Ken Forbes moved his business Six One Six Entertainment, the largest entertainment centre in Medicine Hat, to a 12,000 square foot downtown location in 2020. This was right before the pandemic hit world-wide, and he was faced with regulations, while needing to renovate the new space he’d just moved into.
Forbes applied for the Beautification Loan from Community Futures Entre-Corp, and when accepted, he was able to renovate the walls, change the carpets, and add over 400 LED light bulbs to give the space a more crisp and evening ambiance.
“I suddenly had to take into consideration social distancing when renovating the space to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations. At the time, this loan allowed us to open and get approval from Alberta Health Services,” says Forbes. “It gives us, and has given us, the opportunity to now be ready for anything.”
Forbes also applied for a regular loan when he first opened his business. Six One Six first started with offering virtual reality, and Forbes now offers axe throwing, with glow-throw nights, golf simulator, laser tag, human sized pool table, and smaller pool tables. Forbes has paid off his loans but still feels welcome to go to Community Futures with new ideas.
“Sometimes the team at Community Futures is just another soundboard for support. I still reach out to Greg, and it’s not always about money — it’s me asking for their advice on a new idea, because having that third-person perspective invites me to look at things differently.”
Because of the axe throwing, Six One Six Entertainment is an alcohol-free zone and people are encouraged to start their night at the entertainment spot and continue to a bar or eatery afterwards. The facility hosts team parties, birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and has axe throwing leagues.
“I opened this business, because I want people to forget about the outside world and be in the moment and happy while playing these games with their friends and families,” says Forbes. “Community Futures took the chance on helping someone small with a dream and vision, and they allowed me to get my first-step going. This support feels really good, because they’re not in it for the return — they’re in it, because they want to see the city grow.”
Six One Six Entertainment can be found online at https://www.sixonesixentertainment.com/.