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Making a game of retirement Allison K. Sampité | Sat, Jul 07 2012 12:00 PM

When east Chula Vista resident Regina Lancaster retired nearly three years ago, she found retirement ultimately wasn't for her.

After years catering aboard yachts it was only natural she find another adventure.

“I love building something and making something happen,” she said.

Lancaster first heard of the company GameTruck, while reading an article in the newspaper one morning in May 2009.

GameTruck is dubbed the ultimate video game party because they come to you.

“I had never heard of a game truck,” Lancaster recalled. “I thought, someone’s really come up with a great idea.”

Lancaster immediately sent her three adult children emails with a link to the company’s website. Along with her husband, youngest daughter Mary and her spouse who lived in Vegas at the time, they applied to become franchise owners.

Today, Lancaster is 25 percent franchise owner of the South San Diego GameTruck and runs the business out of her home.

“It’s really a family affair,” she said.

They threw their first party in August 2009.

“In the beginning I wondered myself, ‘how much fun is it to play these video games?’” … I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It’s something fun for the whole family.”

Lancaster said the investment totaled between $150,000 and $170,000 including franchise fees, a fully loaded trailer and included the decision on territories.

GameTruck South San Diego covers Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach, Coronado and San Ysidro and a few other areas.

“For me, there was never any doubt to open one here (in Chula Vista),” Lancaster said. “It was really an opportunity to do something fun and it gave some of my family an opportunity to come back to Chula Vista.”

Each GameTruck theater carries four, 55-inch flat screen plasma TVs, a library of 80-plus games with varied ratings with multiplayer games for X-Box 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii and a climate controlled gaming lounge that can accommodate 20 players.

Although Lancaster said she’s often booked on weekends for parties, she also holds charity events with organizations in the city, including the Chula Vista Police Department and South Bay Family YMCA.

Chula Vista Police Officer Leo Banales said GameTruck has donated its services twice for the department’s annual National Night Out, opening up the truck for whoever wants to check it out.

“It helps us out in this tight economy,” Banales said. “It gives something for parents with young kids an option and it gives the GameTruck proprietors and chance to pitch in and help us out.”

South Bay Family YMCA marketing, business and community relations’ director Rebecca Kelley, has worked with Game Truck for their ‘healthy kids day’ event, which helps families build healthier lifestyles through activities and shared experiences.

Kelley said Game Truck gives back to the community.

“They donate their time and game trucks for our events as well as an additional package for a (raffle) prize,” Kelley said. “The kids have had a great time. When it comes to a for profit business I think they work very well with community organizations and the kids that we serve.”

Lancaster also said she holds events for the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce and Fourth of July Naval big bay event.

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