🔓Closed department store transformed into 2-story entertainment center in Sanford mall

Elev8 Fun offers go-kart racing, laser tag, bowling and more than 180 games

SANFORD, Fla. – You or your kids may be counting down the days for the family vacation out of town, but there is an option close to home that will be sure to keep just about any age entertained.

Elev8 Fun is a two-story entertainment center with everything from laser tag to go-kart racing to virtual reality games.

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Owners of the business hope to not only keep locals entertained but help revitalize malls with a growing number of vacant department stores.

“With Amazon taking over the retail market, there’s so many opportunities for us to convert these boxes,” Elev8 Fun owner David T. Goldfarb said.

Goldfarb said he uses the term ‘boxes’ to reference department store that have shut down or gone out of business in malls across the country.

“The proximity to I-4 is great and with the mall itself, we wanted to bring something unique,” Elev8 Fun Director of Operations Keith Baldwin said.

Elev8 owners purchased the former Sears building at the Seminole Towne Center in 2019. Their vision was to turn the 25,000 square foot department store into an entertainment center.

Elev8 Fun in Sanford is the flagship store, serving as one of the anchors to the mall. The idea is that it will increase local foot traffic to the mall, bringing in a boost for surrounding businesses.


“We kept everything internally. You’ll notice the columns. These were all the same exact columns you’d see in a traditional department store. We had to add plumbing, we had to add electric, but the foundation, the box, was still here. So it’s much easier to start the store like this than to start from ground zero. And the cost is certainly a lot cheaper,” Goldfarb said.

The existing lot outside the mall is a plus, according to Goldfarb.

The two-story entertainment center offers more than 180 video games, including the classics like Skee Ball, and virtual reality options that will transport you right into the game.

“We have several that are sit-down and we engage them that way. We have something called Omni Arena which is great. It’s 4D reality with the goggles. They harness you in and you’re really participating in the game,” Baldwin said.

You can take the wheel and race go-karts downstairs or climb the ropes course upstairs.

Or just play at the bowling alley.

Elev8 has a full-service restaurant and bars on site. It’s an attraction aimed at entertaining locals of all ages.

Elev8 is running a soft opening and will fully open in the beginning of March just in time for Spring Break.

We’d love for one of our Insiders to check it out, so Elev8 is partnering with News 6 to give away a $200 gift card that can be used for games and attractions.

Click HERE to enter. The contest runs through February 21.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.