Extremes opens doors to parents

June 24, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The doors to Extremes, a popular teen nightspot, will be open to an older crowd on Thursday night.

Club owner Mark Hoffman is inviting parents, local government officials, police and other interested parties to an informal open house at the club on East Main Street on Thursday from 7 p.m. until closing at midnight.

The guests will be encouraged to check out the club, ask questions and participate in a game or two of pool while they are there.


"We're just trying to get parents in here," Hoffman said. "We're so frustrated with the constant criticism."

The open house is an effort by Hoffman and his employees to quell rumors that the club is a hangout for troublemakers where teens do drugs and drink alcohol, Hoffman said.

"People hear the worst rumors. This is a clean environment. If the kids are here, they're not drinking, doing drugs or having sex," Hoffman said, pointing to a group of teens gathered around a pool table.

Hoffman also wants to give parents a chance to get more involved with their children.

"The problem these days is that parents don't know what goes on in their kids' lives," he said.

Hoffman blames the rumors on lack of knowledge and understanding of what it takes to run a teen club.

"We deal with problems other businesses don't deal with," he said, adding that teens often come to him or his employees to talk about personal problems.

Since it opened last September, Hoffman estimates 60,000 teens from in and around the Tri-State area have visited the club. In that same time, only about a dozen parents have checked the establishment out, he said.

"I've offered numerous times to have parents stop in and see it for themselves," Hoffman said. "Our biggest critics are the ones who've never been here. We're giving them the opportunity."

A near riot among teens and local police soon after Extremes opened last September set the stage for ongoing complaints and objections from the public.

Since then, several fights and incidents of vandalism have been reported. Last month, gunshots were reportedly fired from a car and several teens were taken to the hospital to treat reactions to pepper spray after a series of fights broke out inside the club.

But considering the crowds, Hoffman said the club's record is good.

"If you're a parent you're better off having your kid in here than out on the street," he said.

Police have stepped up patrols outside of the club when it closes and they're called in any time there's a physical assault, Hoffman said.

Before any teen can enter the club on dance nights, they must show valid identification and pass through a metal detector. They also are checked for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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