Fun Across America – Arcade Adventures


Fun Across America logog

From Tanks to Tech

Unveiling the Extraordinary at Drive A Tank & Arcade Arena

by Barry Zelickson

Spring is here and it’s time to check out more unique entertainment. Nate and our crew were able to visit two different facilities, both created by individuals who have a truly entrepreneurial spirit.

First, we headed to the small town of Kasota, Minn., to meet Tony Borlum, from Drive A Tank, who ran with an idea he came across while on an overseas trip. He not only was the first to bring this idea to life in the U.S., but has been operating his attraction for almost 20 years. Then we met up with Arcade Arena’s Matt Ames in Rose­ville, Minn., another 20-year operator who continues to push the boundaries to bring new forms of entertainment into the marketplace.

Drive A Tank – Kasota, MN

Now this experience is truly a destination attraction! According to CEO Tony Borglum, 88% of Drive A Tank guests come from out of state or out of the country. Tony started this business in 2006 after a visit to the U.K. where he saw multiple places where you could drive a real tank. Thinking it was a great idea, he soon realized there were no locations like it in the U.S., so he set out to provide this unique opportunity at home by creating Drive A Tank. From that moment on, he’s operated this facility, providing entertainment you can’t get anywhere else.

Tony is a wealth of knowledge, too, teaching more than just how to drive the tank, but its history as well. To make it even more interesting, he has created several unique packages that offer a variety of options to drive many different kinds of tanks or armored car alternatives. He also offers a shop and an equipment tour that you won’t want to miss.

The fun doesn’t stop there. You can sign up to shoot a variety of machine guns and if you’re feeling particularly destructive, you can sign up to crush a car or even level a mobile home! Who knew destroying stuff could be so fun?

For a one-of-kind experience, this is the place to go. History, power and tanks – you won’t find this in your traditional FEC. Make sure you check out this Fun Across America episode on YouTube and see our host, Nate Reinhart, drive the armored vehicle after he completed his driver’s ed…tank edition, of course.

Arcade Arena – Roseville, MN

Matt Ames has been in the business of fun since 2001. As Matt explained, he started with a “paintball park, then moved onto an adventure park, a non-profit, escape rooms and even bubble soccer.” With all that experience Matt’s newest creation is the Arcade Arena, which provides guests an immersive entertainment experience.

Matt was trying to decide what was next for his escape room business. “Once you have done an escape room, guests aren’t as likely to replay the experience,” he said. So, he started thinking that his escape rooms could be seen as “challenge rooms” and from there, the developing process began. Matt said the result is a fun attraction, built by combining projection mapping, motion tracking cameras, traditional arcade controls and touchscreen capabilities to create a room “arena” – an interactive space in which guests can play some really cool interactive games. Check out host Nate taking on some of these interactive challenges in the Arcade Arena episode at the Fun Across America YouTube channel.

Arcade Arena has several proprietary games to play, including The Heist, Button Frenzy, Lava Runner, Monkey Games, Goblin Hunter, Battle Arena Omega and The Great Pig Escape, as well as plans to release six new games every year. To help bring teams together, the system also doubles as a photo booth. Another special aspect of the Arcade Arena experience is that the players do not have to wear any special equipment to play. It’s designed to provide an activity that promotes player interactivity, talking and working together as a team. This is especially great in today’s economy when so many people are working from home and lack social interaction.

• • •

That’s a wrap for this month. But before we go, we’d like to extend a special thanks to one of our partners, Creative Works. Please check out Amusement 360, their amusement education event for startups and operators to build a more profitable business (the next program is scheduled for April 23-25 in Indianapolis). Find out all the details at


Barry Zelickson

Barry Zelickson, is the co-creator of Fun Across America, a YouTube channel travelogue show. Zelickson has worked in the entertainment field for almost 30 years and has been awarded several IAAPA Brass Ring awards including one of the association’s highest honors, Family Entertainment Center of the World. His other projects include commercials, infomercials, feature films, documentaries, live events and entertainment centers.


Nate Reinhart

Nate Reinhart

Nate Reinhart, host and co-creator of Fun Across America, is a content creator for NalterDeeds and NalterCards on YouTube and content consultant for creators and businesses alike. After a shoutout from MrBeast, Nate has accumulated over 250,000 subscribers on his YouTube channels.


Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.