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March 8, 2024
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 min read

Bringing Youth Esports to the Heart of Long Island

David and Leslie Glick are excited to help kids through their new entrepreneurial journey as the owners of Valhallan West Hills, NY.

Bringing Youth Esports to the Heart of Long Island

Meet the Owners of Valhallan West Hills

David and Leslie Glick are the Long Island power couple who are blending entrepreneurship, education, and esports. With decades of experience and a love for innovation, they're diving into their latest venture, recently opening Valhallan West Hills, NY. From their roots as 80s gamers to their success in business and teaching, discover what motivates them and why they're excited to join the Valhallan family.

Q: What motivates you? What values or philosophies define you and the work that you do?

A: Well for starters, I don’t mind admitting that I’m motivated by money. We have plans for retirement and how we’d like to spend those years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be cheap. I’m also highly motivated to continue my career path of being self-employed. I take great pride in knowing that I’ve been able to afford a comfortable lifestyle through entities of my own creation.

Q: Do you have any history with esports, gaming, or entrepreneurship?  

A: My wife and I are both 80s kids who grew up playing the classics on Atari 2600 such as Breakout and Pitfall, in addition to logging many hours at the local mall arcade playing Galaga, Ms. Pacman, etc. While Leslie’s gaming days stopped then,

I moved onto a few other gaming consoles – ColecoVision, Nintendo 64, and Sega Genesis in college which was the last time I actively gamed. In addition, as a kid I had a Commodore 64 computer that was used primarily to play text-based adventure games like Zork. We have both been introduced to gaming once again through our daughter who is very into Minecraft and Animal Crossing.  

As for entrepreneurship, I’ve been self-employed over the last two decades as the head of two companies that I was the principal owner and founder for – Pioneer Conferencing LLC and Netlink Data Solutions LLC.  

"I was pulled in by Valhallan due to the innovative nature of the concept and realizing the void in my local marketplace that it would fill."

Q: How did you find out about Valhallan?

A: Last October, I had to shut down one of my companies after almost 18 years of operation. Rather than dwell on the situation, I urgently got to work and started researching new business ideas to find my next venture.

Amid looking over hundreds and possibly thousands of franchise ideas, I googled “virtual reality franchises” to see if there was anything new and innovative in this area. While nothing was intriguing in that realm, this search brought me to Valhallan and I was taken in by concept immediately, and within a couple weeks was focusing all of my efforts on becoming a franchisee.

Q: What made you decide to open a Valhallan franchise?

A: I was pulled in by Valhallan due to the innovative nature of the concept and realizing the void in my local marketplace that it would fill. In my area of New York, every single high school and college has a competitive esports team, whether it be a club team or actual varsity sport. But I saw nothing organized for the 7-17 year-olds that we seek to reach (essentially creating a “Little League” for esports) and saw it as a great opportunity.

This was further supported when I ran some conservative financial projections for what an individual Valhallan arena could generate, and turned my initial curiosity into something that I knew I needed to be a part of.

Q: What do you expect will be the most challenging aspects of owning and operating a Valhallan arena?

A: While I’ve started multiple companies on my own and have a couple decades of experience, I’ve started them all out of my home and they were all solo projects. I’ve never leased commercial real estate and have never had to hire employees, so those are new aspects I’m inexperienced with and for my specific situation, see as potential challenges.

With that, I do often remind myself that there are millions of people who do this every day, and the majority are no more competent than Leslie and me.  

"I truly believe that in 5 years there will be Valhallan all over the country and the brand will be known to all."

Q: What are you most excited about as a Valhallan franchise owner?

A: I love that we’re joining Valhallan in these very early stages of growth. I truly believe that in 5 years there will be Valhallan all over the country and the brand will be known to all. To have it validated through the marketplace, see it go from vision to reality, and to know that I was a part of that would be tremendously satisfying.

A Glimpse into the Future  

Valhallan West Hills is already making a positive impact on young people and the community through gaming. Through tournaments, coaching, and inclusive events, the arena is helping kids find community, achieve growth, and build confidence while improving their skills in the games they love.

Valhallan West Hills is now enrolling – learn more here. Franchise ownership information is available here.

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