Steel City Gamerz takes video games to a whole new levelPublished Feb 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm (Updated Feb 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm)
Brad Michaelson, Pam Michaelson and Sydney Michaelson, 5
Photo by Deana Carpenter
Children play video games in the Steel City Gamerz bus, which features five flats-screen televisions, five X-Box 360 systems, three Wii systems, two Wii U systems, a Playstation 3 and an X-Box One.
Courtesy Steel City Gamerz
With his heavy-duty pick-up truck towing a 32-foot trailer, it’s hard to miss Brad Michaelson while he’s driving down the streets of Pittsburgh. The trailer is even more conspicuous with its custom logos featuring characters from popular video games like Super Mario Brothers. Michaelson, along with his wife, Pam, are the owners of Steel City Gamerz – what he describes as a “video game theater on wheels.”
The Bethel Park couple has owned the custom-made gaming trailer since May 2013. When they brought it home from Pinehurst, N.C., Sydney, the Michaelson’s 5-year-old daughter, thought it was a gift just for her.
“She said, ‘Daddy, I love it! This is the best present ever,’” laughed Michaelson. While Sydney gets to play a lot of games, the trailer is a business for the Michaelsons, who are expecting their second child, a boy they are naming Tyler, in March.
Michaelson, who serves in the Air Force as a mechanic, said he was looking for something different.
“So far it’s been a huge hit,” he said.
The inside of the trailer is furnished with five flats-screen TVs, five X-Box 360 systems, three Wii systems, two Wii U systems, a Playstation 3 and an X-Box One. It also has stadium seating, so that several people can play at once.
About 25 to 30 kids can fit comfortably inside the trailer. Michaelson added that the trailer is great for the tween ages of 9 to 13. It is also fully heated and air conditioned and has multi-colored laser lights that can be turned on for a party.
Michaelson is able to bring the trailer to the party as long as there is room for him to park. He said he usually can park on the street with the door facing the parents’ house so the kids can easily get into the trailer.
“Parents think it’s awesome,” Michaelson said, adding that many parents love that the trailer comes to them and they don’t have 20 kids running around in their house.
So far, Steel City Gamerz has been doing mostly birthday parties for kids, but sometimes parents join in the fun. Michaelson said one time a dad had him set up a system for him and his friends to play on at the party. Kids of pretty much all ages can play, though, since the games he has are child-friendly.
Once the party is set up, Michaelson said he asks the kids how they’re doing. “If they don’t respond, I know they like it,” he said. Michaelson can link several of the gaming systems together, so that 16 kids can play the same game at one time.
In the future, Michaelson said he would like for Steel City Gamerz to eventually become a one-stop party center. He said he’d like to turn it into a place where folks can rent things for their parties, such as tables and tents and possibly incorporate laser tag into the business.
“It’s been way better than I thought,” Michaelson said. “It all starts with a vision. You’ve got to not be afraid to get out of that bubble.”
For more information, call 412-715-1709, or visit www.steelcitygamerz.com.