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Transforming Entertainment and Real Estate

by Kianna Warburton

Reinventing Malls: Elev8’s Vision for the Future of Retail

In today’s era of e-commerce dominance, traditional shopping malls are facing unprecedented challenges. With vacant storefronts and dwindling foot traffic, these once-thriving hubs of commerce and social interaction are struggling to survive. However, amid this adversity, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of a company called Elev8, which aims to redefine the very essence of the mall experience.

Elev8 has not only built a thriving business but also achieved resounding success in resuscitating languishing mall properties, breathing new life into them as vibrant hubs catering to all age groups. The visionary behind this revival is David Goldfarb, the CEO and Founder of Elev8. Goldfarb’s journey started with Prime Time Amusement, which initially focused on selling and renting video arcade games but later evolved into a comprehensive family amusement enterprise.

What sets Elev8 apart is its ability to create intricate tapestries of excitement and wonder within these mall spaces. Imagine arcades teeming with nostalgic video games, bowling alleys resonating with the clatter of falling pins, go-kart tracks offering heart-pounding races, and laser tag arenas igniting intense strategic battles. Elev8 also takes it a step further with rope courses, wall-climbing challenges, and mini-golf courses that deliver guaranteed thrills. One of their most captivating offerings is the 7D rides – an ingenious fusion of roller coaster thrills and cinematic storytelling that transports visitors beyond reality’s boundaries.

Goldfarb recalls, “In 2019, after Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale won an award as the best Family Entertainment Center in the US, it inspired me to scale the concept.” Seeing department stores shutting down due to the rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon, Elev8 purchased its first Sears box in September 2019 in Sanford, Florida. Since then, they have purchased several more vacant stores, including one from Eddie Lambert of Transform Hold Co.

However, Elev8’s mission extends beyond pure entertainment; it carries a profound aspiration – the revitalization of struggling real estate. The opening of their first location in Sanford, Florida, on December 31, 2021, marked the beginning of their efforts to transform malls into vibrant entertainment centers. The impact of Elev8’s projects goes beyond job creation; they also draw crowds, revitalizing surrounding businesses and injecting new life into local economies.

Elev8’s vision transcends the realm of entertainment; it is a passionate effort to resurrect malls as vibrant social hubs. Their success lies in creating dynamic environments where pleasure and camaraderie thrive, memories are woven, and bonds are rekindled. Their initiatives not only infuse life into local economies but also reinvigorate once-neglected corners of communities.

Customers have been raving about their experiences at Elev8. Steve A., a delighted visitor, exclaimed, “I can’t put into words how much fun the VR room zombie game is with three of your buddies. The video you receive after playing is pure comedy. This place is a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to return.” Similarly, William J., another guest, shared, “I cherish the experience my family had there. They offered numerous options for all ages, making it a fantastic place for family fun time.”

The metamorphosis of a conventional shopping destination into a dynamic entertainment haven may very well be the lifeline struggling malls have been yearning for. In fact, Elev8’s success has prompted them to expand into Miami and Jacksonville, where they have acquired facilities from Simon Properties, one of the largest mall operators worldwide.

In an industry where consumer preferences evolve rapidly, Elev8 stands as an inspiration. Their journey imparts valuable lessons in adaptability, resilience, and the art of turning challenges into opportunities. Whether you’re an adventurer seeking thrills or a community-focused entrepreneur, Elev8’s vision holds a treasure trove of insights for the real estate and retail shopping industries. Moreover, in a world increasingly defined by virtual connections, Elev8’s revival of communal spaces serves as a resounding reminder of the enduring significance of tangible, real-world togetherness and experiences.

Elev8 is the harbinger of a new era in retail, where malls transform from fading relics into vibrant centers of entertainment and community. With their unique blend of experiential entertainment and community enrichment, Elev8 redefines the mall experience and gives hope to struggling malls worldwide.

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