JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City has grown exponentially throughout the years. The Downtown area continues to see new businesses while North Roan Street remains a hub for shoppers and those looking for a delicious bite, however, there is a clear absence from the region when it comes to entertainment.
While there’s no shortage in live music or movie theaters, an entertainment venue that encompasses a variety of activities has ceased to exist in this region until now.
“We want to create a special place where somebody can go have fun and they can’t even drive 3 or 4 hours to get the same experience, they can get it ten minutes down the road,” said COO of Tiebreakers, Derek Shropshire.
The facility is just over 30,000 square feet, nestled in a shopping plaza near the start of North Roan Street. Once open, Tiebreakers will offer customers the opportunity to play, drink, eat, and game all night long.
Whitney Williams, the Marketing Director for Tiebreakers, said she has lived in Johnson City her entire life and this is something the region has needed for a long time.
“Tiebreakers is a place where you can come to escape the every day, and it’s going to be a place for all ages so anyone from ages 9 to 99 is welcome here,” she said.
The over-$6-million plan has been in the works for over four years, and now, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with a grand opening slated for this year.
“We got some demos started in 2019 as COVID hit, and when that happened it slowed us down by roughly a year. So it’s put us way behind but now, we’re in the home stretch,” said Shropshire.
Shropshire said the facility will include bowling, “hyperbowling”, virtual reality games, over 80 arcade games, ax throwing, a full bar, restaurant and event rooms.
He said the location is prime since they’re in the same lot as the AMC theater and just across from the mall. He said once they open, all of these businesses will be able to feed off each other in terms of boosting their customer bases.
“We’re really looking to bring this area, this Roan Street area back to life. This shopping center used to be hopping and we hope to bring it back to the glory days,” he said.
While the above-mentioned is all slated to be in place for the Spring opening, Shropshire said it won’t stop there. Following the opening, they will continue to expand and further improve the facility in ‘Phase 2’. Current talks of the second phase include the addition of laser tag and more, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Shropshire said his team has other entertainment ventures in the Gatlinburg area but bringing something like this to Johnson City means more because it’s home.
Bob Cantler, the CEO and President of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes this brings not only opportunities to those living here, but also hopes it gives people another reason to visit the region.
“It’s unique enough that we think it’s going to offer a lot more amenities for people to do in Johnson City,” said Cantler.