In a community saturated with family attractions, Jim Moritz’s VR Universe aims to provide a unique gaming experience and stand out from the crowd.
Now in its second year, VR Universe is one of two virtual reality arcades in the Dells area, but Moritz feels his stands alone. His philosophy is to help his customers find an experience they will enjoy, since many of them won’t be familiar with virtual reality gaming.
“We don’t just (say) ‘Here’s the money, thanks for the controller, good luck,’” Moritz said of his company’s philosophy. “I go through all the controls and everything with them… I have them pick a bunch of possibilities for games so that when they get in there, with the headset on and the timer is running, they’re getting that full experience.”
Moritz is a passionate VR gamer himself, and makes sure he fully understands all the games he provides for his customers before making them available for play. He loves the experience of playing these games and feeling the sense of immersion.
Above all, Moritz’s main concern lies with the enjoyment of the customer. He takes pride in his store’s ability to cater to all ages and skill levels — from a six-year-old boy playing a space shooter to a Russian couple in their 90s in a nature walk simulator.
“Their kid lives in California, and she has a VR at home,” Moritz said of the elderly couple. “They were never going to get to her place in California, and she wanted them to experience VR. So we put them in one, called Nature Treks. And you can travel around in it, and there’s all the animals that would be native.”
According to Moritz, much of his business comes from repeat customers. His favorite example is one family that was visiting the Dells on an eight-day vacation, and they came to his store six times.
Because of this, he doesn’t see much need to advertise his business. Situated right on Broadway, many of his customers are either repeats or curious passerby, and his business thrives on it.
“In the summer, it’s all foot traffic,” Moritz said. “In the offseason, yeah it’s slow, but we do different programs. We did a league, and stuff like that. But during the summer, you usually need reservations or there’s a wait time.”
According to Moritz’s wife, co-owner Tina, the business model also runs on creating an experience that stands out, and one that thrives on connection.
“The Dells is a very unique tourist environment,” she said. “A lot of it is just conversation, welcoming people as they step through the door.