For gamers, this truck is party paradise

GameTruck, a national video-game party franchise, rolls into Omaha today.

Inside the brightly decorated trailer are four 50-inch flat-screen TVs, each hooked up to Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii gaming systems.

Or, in other words, heaven for kids. And for parents throwing a birthday party, there's no mess to clean up or children to herd.

“We pull right up, get the kids on board and handle all of it,” said GameTruck Omaha manager Brian Kaiser. “We try to make it as easy as possible.”

Founded in 2006 by former video game developer Scott Novis of Tempe, Ariz., GameTruck has franchises in 64 markets across the country — and one in Nigeria — and was awarded a patent for its mobile gaming system in 2011. The company is available not only for children's parties but also for corporate, school and community events.

GameTruck is essentially a self-contained party on wheels. The climate-controlled game trailer contains seating for 16, along with pretty much every multiplayer video game on the market.

“You kind of feel like a rock star when you pull up to the party,” Kaiser said.

The Omaha GameTruck franchise is owned by Brad Taylor of Des Moines. He's been operating a GameTruck in Des Moines since 2009. The new truck and trailer, which will be available in the Omaha area and Lincoln, cost “well into six figures.”

The GameTruck franchise fees cost from $19,500 to $89,500, depending on the territory's population. In addition, GameTruck charges a monthly royalty fee plus other marketing and support fees.

“You get a base set of games and components when you buy the franchise, but we want to have each TV loaded,” Taylor said.

He said GameTruck party prices for parents are comparable to other options, like movies, pizza places, bounce houses and gyms. More information is at www.gametruckparty.com.

Each two-hour party is operated by a “game coach,” who sets up equipment, officiates games and makes sure everyone has a good time.

“Sometimes we hook up all four systems so 16 people can play the same game at once,” Taylor said. “Sometimes the kids want to play 15-on-1 against the game coach.”

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