Play N Trade: A haven for gamers
Alex Gause's first gaming console was an Atari 2600. From that first interaction he was hooked and 20-odd years later he still enjoys gaming.
"I'm a gamer," Gause said.
Gause is also a natural born salesman. He enjoys selling things and making customers happy.
So it's natural he would want to mix his two loves to make a living. He's been doing it for years.
But after years of working for corporate-owned shops like EB Games and Game Stop Gause became frustrated. He tried to work at Radio Shack but that turned out to be more of the same. So he decided it was time to take fate into his own hands and start his own video game shop.
On Thursday Gause opened Play N Trade Video Games in Rosemount. The clean, well organized store is a gamer's paradise featuring all the things that a gamer like Gause would want to see.
"There's no other store in the state like this," said Gause.
Featuring the hottest games and consoles, Play N Trade offers a wide range of products and services. Play N Trade is an individually owned and operated franchise. The store sells new and used games, will buy or trade games and will let customers try a game before purchase. Knowing that oldies are goodies, Gause said they keep a good stock of retro games available.
Additionally the store offers disc and minor console repair. Gause spent a good chunk of change on a disc repairing machine that will take a scratched up disc and make it pretty much like new again. It can't fix a disc a dog gnawed on but it can repair most scratches.
To connect with customers the store will offer some other amenities as well. Gause said they will regularly hold tournaments starting right away on Jan. 17. Play N Trade will hold a local Call of Duty 4 tournament. The shop will provide the gaming systems to play on and will give away prizes.
The shop will also host events for local groups. A group of National Guard soldiers will conduct a team-building exercise at the store later this month.
Gause said he would be willing to do other special events like that and also will host birthday parties at the shop.
"Good business. That's what we're interested in and we will do what the customers want us to do," said Gause.
The store itself is clean and orderly, something you don't get at all gaming stores. Gause said keeping the store neat is a priority for him and his staff.
While some will accuse Gause of just selling games, he would argue that he sells entertainment and he takes that job seriously. He wants his customers to come in and enjoy his store, not just buy games.
"I want lifelong customers," said Gause.
A similar philosophy is why Gause hired store manager, Donovan Ewert. Gause said Ewert has also worked in the gaming industry for years and comes to the store with a good background.
Opening Play N Trade in Rosemount was no fluke. Gause spent more than a year scouting locations for the store. He nearly chose to open in Plymouth but chose Rosemount after a bad experience with a developer. Gause said he is excited to serve Rosemount because it is an underserved community. He hopes people from surrounding communities will flock to the store as well.
Currently living in Bloomington, Gause said he hopes to move his family to the area sometime in the future. For now he enjoys his fairly quick commute watching traffic slowly go the other way.
Play N Trade Video Games is located at 15071 Crestone Ave. next door to Subway. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
For more information visit www.playntrade.com/rosemount or call 651-344-PLAY.