Reed Travel Features
NEW YORK -- Hang gliding among the skyscrapers of Manhattan is
the latest way for tourists to see the Big Apple -- virtually
speaking, of course.
Flying over, around and sometimes into the city's landmarks is
just one of the virtual-reality experiences to be had at XS New
York, a "cybertainment" center officially opening March 20 in Times
In addition to hang gliding, XS features skiing in the Alps,
motorbike racing, golfing and flying a fighter jet.
According to Eric Cohen, director of marketing, XS New York
promises to be "the Hard Rock Cafe of cybertainment."
A hundred television screens display video imagery throughout
the three-story complex, and a "cyber jock" spins music and hosts
competitions in the video arcade.
XS also houses a 5,000-square-foot laser-tag arena where players
suit up and pursue one another in an "urban assault
"The laser tag here is so advanced, the New York City Police
Department will be using it as part of its officer training," Cohen
The QVC cable show Extreme Shopping also will use XS as a home
base for airings starting this spring.
Each week, the center will host theme nights featuring disco,
trivia and Broadway. Birthday parties will be available to clients
On Broadway theme nights, celebrities from current shows will
sign autographs and give out prizes.
In addition to various entertainment features, birthday-party
packages at the center include favors; hot dogs or pizza; a
souvenir T-shirt; a birthday cake; unlimited fountain beverages,
and a party host.
Prices range from $375 to $550 for a party of 15.
Hours are 10 a.m. to midnight, Sundays through Thursdays, and
from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Admission to XS is free. Game prices range from $1 to $6.
Internet access costs $12 per hour.
Group discounts are available.
For more information or to make group bookings, call (212)
564-1855 or (888) XS-2-PLAY.
Another XS center is slated to open in Chicago this summer.