Beyond Reality opens its doors at Sangertown

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NEW HARTFORD — Beyond Reality, a virtual reality entertainment business, opened its doors on Saturday, April 9, at Sangertown Square.

Customers are able to play solo or with a group of friends and take part in virtual reality experiences.

The business is locally owned and operated by three friends – Blake Arcuri, James Costello, and Steve Shaver. 

Friends since high school, they have always bonded over video games while growing up. Now it’s through bold and exciting technology through virtual reality. Arcuri says the escape rooms are much more different than your Oculus at-home virtual reality games.

The software used is licensed through vrCAVE, a company that works with partners in cities across the world to offer special free-roam and room-scale VR that people can enjoy with their friends.

“That’s something you can’t just get at home – you have to come here, try it out for yourself and get lost in the experience,” said Arcuri.

Each room also has markers on the walls and floor so the camera system can pick up movement to monitor on a computer screen in the back room.

The biggest games are the escape room scenarios, which have six puzzle-solving options and then one group experience designed for young teens. 

Utica residents Brenda Powers, her daughter, Courtney Haas, and grandson, Cameron Haas, decided to check out one of the escape rooms on Monday.

All three were excited after completing a puzzle and noted how nice it was to work as a team.

“I like that it wasn’t so easy to figure out and really made us work together and think,” said Courtney after her son Cameron said it was “cool” and “kind of hard.”

Outside of the escape rooms they also offer immersive experiences with a plank-walk and lounge packages. Lounge packages are more of a hang out experience and include games such as Beat Saber and first-person shooter games. 

The lounge spots can be rented out every hour and certain days of the week will offer special discounts or bonuses to customers. 

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