VR center opens in Pulaski

Center is the first of its kind in the area

PULASKI, Va.Next Level in Pulaski has been open for less than a week, but it’s already drawing a big crowd.

“The response has been awesome,” said chief marketing officer Jacob Prine. “On January 4th, we had the headsets booked all day. People were willing to wait two hours, that’s the wait time we had on headsets, and the gaming lounge was full for the entirety of the day.”

The business was opened to help bring more people to Pulaski.

When Greg Lightbourn heard about the business, he couldn’t wait to stop by.

“I’m looking forward to the new Half Life: Alyx game coming out, so I really wanted to come down and check it out,” Lightbourn said.

His visit to Next Level was his first-ever experience playing virtual reality video games.

“I’m out of breath a little bit. It’s a very real experience," said Lightbourn after playing a game.

As the name suggests, though, the creators are taking the technology to the next level by taking the headsets to local senior citizens.

“We went to the Pulaski Health and Rehab Center and we put headsets on them. The response we got was amazing. We saw people light up and they were so happy,” Prine explained.

It’s a labor of love, he says.

“I’m from Pulaski, about four generations," said Prine. "It’s got to be one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done, working here in Pulaski and working to help the area.”

A grand opening celebration is expected to be held in March.