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Watchung entrepreneur ready to deliver party fun to the door with Games2U

April 10, 2010 by BY LAURIE LEVOY • STAFF WRITER

Picture of the side of a Games2U Party Van

Michael Greenstein, new franchise owner of Watchung-based Games2Um brings the party to you. Greenstein is the first in New Jersey to offer Games2U technology, all packed into a van. He is pictured with one of the Giant Hamster Ball inflatables suitable for open space fun.

WATCHUNG — As the owner of New Jersey's sole (for now) Games2U franchise — best described as a mobile video game and laser tag emporium delivered to the door via a customized Mercedes van — Michael Greenstein believes the era of pizza, bowling, magician, clown and trampoline-like, castle-inflatable parties is over.

"The host of the party doesn't have to go anywhere to throw a party, but the party's not in the home. And the host doesn't have to clean up afterwards," Greenstein explained.

A Greenstein-supervised party package can be delivered anywhere in Central Jersey and the greater metropolitan area.

The van's interior can accommodate 12 players using video gaming equipment.

"Each of our three XBox 360 digital stations has places for four players. And we can network them together for tournament play on a giant screen," said Greenstein.

The exterior of the van provides additional screens for side-by-side sessions of Wii's Guitar Hero.

Should the party destination offer an open area, the van is equipped for games of laser tag and Giant Hamster Ball, best described as a clear, puffy inflatable for the human "hamster" to enter and propel hither and yon with his body.

Greenstein, 43, recently launched Games2U. In his first month of operation, he presided over parties at nonprofits, sports events and even a fire department.

Games2U was established in 2007 in Austin, Texas, by the Pikoff brothers, David and Stuart.

Greenstein started his franchise during a period of personal stress.

"I was laid off in the summer (2009). I was a technology manager," said Greenstein, who still is looking to return to his career field.

But for now, The Great Recession will continue to push Greenstein to think outside the box.

"I worked with a franchise consultant. I was looking for a business where I could be semi-absent from the day-to-day operations. I wanted something not retail-located and something not subject to economic ups and downs," said Greenstein.

He traveled to Texas to look over Games2U's home base. He plans to return there for specialized training.

Although Games2U's target audience is boys 8 to 12, Greenstein said his fun van already is booked for corporate team-building events, college orientations and the birthday circuit.

"People have parties to celebrate birthdays and other events, regardless of the economy," he said.