Bowlocity owners plan second frame on west side
Can the Glorvigen family roll a second strike?
In 2014, the Glorvigens doubled the size of their 1963 Recreation Lanes bowling alley and transformed it into the Bowlocity family entertainment center. The center is regularly packed with party-goers, kids groups, bowlers and other fun-seekers. It employs more than 40 workers.
Now they are working on plans to build another Bowlocity at the northwest edge of Rochester on six open acres at 19th Street and Ashland Drive. They plan to build on the southwest corner of the 19th Street and Ashland intersection, across 19th Street from Prairie Walls Climbing Gym.
"We've been embraced by Rochester," owner Gene Glorvigen said of his gamble on investing in his neon-lit center at 2810 N Broadway Ave. "Now we're looking to the future of Rochester's growth … We'd like to build another Bowlocity, a little bigger and maybe a step up."
He purchased the undeveloped land beyond the Cinemagic movie theater as a start. Glorvigen and his son, Erin Glorvigen, now are mapping out their strategy.
"It appeared to be where we wanted to be, with Cinemagic, nice restaurants, hotels and a chance to reach people in Byron," Gene Glorvigen said of the off-the-beaten track location.
In January, they started talking to Brian W. Houwman Architects and Rochester's Benike Construction, the team that drove the original Bowlocity project. So far, they've sketched out the basic size and shape for the proposed facility.
"We're just starting to the construction numbers now. We're thinking it'll be 37,000 or 38,000 square feet, a little bigger than the 34,000 square feet we have now," Gene Glorvigen estimated.
The early plan is to create a venue similar to Bowlocity, with 22 lanes of bowling, laser tag and an arcade. However, the Glorvigens would like to expand the banquet area and sports bar areas.
"We're getting a lot of wedding rehearsal dinners, almost every week. That was a surprise for us. We'd like more space for that," he said.
They also hope to add a patio, which would face a small pond behind where they plan to build. In addition to the entertainments already featured at Bowlocity, the plan is to install a "high ropes course," an active, high-altitude playground for harnessed people to enjoy.
The ball has started rolling, but don't expect to visit the west Bowlocity very soon.
A lot of things need to happen yet. First, the land needs to be cleaned and prepared. Glorvigen hopes to get that accomplished, along with lining up the financing and city permitting, by the end of this year. About a year of construction would follow.
"In our true dream of dreams, we'd like to open in 2020. We think that's a realistic goal, but who knows," he said.
Meetings with city planners have gone well so far. Glorvigen says they were excited about a project that was "something more than just another hotel."