The Chipmunks gaming center in Wanneroo was forced to close due to leasing issues

The owners of Chipmunks Wanneroo said the outpouring of support they had received since announcing the gaming center would be closing had been heartwarming.

Adina and Sam Rabbone have owned the business at Drovers Market Place for the past 4.5 years, buying it as a failing business about to close and creating what has become a “really important service to the community.”

“We are very passionate and very proud of what we have created,” said Ms. Rabbone.

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“So this has been a heartbreaking decision for us. It wasn’t a choice and it definitely wasn’t the way we intended to go.

“But a lease renegotiation has meant we have no choice. We really looked at all the alternatives until we were forced to close.”

Adina and Sam Rabbone are devastated to shut down the Chipmunks at Wanneroo.
camera iconAdina and Sam Rabbone are devastated to shut down the Chipmunks at Wanneroo. Credit: ross swanborough/western australia

Ms. Rabbone assured clients that she had nothing to do with the insurance crisis that has seen a significant increase in liability insurance premiums in the last two years and affected many other gaming venues, including Wild Kidz. in Wangara, which closed in December, or due to COVID-19.

“We survived COVID,” he said.

“The forced closures and mandates had a devastating effect on our business. There were many days when I would stare at a completely empty center.

“However, we continue with our business, understanding how important our center is to the local community.

“We used our savings to pay our rent and keep our commitments and when we reopened to the community they came out in droves to support us. It was really amazing.

“I remember a holiday that we chose to open because last year was a really lucrative day for our business and there was literally a little girl who came to play. It was heartbreaking.

We are not just another business that closes. You are missing out on a community service.

“Then there were the mask and vaccine mandates. We survived a lot, so walking away when the business is now recovering from the effects of COVID is really difficult.”

Mrs. Rabbone was excited as she remembered what her family had created.

“We took a business that wasn’t doing very well, and as Wanneroo locals, we invested in a center that we couldn’t find for our children when they were younger,” she said.

“Now the boys are 17, 15 and 12 years old and they work with us at the center. My mother is working there in her retirement. We have loyal staff that she has been with us from the beginning. It is a family business and truly an extension of our home.

“We created a great space that is clean and friendly with great food and great coffee.

“We have grandparents who come because they don’t know where to take their grandchildren. We have regular customers who visit every week.

“We are not just another business that closes. You are missing out on a service to the community.”

Ms. Rabbone said they planned to celebrate their final weeks with farewell events, including an early Halloween disco and a live band performance, before closing on October 2.

Devastated families have taken to Facebook to express their sadness and wish the Rabbones well.

“Oh no, so sad to hear this! One of the best and cleanest gaming centers around here with the most amazing owners too! We will miss you so much,” said Donna Gow.

“Lots of happy memories coming to Chipmunks Wanneroo with my kids for playdates and birthday parties. Always great service with a smile. Thank you and good luck with your future plans,” said Kim Marianne.

“This was by far our favorite game center to visit. It’s sad that my next bub can’t visit me,” said Sammii Hawkins.

“My children love the center and every year they ask to celebrate their birthday there,” said Mary Paradise.

“I am so sorry to hear this. She was telling people the other day to go there. I miss taking my children there (they are already very big). Such an amazing place,” said Gabrielle Millar.

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