Heard on the Street — Jeff Kiger column sig

While business is on hold for the COVID-19 pandemic, one family-owned operation is still moving ahead with plans for a second Rochester location.

In 2014, the Glorvigens doubled the size of their 1963 Recreation Lanes bowling alley and transformed it into the Bowlocity family entertainment center.

While the sprawling bowling alley and arcade at 2810 N. Broadway is closed due the COVID-19 pandemic, Erin Glorvigen and his father, Gene Glorvigen, are hopeful for their plans for Bowlocity West.

In 2017, the family started working on the concept of Bowlocity West, a 37,000-square-foot complex to be built at 1955 Ashland Drive NW on six open acres on the southwest corner of the 19th Street and Ashland intersection. The goal was to get to work on it in 2020.

On March 11, the Glorvigens filed the latest modifications to the design with the city.

"We were on track to submit for a building permit in early May and possibly start site work by July," Erin Glorvigen said. "That was the trajectory. Now the timeline is a huge question mark."

When they can reopen the North Broadway location and re-hire their 50 employees is at the foremost of their minds now. Then there's the question of what economic fallout from the pandemic will be.

"We're still going to pursue going forward. The question is just when do we start this thing," he said. "We want to be smart about it... At whatever point where we're ready to go, we have all of the pieces in place."

Bowlocity West will have a little bigger footprint than its elder sibling, with more event space and a larger restaurant with a patio facing a man-made pond. It will also have bowling alleys and a large arcade. 

The Glorvigens are planning to add a new feature to the west complex — a high-ropes course with zip line as sort of a modern playground space. They are anticipating needing about a 100 employees to staff it.

"We've been embraced by Rochester," owner Gene Glorvigen said in 2017 of the project. "Now we're looking to the future of Rochester's growth …"

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