In one corner, kids gleefully collect tickets from arcade games; in another, kids wait in line to ride the indoor roller coaster. Still others mill around to get a snack from the bar, take a turn at haunted mini golf, or bump their friends out of the way on the bumper cars track. Everywhere you look, children are smiling, laughing, and having an old-fashioned good time. This is an average day at Party Place USA, the new kids’ fun center located in Middletown, NY.
The incredible success of Party Place USA is a testament to the dedication of owner Joel Vinolas, who turned his lifelong dream into reality with the help of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. The once-vacant warehouse in Caldor Plaza, at 360 Route 211 East in Middletown, is now home to a 44,000 square foot indoor multi-use family entertainment complex and amusement park, complete with a haunted mini-golf course, Aero Ball courts, a state-of-the-art arcade, an indoor roller coaster, bumper carts, an Under the Sea soft play park, the NexGen dance club, music and art rooms, and more.
Despite the company’s enormous progress, the going wasn’t always easy for Joel. After staking millions of dollars in building and equipment, an investor backed out at the last minute, jeopardizing the completion and opening of Party Place USA. Feeling helpless, he turned to and joined the Orange County Chamber, where he sought assistance with the planning and funding needed to complete his dream.
Shortly after, Eric Egeland, CEO of Capacity Consulting, Inc., also joined the Orange County Chamber, seeking ways to build his company’s local client base with dreams of living close to his hometown. When Cheryl Cohen, Director of Membership Investment for the Chamber, realized Capacity Consulting was a management consulting and business advisory firm that helps companies start, attain funding, and gain success, she knew it was the perfect match for Joel. She excitedly gave Joel’s contact information to Eric, with hopes the two could make Party Place USA a reality.
As a result of the referral, Party Place USA engaged Capacity Consulting to help them obtain funding. After gaining interest from multiple banks and private investors, Joel finally had the funds he needed to open his fun-center, which held its Grand Opening over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend.
The benefits of joining the Chamber for both Joel Vinolas and Eric Egeland were immense, and they didn’t end with the opening of Party Place USA. During the building stage, Party Place USA employed 20 full-time construction and management employees, as well as other Chamber members like Charlene Finerty of Plans and Profits, who helped with the business plan. As an operating business, Party Place USA currently employs 20 full-time and 74 part-time local residents.
Party Place USA is expected to generate millions in annual revenue for Orange County and its merchants. The dedication, networking, time, and passion that went into its planning and creation make for a story as heartwarming as the smiles on the faces of the children who play there.