By Brad Reynolds
Everyone has dreams. It could be something simple: becoming a better dancer, a better marksman, a better artist. Are you a daydreamer—fantasizing about lightsaber battles or how well you’d fare in a zombie apocalypse? Or maybe your dreams are more grounded. Maybe you want to travel abroad, see the sights and meet people around the globe.
So what’s stopping you? Time? Money? Reality?
“No dream is too big,” says eighth grader Chase Morgan. “Anything is achievable.”
These aren’t the sentimental musings of an untested youth; when Chase isn’t busy juggling a 4.0 GPA and his basketball schedule, he’s hard at work as the owner/operator of Chase Your Dreams, Great Falls’ first and only virtual reality arcade.
“I went to a VR arcade in Coeur d’Alene and thought we should have something like this in Great Falls,” he explains. “With the internet, you can do anything, learn anything. I wanted to see what it would take to make this happen.”
Chase’s parents, Shawn and Martha (both local business owners), were hesitant to the idea but soon recognized the impact that a VR arcade could have on the community.
“We said, ‘We aren’t going to build an arcade for you and your friends,’” laughs Martha, “but then he showed us what an opportunity this was. Without things to do, a lot of kids in this community get wrapped up in addictions and other trouble. This is a place to hang out, have fun, and be safe.”
Shawn remarks that it’s not just a space for teens, but adults too. In addition to its four virtual reality bays, Chase Your Dreams has X-boxes, a Pac-man machine, a pool table, and cornhole games. The arcade is a positive environment for people of all ages to interact, play, and even learn. Chase Your Dream’s driving and flight simulators allow future motorists and pilots to hone their skills. Using Google Earth VR, you don’t have to pack your bags to go on vacation; the program allows you to soar over cities and stroll down streets anywhere in the world. To assist police and military personnel in their training, Chase Your Dreams even offers discounted VR sessions on games that put players in realistic combat scenarios.
“There are so many opportunities,” says Chase, providing another example: “Kids who can’t walk in real life can walk in VR. It’s an endless virtual world.”
Although Chase’s parents are involved in the business, Chase Your Dreams is very much his. From building a budget to filing for an EIN, Chase has been active in every step of the business plan. He thanks his parents for their support, but he isn’t reliant on them. This is his venture.
It’s Chase’s dream to make yours a reality.
Chase Your Dreams is located at 316 Central Avenue in Great Falls. For more information, visit chaseyourdreamsvr.com or
call (406) 564-8034.