Thunder Road to add massive indoor fun center

June 17, 2019

Thunder Road is planning a big indoor attraction at its entertainment center.

The Sioux Falls location at 201 N. Kiwanis Ave. will start construction soon on a 29,000-square-foot indoor family fun center that will turn it into a year-round business.

“We’ve always thought of ourselves as a family entertainment center, and we were limited five months out of the year,” president Al Novstrup said.

“Now, we’re going to basically double that and make it 12 months out of the year.”

The new fun center will include a full-service restaurant, snack bar, large arcade with a wide variety of games, laser tag, and miniature and traditional bowling. There also will be several rooms for parties and corporate events.

The building will be constructed at the site of the current picnic shelter, which will be moved.

It’s an upgrade years in the making, Novstrup said, that at one point got put on hold because the property was declared in the flood plain. It has now been removed, so construction can move forward.

Thunder Road first opened in Sioux Falls in 1996 and also has a location in Aberdeen. The outdoor attractions include two go-kart tracks, miniature golf, bumper boats and human foosball. Novstrup’s daughter and son-in-law run the Sioux Falls location.

“We’re a family-run business, but it’s really really tough to build a great organization when every 12 months you start over,” Novstrup said. “When you leave your employees in October and say you’ll see them in May, sometimes you see them and sometimes you don’t. This will allow us to have year-round full-time staff.”

The new indoor option also will be helpful for events that currently book the center during the summer and run into trouble with weather, he said.

Thunder Road is still determining specifics of the restaurant operation.

“You’ve got to have pizza on the menu, but beyond that we’ll probably branch out into a complete menu,” Novstrup said. “It will be a full-service restaurant.”

The plan is to have the new indoor center open by next spring.


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Thunder Road to add massive indoor fun center

Thunder Road is planning a big indoor attraction at its Sioux Falls entertainment center.

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