Anyway you care to look at it, chips have played a big part in Larry Wilcox’s life.
First, of course, there was “CHiPs,” the popular TV show of the ’70s, in which Wilcox and co-star Erik Estrada hauled butt around Southern California on really cool motorcycles and rendered perps moot as threats to society.
More recently, Wilcox has seen the value of another brand of chips — the silicon kind. Some 3-1/2 years ago, Wilcox (who had helped found Media Corps, a specialist in digital compression of video, after “CHiPs” ran its course) met up with computer industry denizen Frank Westall, and the idea for SlamSite was born — basically, a themed location-based entertainment venue (LBE) with cool set dressings, the hottest computer games, and the means of allowing people to play with (or, preferably, against) each other.
“The thing that’s different about SlamSite,” says the affable, low-key Wilcox, “is that we’re keeping our options open. The other guys, GameWorks and DisneyQuest, are locked into the arcade thing. And that’s an expensive place to be. What we’re doing is staying with the cool atmosphere, but going with the latest computer-based games instead. That way you can switch (instantly) to the most popular titles around.”
SlamSite has seven outlets currently; its grandest yet, in L.A. suburb Puente Hills, opened in early December with a star-studded (well, star-flecked) gala.