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7:19 PM Wed, Sept. 19th

<I>His gamble is paying off</I><BR>Fain's Town Center project experiencing lively growth

"Augie's has had a positive effect by being a credible operator with a successful (restaurant) background," Fain said, referring to owner Augie Perry.

Perry, who has worked in the restaurant business for about 30 years, said he looked around for a location for a restaurant in Prescott but considered Prescott Valley "more favorable" because of lower rents and "the nature of what we are doing."

He said he considers Augie's Place a "destination" by itself, drawing about two-thirds of his customers from Prescott.

The owners of the other establishments said the location near a busy cinema, population growth in the Prescott Valley and other demographic trends prompted them to sign leases with Fain.

"We needed to open it up because we found in the town of Prescott Valley and surrounding areas there was not enough entertainment," said Corby Bradford, who co-owns Twisters with his wife, Kim. "We believe that this business being a family-friendly establishment would work well by the theater and also in the growing new center that is now becoming a downtown."

Bradford, who works in the business with his wife, daughters Amber and Meghan and mother-in-law Dee Kaus, said he offers a service to customers that also benefits the nearby restaurants and Harkins.

Parents who wish to eat out at a nearby restaurant, see a movie or both may leave children at Twisters at a cost of $5 an hour if the kids are 5 and older and attend school. Parents may leave children for a maximum of four hours.

The service does not apply on teen night, which takes place from 9:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays.

The children wear red wristbands at Twisters while unaccompanied by their parents. Kim Bradford said Twisters staff will call parents on their cell phones in the event of an emergency.

"We call it 'supervised recreation,'" Corby said.

The supervised recreation service goes over well with Augie's, Garcia's and Harkins.

"The children are entertained at a really fun place, and the parents are able to enjoy the night out," said Dave Jogerst, general manager at Harkins since it opened.

Harkins and the restaurants complement each other, Jogerst and the restaurant owners said.

"What I find is, probably on Saturdays and Sundays, (is that) about 40 percent of my customers are going to a movie or lunch and a movie," said Adam Garbinski, general partner at Garcia's. "I love being near Harkins. Harkins drives the traffic."

The feeling is mutual, according to Jogerst.

"We are busier (now)," he said. "The theater was already a destination, but these restaurants are already a destination now, and we are able to play off each other. … The quality of these restaurants is exciting."

Recreation will not stop with Harkins, Augie's Place, Garcia's and Long Wongs, according to Fain.

Fain, heir to a pioneering Prescott Valley family, said he expects to see a night club open within five years.

"I think demographically we can support those (kinds of businesses) today," he said. "What helps our area (now) is to have a theater and the restaurants around the theater that takes you to 10 o'clock and beyond."

Fain said he also wants to bring more retailers and office space for doctors, attorneys, certified public accountants and other professionals into the town center.

He said he has developed about 200 acres of the 700-acre town center site, which extends to the Fry's shopping center on the west, the Safeway shopping center on the east, Highway 69 to the south and the Prescott Valley Civic Center to the north. Other development taking place is the planned Yavapai County Regional Medical Center north of Safeway and Johnny Carino's restaurant, scheduled to open in late on Pav Way later this month.

Contact the reporter at khedler@prescottaz.com