Celebration Station

Merrillville, Indiana USA

1982 to 2002

The first of 15 indoor Family Fun Centers owned by Whiteco Industries, Celebration Station began as a pizza restaurant in 1982. By 1986 the restaurant combined arcade games with pizza. The first rides, including a go-kart track, were added with a 1989 expansion. At its peak in 1999, Celebration Station offered a double theater, 85 arcade games, go-carts, batting cages, mini-golf with a mountain scheme, and six amusement rides.

The property was almost sold to CarMax for a 232-vehicle used-car and small-truck store in 1999, but the deal fell through when CarMax backed out. Yet this plan to sell, and a layoff in October of 1999, lead to uneasiness in the already low paid employees, a number of whom quit.

The FEC finally closed in August of 2002 with little warning, the victim perhaps of labor unrest, or continued gang violence, or competition from Chuck E Cheese. On August 18 everything, from arcade games to go-carts, was auctioned off.

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