Twin Peaks to debut rock-climbing wall in Las Vegas restaurant

Chief executive Randy Dewitt gives NRN the details about what will be the chain's largest location to date

Twin Peaks Restaurants plans to open a corporate-owned store in Las Vegas this December that will feature a three-story rock-climbing wall and be the chain’s largest store to date.

The mountain-themed restaurant chain earlier this month opened a two-story, 12,000-square-foot franchised unit in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, said Randy Dewitt, chief executive of Addison, Texas-based parent Front Burner Restaurants. The Atlanta store is the 24th in the chain.

“We would like to get five more open by the end of the year,” Dewitt said in a phone interview Wednesday. “We expect to open Vegas on the Strip on Dec. 5.”

Typical Twin Peaks stores are about 7,000 square feet and seat 75 to 80 guests, Dewitt said. “If you’re on the Strip in Vegas, you have got to go big,” he said.

The Las Vegas store will be about 14,200 square feet and seat more than 380 people. The company said foot traffic around the restaurant is 70,000 to 75,000 people a day.

Dewitt gave Nation's Restaurant News the details about the new Las Vegas unit, including how the rock-climbing wall will change operations for that location.

Where in Las Vegas will the new restaurant be located?

It’s the northeast corner of Harmon and the Strip, directly across the street from the Cosmopolitan and right in front of the mall that’s part of Planet Hollywood.

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Tell us more about the climbing wall.

It’s a two-story restaurant, but each floor level is 20 feet high. So that’s how we were able get mezzanines in there. There will be three levels for seating and a fourth level for storage. Penetrating through the space is a big open area where we’re cutting out some of the floor and doing a rock-climbing wall like in the rock-climb gymnasiums that are really popular now with the younger, athletic folks. For us, it’s just part of the show in keeping with the theme.

Will including the rock-climbing wall change operations?

We’re going to operate quite of bit differently because of the rock-climbing wall. We’re designing it so it looks like there are two side-by-side mountain peaks that go all the way up, 39 feet high.

We’ll operate what we’re calling the “Twin Peaks Challenge.” Friends can get competitive, so we’re hoping people will challenge each other to race. We’re putting buzzers at the tops of the peaks. The first climber to reach the top hits the buzzer and it will light up and declare the winner. There will be some grand prize that probably will include a T-shirt and a pitcher of beer.

What are similarities between the Atlanta store and the one planned in Las Vegas?

The Buckhead restaurant is almost 12,000 square feet. That one is nipping at the heels of this one in Vegas. The two have a lot of similarities. Both are two stories and the storefront opens up with glass door panels.

Do all the units have the multifunctional “Man Cave” that seats groups for private parties?

No. That’s just something we try to do when we have excess space; we try to do something creative with it. But they are very popular.

Have you planned any other changes?

We’re going to have to amp up the merchandise program. We’ve always been successful at selling merchandise, but not in the high numbers that you would expect in Las Vegas. Right now, we’re working on all kinds of new merchandise ideas.

How will your merchandising area change?

Sometimes it’s a just a wall and a cabinet [in existing stores], but in Las Vegas the whole entrance area will be set up as retail store as you walk through to get to the host area. It’s not quite on the level of what you’d see at a Rainforest Café or a Hard Rock Café, but we’re going to pick up our game quite a bit on the merchandise.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] [7].
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