FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) – If you’re looking for a new weekend activity, a new arcade has opened in Fairmont.
Arcade-O-Mania is a 1980s-themed arcade packed with 24 coin-operated classic games to bring you back in time.
The Deem family said one reason they opened the arcade was so they could create a space where kids can socialize in person instead of online.
“People say we’re bringing them back to their childhoods, and as kids, they went to these kinds of places and we talk about it, you know, hang out in the living room here and talk all about it,” Chuck Deem, Owner Arcade-O-Mania said.
All games are only .25 or .50 cents to play for “something cheap and easy to do, something to have fun with the family,” Chuck said.
“That’s not an arcade, man,” Chuck said about not choosing dollar or card reader machines for his arcade. “Growing up, you put a coin in it, or you put a token in it. That’s just the way it’s supposed to be,” Chuck said.
“My dad says he grew up at the arcade and his dream was having one of these,” said Morgan Deem, Chuck’s daughter and arcade manager. “You can’t go wrong because after school, kids can just walk down to the arcade and have their parents pick them up when they’re done.”
The inspiration to open an arcade also came to the Deem family when they were looking to plan Morgan a birthday party. Chuck said they had to drive two hours to find a family-friendly place to have a party for her. After that, the Deems felt it was time to have something in the town of Fairmont so other families didn’t have to go that far.
“There’s been nothing for years since Valley Worlds of Fun went down,” Chuck said about family-friendly gaming places in Fairmont.
Valley Worlds of Fun closed back in 2018 because of financial struggles and health issues with the owners. It was a staple in the Fairmont community for more than 45 years as a place where kids could go to play arcade and amusement games.
When asked why they chose an ’80s theme, Chuck jokingly said “well, the Russians are the bad guys and Top Gun’s in the movies; which direction do you think we should go?”
Chuck said they are always working to get more games for the arcade and are especially trying to get a crane game because “those are just fun.”
Arcade-O-Mania is located at 315 Morgantown Ave in Fairmont and is open Monday and Thursday 12 – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 – 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 6 p.m.