25 percent at the Barrymore s bar in that state.
Iceberg knew the laws would soon be changing across the country and began to turn his focus away from running a bar to creating more of an entertainment complex by expanding the 150 game arcade and jazzing things up.
We never had a genius plan, he said. We just kept adding on and getting better at what we were doing. We developed a big time entertainment center.
In 2008, an upscale bowling alley with black lights, music, a fire pit and comfortable seating was added. That move transformed the facility, Iceberg said.
Although Iceberg postponed some additions, he continued to update the appearance with cleaner, upscale decor and landscaping.