Omni Gaming provides a fun space in Chewelah
By Brandon Hansen / For The Statesman
Alberta Newspaper Group
It’s time to level up and power attack at Omni Gaming in downtown Chewelah. The gaming studio, which opened this year, features a wide variety of gaming consoles to play, virtual reality set ups, tabletop gaming opportunities and so much more. “So far people have been very positive about the store,” Omni Gaming owner Justin Schramm said. “Most people see it as fulfilling a major need in the area as most kids don’t have much to do after school. Especially with the decline in activities provided by the schools in the area.” The studio grew out of Omni Studio, which is a light manufacturing company that creates merchandise, toys, t- shirts, stickers and signs. The company’s original kickstarter fundraiser project was dice boxes and arenas for Dungeons and Dragons and it has just grown from there after getting 190 percent of what they asked for. Omni Studio then began holding Dungeons and Dragons nights at the Chewelah Center for the Arts and then moved into their downtown location which has become a hub for youth activity. Kids can enjoy a wide variety of retro arcade games, as well as modern and retro consoles as well. “I was that bored teen getting into trouble and needed something exactly like what we are doing here,” Schramm said. “When we moved back and I was doing engineering, I figured if I was going to get an office in town I might as well make it a fun one.” Schramm said that the store kind of took on a mind of its own as the company started looking at buildings in the area. “I needed a multi- functional space to do manufacturing as well as have the game store,” Schramm said. “Since I was already making it a multi- use space, I figured why not do that with the rest of the building? As we got going, I thought through all the things that I would love to see in a smalltown entertainment hub. As I did and walked through the space the theater, VR areas and TTRPG tables kinda just fell into place as the perfect use.” Entry fee for the Omni Gaming is $ 5 an hour and $ 20 a day, the virtual reality machine and theater can be rented for $ 20 an hour. Meanwhile Omni Studio is operating out of the same building, providing contract manufacturing, 3D printing, toys and sign fabrication, vinyl stickers and sign printing. Currently Omni Studio runs 12 3D printers, two laser cutters and engravers, and a full vinyl printing and cutting line. “We are currently in full swing printing dragons, dinosaurs, and eggs for our own sales,” Schramm said. “We also offer those services to the community along with my services of STEM tutoring, and product development and prototyping.” Schramm also said he hopes to launch a podcast, YouTube Channel and a Twitch stream of various games as well. But it’s not just a gaming store, as Schramm is also doing STEM tutoring for students in the area, both in Chewelah School District and homeschool programs as well. Kids can learn manufacturing and other types of design skills that might prove helpful later in life. The studio also has been hosting Dungeons and Dragons on Wednesdays for the community to come and play as well as a Super Smash Bros. Tournament every Saturday. It’s possible to purchase a monthly membership to Omni Gaming at omni- gaming.com. You can also support the studio on its Patreon at https:// www. patreon.com/ OmniGaming. For $ 5 a month, customers can support the studio and get a new fun sticker each month.