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Facility Planning Advice: Opening a Bowling Alley


What Kind of Facility Planning Goes Into Opening a Bowling Alley

There’s nothing like the smells and sounds of a bowling alley. Hearing those frames reset, the balls hitting the pins, the smell of the hardwood. For many this paints a nostalgic picture, but the bowling industry has declined a bit since it’s peak in the 1950s.
Don’t let this deter you from your dreams of opening a bowling alley. In this current business climate, with the right plan and staying with current trends, your alley can still be very successful. Sports Facilities Advisory specializes in facility planning for many different types of sports complexes. We can make sure you have the tools you need to get your bowling alley going.

Set Yourself Apart

The first step to facility planning is deciding what kind of facility you want to be. Opening a straight up bowling alley is more difficult due to the saturated market. If you’re opening a bowling alley, it’s a good idea to offer additional services in order to stand out from competitors. Including things such as arcade games, food services, a jukebox, and even a bar can give your alley an edge. If you have a bar in your bowling alley, you’ll need to obtain a liquor license. This can be more than worth it in the long run since it can potentially drive up revenues by a significant margin.

Be Prepared

There are many factors that go into facility planning. Sometimes new developers have no idea what they are getting into. There are a few big factors that you absolutely must be considering when you are in the facility planning stage of opening your alley.

Facility Location

Not only do you need to find a building to house your new bowling alley, you need to find one with a good location. If you decide to build it from the ground-up, then picking an optimum location will be easier, but the cost of building is more expensive than getting a previously built property. If you buy a previously built property you need to make sure it’s in a part of town that draws customers. These are just a few things you need to be thinking about when choosing your location.


How likely is a bowling alley to be successful in your town or city? What extra activities would you need to implement if the demand for bowling alone isn’t great enough? These are the type of questions you need to be asking yourself in the facility planning stage. Simply put, if opening a bowling alley isn’t feasible, you might want to reconsider taking further action.

Staffing, Equipment, and Concessions

Based on your feasibility and demand analysis, you need to decide what kind of staffing and supplies you’ll need upon opening. Without a great staff trained and in place on opening day, you’ll have a bad reputation right off the bat. Without the proper amount of concessions and equipment, you’ll have both dissatisfied customers and profits leaving quickly.

Sports Facilities Advisory Can Help You

The above factors are only a taste of what the facility planning stage entails. This information may seem overwhelming, and it can be, but Sports Facilities Advisory is here to help. We have proven time and time again that we know the best routes to take in facility planning. To ensure success, contact us today with your plans.

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