By Lyonel Doherty

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If you like running around zapping people with lasers, you may want to venture into the “Woods” for some tactile adventuring this summer.

The Woods Laser Tag is coming to the Columbia Valley courtesy of owner and CEO Christie Cahill, a game lover whose inspiration mirrored that of George Carter III, the man who created the first arena laser tag system in 1982. Carter thought of the idea after watching the movie Star Wars in 1977.

“Thanks to advancements in technology and our use of AI (artificial intelligence), we are able to operate without the need for heavy vests that can hinder movement,” Cahill told the Pioneer.

The entrepreneur started her first job at Columbia Valley’s WannaPlay gaming store and went on to pursue a career in television production. Her passion for innovation led to The Woods Laser Tag and her desire to give people an immersive gaming experience.

The natural venue features a variety of terrain and obstacles with more than 60 game modes to choose from including team battles and capture the flag. These games are monitored by referees who provide supervision and guidance. 

The state-of-the-art technology includes special headbands and infrared-emitting light guns that are used to “tag” opponents in the field. 

Cahill said outdoor laser tag is a modern twist on the classic game.

“Our arena is set in a wooded area that provides safe terrain for players to navigate as well as natural cover for added camouflage,” she explained.

The most popular game mode sees two teams locked in combat. “As you experience the recoil and noise from your rifle you hear jets scream over and bombs detonating all around,” Cahill said. “The timer counts down as you’re on the verge of accomplishing your mission . . . you spot your enemy . . . what happens next is up to you.”

Cahill noted the global laser tag market is expected to reach $641.8 million by 2028. “It provides players with the perfect blend of technology, strategy, and nature.”

Cahill said safety is their top priority since they use FDA-certified Class 1 lasers. “We also have a kids mode that reduces sound effects for younger players.” Players must be at least eight years of age to participate.

Located within a 15-minute radius of downtown Invermere, The Woods Laser Tag will release more information this month. For more details, visit