Blue Ridge Arcade

Blue Ridge Arcade on Sept. 20, 2021. Courtesy of Kyle Bassett.

While Blacksburg truly is home away from home for those of us who go to Virginia Tech, the local area has lacked amenities that are open to people of all ages and interests. Whether you’re a local, a college student or a visitor, odds are you’re in the mood for local entertainment. The latest business to open in the area, the Blue Ridge Arcade, intends to meet this need.

Located at 130 Jackson St. NW in the heart of downtown Blacksburg (across from Benny Marzano’s), the spot is a great addition to the area. Merely a short walk from the Virginia Tech campus, it’s the perfect place to stop by, whether you’ve got time for a few games or you’re looking to make an evening out of it.

“We have about 30 games, with a couple more on the way,” said Mitchell Tyler, one of the founders and co-owners of Blue Ridge Axe Throwing, the parent company of the Blue Ridge Arcade. “We have two different models; you can come in and buy a card or you can book an hour online for unlimited play for the hour.”

Beyond arcade games, the location is looking to expand into offering much more to patrons. Ax throwing, the increasingly popular activity of chucking an ax into a target board, is one of its desired additions that is currently pending approval from the town of Blacksburg. If approved, the company is working to have a large section of its facility available for the activity sometime in October of 2021. 

With fun ax throwing comes great responsibility, and the Blue Ridge Arcade recognizes both the importance of and means to hosting a safe, good time. Aside from having staff monitor and regulate those who will be throwing axes, they are clear in their intent to ensure that everyone in attendance, whether throwing an ax or spectating, is safe on all levels.

“We don’t let people throw while they are inebriated, and it’s not just alcohol,” Tyler said. “If you’re not of a sound mind, from whatever’s been happening, we just ask you to come back at a different time. We run a tight ship, and safety is the only thing that really trumps customer service for us.”

For those who are a bit competitive in nature, there are plans in the works to have console gaming competitions in one of the side rooms located inside the arcade. Consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox and others would be available to play in competitive gaming events with other individuals.

“We’re (going to) do console games here monthly, where you can buy slots and participate in tournaments,” Tyler said. “People can sign up and compete against each other on high score nights.”

Blue Ridge Arcade opened its arcade portion on Sept. 21, with more in the works to be available in the near future. Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with friends or looking to mix things up for a date night, the Blue Ridge Arcade here in Blacksburg is definitely a spot to check out.