Food, games to highlight Crimson Commons opening today

Free food, billiards and a three-piece jazz combo await students in the Crimson Commons today as Union officials celebrate the new lounge area’s grand opening.

Students can also go bowling for $1 a game, or watch renowned billiards trick-shot artist Dr. Cue, who uses comedy along with his shots.

Frank Chacon, assistant Union director, said the administration has received “tremendous feedback” regarding the Union’s new look.

“People are saying how vibrant the space is,” he said, adding that the lounge will look even better once the furniture arrives on Jan. 25.

Chacon also said the administration plans to add capabilities for Local Area Network gaming within the next month.

“This place looks modern now,” said Natalie Lindsey, who has worked behind the Union’s candy counter for a year and a half.

Sophomore Dallin Starr said he likes the new space.

“It used to be this little room with eight pool tables…Now you have room to walk around and talk. It feels more like a college environment,” he said.

Tobbie Sanchez, a junior nursing student, echoed Starr’s opinion.

“It looks like a nice open place to hang out and relax,” she said. “It’s really bright, [which] creates a good feeling about it.”

Lindsey said Sanchez and Starr’s reactions are typical of the response she’s seen.

“So far, people have given really positive feedback, so hopefully it raises our business,” she said.

Chacon said that while the Union administration has yet to conduct an extensive quantitative study, Crimson Commons’ new design has spiked some business, such as an increase in billiards usage.

However, with the enthusiastic reactions have also come some disgruntled ones.

Lindsey said she has received some complaints about the raised candy and bowling prices.

She said the counter was forced to raise its candy prices by a nickel so the counter and the nearby Chartwell’s store would not have to compete over customers.

She added that the price for shoe rentals went up by a quarter, as did the cost for a game after 5 p.m.

“We’re still cheaper than Pool Hall Junkies,” she said. “$1.50 for bowling? It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Lindsey also said she wasn’t surprised that the prices went up.

“We completely gutted the inside. We have to pay for it somehow. But if you pay more, you can expect more,” she said.

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