Starting a Bowling Alley – The Keys to Building an Exciting Bowling Experience

by | Dec 20, 2019 | Bowling Business | 126 comments

In the US, roughly 69 million people bowl at least once a year, making bowling the top participation sport in the United States. An over $10 billion industry, bowling has been and remains a popular activity for people of all ages. 

The greatest shift in the bowling community has been the decline of league play and the growing population of casual, entertainment bowlers. This shift has been well documented and the bowling alleys that are able to capitalize by offering an exciting bowling experience are the ones that are succeeding with this new type of bowler.

Whether you’re starting a bowling alley or operating an existing bowling business, your business model must utilize a more diversified offering that goes well beyond bowling and focuses on entertainment as a whole. For this reason, the products and equipment any new bowling alley invests in must have entertainment as the central focus. If you’re starting a bowling alley or entertainment business that features bowling, here is what you will need to look for.

Bowling Partner

While there are various product and equipment options to choose from, any new bowling business will need to have a trusted advisor to help them along the way. From offering equipment insight and knowledge, to helping you get a grasp on potential costs and financials, find a bowling partner that can guide you in the entire process.

Pinsetters

Arguably one of the most important choices any new bowling business will make, the pinsetter is the foundation to your bowling experience. Pinsetters need to be fast, efficient and reliable in order to deliver the most enjoyable bowling experience for your bowler. Especially for the casual bowler, pinsetters that don’t work as intended will damage the reputation of your alley. String pinsetters are becoming more and more popular because they have limited maintenance costs, they don’t require a technician to maintain, they don’t break as much and they offer faster pin-reset speeds. Again, like anything else, not all string pinsetters are the same and you’ll need to go with the most proven in the industry.

Scoring Systems

While the standard 10-frame game is still an extremely popular gameplay option, many scoring system developers offer a broad range of gameplay types. Offering your bowlers options when it comes to how they bowl makes each game more dynamic, interesting and unique. Your scoring system should be robust enough to provide these options while also delivering a simple to use scoring system interface.

Ball Returns

In the same way that pinsetter speed is important, so is the importance of the ball return speed. In our fast-paced world, everyone expects speed from tools and technology. When reviewing ball returns, make sure you’re looking for not only speed, but safety and reliability so you can deliver the best bowling experience possible.

Lanes

From an entertainment perspective, lanes offer some really exciting ways for bowling alleys to differentiate and create a unique environment. With glow in the dark lanes, design overlays and logo printing, there are a variety of customization opportunities for your alley. When looking for lanes, make sure your supplier offers you these options so you can create that one-of-a-kind experience.

Design

While the traditional bowler just wanted to bowl in a local alley with reliable lanes, today’s entertainment bowler is seeking a memorable experience that can be shared with friends and family. Your alley design and aesthetics are critical for creating an ambience that is unique to your business. The atmosphere you create is largely a function of the design choices you make. From seating and tables, to murals and lighting, your design choices are critical when building your bowling experience.

Conclusion

Building a bowling alley that excites and engages your bowlers doesn’t happen overnight. In addition to finding the best, entertainment-focused equipment, your bowling partner is critical. Ideally, you will be able to work with a provider that can not only advise, but also manufactures, maintains, installs and coaches you along the way. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.

126 Comments

  1. Louis Mumma

    How much would it cost to start a bowling alley from scratch. As far as equipment and putting down lanes.

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      Thanks for the question Louis. The costs will depend on the number of lanes you’re looking to pull together. We’ll send you an email with more info.

      Reply
      • Curtis Hyde

        I would also like to know more about this

        Reply
        • Funk Bowling

          No problem Curtis. We will reach out to discuss this more with you.

          Reply
          • Jasmine Graham

            I would also know how much it will cost

          • Jennifer

            I would like to know all information needed to start a business in bowling

          • Will

            What are the start up cost for bowling ally

          • jay roxas

            Good afternoon. Can you also send me info for like 10 lanes – from scratch? Ty.

          • Shanese Dortch

            Can you please send this information to me as well

          • Luis Miguel Gonzalez

            I would love to know the prize im callifornia thank u

          • Wayne Giles

            I would like to know the cost of building a bowling center of 40 laned. Wayne

          • Elijah Richardson

            Can I have more information about starting one up. The town I live in has really nothing to do, I want to bring entertainment and joy to my town.

          • william s powell

            Im needing information on start up with a bowling alley

          • Jory

            I’m interested in more info regarding the price of a new bowling alley

          • Donnell Hamilton

            Could you please send this information as well? I am looking to open with 20 lanes

        • Nicole Franzwa

          Could you please send this information my way as well. Thank you!!

          Reply
          • Kim Slaughter

            I would also like that same info. Thanks!

          • Maria

            I would like to know for a 10 lane bowling alley with some concessions. This business will also be from scratch, including the building. What it would cost this will be done in Mexico.

          • Megnote Meherka-walcott

            I would love to get estimates on start up cost for about 10 lanes from scratch.

          • Kerri

            I’m o retested in a 5-10 lane alley startup from scratch. Curious what it might cost

        • Chris

          I as well would like that information

          Reply
          • Israel B Harris

            Like to convert a old jewels food store.
            100 Lane cafe, bar, huge game room for kids and banquet room, kitchen facilities.

        • Tammie’ Morris

          Hi

          I want to know more about start up cost as well

          Reply
          • Kristi

            Can you please send me information on the cost to start a bowling alley?

          • Wendy wethington

            Please send me start up info as well thank you

          • Richard

            Coukd I get someone to reach out to me I am thinking a I t starting a bowl alley with 16 to 20 lanes with a game room n restaurant n bar

        • Eric Weiner

          I would like to know the basics of building from scratch as opposed to purchasing an existing alley. Build or renovate? Ideal size etc

          Reply
          • LT

            I am also interest in the start up cost. I would like to compare cost from scratch to renovating. Thank you

          • Syntia Jackson-Hunter

            I am looking for information on the start up cost for a bowling alley with 10 lanes

        • Saazberry

          How much wld it cost to start a bowl alley from scratch, with 6 lanes

          Reply
        • Christopher Randell

          I would like to know more, as well.

          Reply
        • Franceania

          Good morning, I would like information as far as starting a bowling alley from start.

          Reply
        • Gerald Seals

          I’m putting together a business plan to open a bowling alley with about 25-50 lanes so all the information you can provide would be greatly appreciated and helpful looking to know the cost and names of equipment

          Reply
        • Marianna

          Please email to me the start up cost of 15 lanes

          Reply
        • Lavar EPHFORM

          How much does it cost to put down some lanes and other equipment
          Start up 25 lanes boards and ball returns. Seating and scoring boards

          Reply
      • Teran

        Can you send me an email to please

        Reply
      • Jen

        How much will cost to start a 10 lane bowling alley

        Reply
        • Imtiaz syed

          How much will it cost to start a business from a scratch

          Reply
      • Charlene Carmichael

        Looking to open a bowling alley in my area. Need more Info on how to get started and how much is the start up cost

        Reply
      • Putu

        How Much will it cost to start a Bowling Alley in Africa, Liberia

        Reply
      • Shelly

        Please send me cost breakdown for start up as well. Thanks. Shelly

        Reply
      • Derrick

        Hello I would like to know more about, how much would it cost to do 6 to 7 lanes, including equipment cost.

        Reply
      • cody

        Interested in information on starting one from scratch.

        Reply
        • Noikil Freeman

          I would love to have this start up information as well, 50 to 60 lanes split to each side of the building with bar in the middle, arcade room, and pool room 4 tables, with a full service restaurant

          Reply
      • Tasha Twyner

        Send info on how to start a bowling alley,cost,and needs.

        Reply
      • ELF

        I want to know more about this. Can you send me more information

        Reply
      • LaDonna Michelle Gish Saulsberry

        Please send me information on building a bowling alley from the ground up.

        Reply
      • Surbrena Forbes-Pedican

        I would like to open up a bowling alley with restaurant, bar, gaming in the Caribbean. 4 lanes.

        Reply
      • Meesha

        Wanting to start a bowling alley from stretch how and where to start

        Reply
      • Dre

        I would like to know the same information. I wanted to start my own for years but due to covid I have stopped thinking about it.

        Reply
      • Terryl

        I’m considering buying a bowling alley that has not been in operation for 7 years, but is intact. With an extreme maintenance, are the pinsetters and ball returns viable still?🤞

        Reply
      • Wadia Daoud

        Hello. My name is Wadia Daoud, I’m looking to start a new bowling alley 40- 45 lanes with entertainment and food. My question is what size building do I need, also what budget should I have. Thank you

        Reply
      • Kim rodgers

        What would it cost for a 6 lane alley

        Reply
      • Johan fehr

        How much would it cost to set up 20 lanes from scratch

        Reply
      • Atzel

        How much will cost to start a 10 lane bowling alley?

        Reply
      • Juan Penn

        Can you also provide me with some start up information please?

        Reply
      • Blake Gulley

        Also would like information

        Reply
      • Gary

        How much would it cost to open a bowling alley/fun center

        Reply
      • Mark Terrell

        May I have the same email

        Reply
      • Nesha

        I would also love to know how much and more details of everhthing

        Reply
      • Laura

        I would like information on building a 10-20 lane alley in an unincorporated area.

        Reply
      • Veda Pearson

        I would like this info also for 10 lanes

        Reply
      • Ashley T

        I also would like more info about how much it will cost to open from scratch

        Reply
      • Nubia

        I would love to get estimates on start up cost for about 10 lanes from scratch.

        Reply
      • Ramon Ibrioni

        Who is the best designer to build a bowling alley with so many number of lanes and with entertainment in mind, like video games and pool tables and bar.

        Reply
      • Roy clarke

        I want to know more about seting up an 10 lane bowling alley, and the different options

        Reply
    • Jeremy Daniels

      What are the start up
      Costs for a entertaining bowling alley from scratch? Also, do you need different type of permits to have a bar inside?

      Reply
      • Funk Bowling

        Every bowling alley situation is different so it’s hard to say what those start up costs are until we get a sense of your specific project. We’ll send you an email to discuss this more.

        Reply
        • Sereniti

          I would also like an email with some information please.

          Reply
        • Bryan

          I would love information on a start up 24 lane center.

          Reply
      • Tim

        Same here …more information from the ground up .. thx.

        Reply
        • Alyssa Tupa

          I am interested in starting a bowling alley business in a rual community in Wyoming. Can you send some information on contractors to install equipment and where to purchase lanes, balls, and shoes. What would start up costs be for a 6 lane building from scratch.

          Reply
    • Jorge Aguilar

      I would like to get that information about starting from scratch on

      Reply
      • Francesca Patterson

        How much it cost open a bowling alley?

        Reply
    • Kadeeja Bowers

      Could you send me some info on the start up cost

      Reply
    • Ashley

      Could I also have info on the start up cost please and Thanks!

      Reply
    • Michelle Saulsberry

      Could you give me an idea of what this would cost ? From putting the building up to equipping it. We have the property.

      Reply
    • mykhal

      please send this information as well for about 4 lanes

      Reply
    • Dustin

      Interested in cost of starting from scratch, ground up facility, 10 lane and 20 lane estimates

      Reply
    • Ronald Wimber

      I need the cost of 16 lanes laid down in my building

      Reply
    • Charles Crawford

      I am interested in setting up a 16-24 lane operation. What can I expect to pay for a white box start.

      Reply
    • Tatiana Muse

      I would like too know the same

      Reply
    • Felipe Davila

      How much would it cost to start a bowling alley from scratch. As far as equipment and putting down lanes.

      Reply
    • Vanessa

      I’d like information on start up cost of a bowling alley with 10 to 15 lanes

      Reply
    • Cody

      I would like cost to please . And building sizes

      Reply
    • Chris Bell

      I live in a small town with nothing to do and want to bring entertainment, how much would it be to start a 10-12 lane from scratch

      Reply
    • Aron Brown

      Hello! Can you please send me information on starting a 10 lane bowling alley! Or info on startup costs !!

      Reply
    • Hassan

      Can I get any information on how to start it from the scratch ?

      Reply
    • Melody

      Information please

      Reply
  2. John Hartley

    Could you send me more info about what services you offer for starting a new alley?

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      Hi John. We will email you with more info. Thanks for reaching out!

      Reply
      • Jonathan

        I am also interested in starting a bowling alley in my town. Could you please send me a little information on what to expect financially?

        Reply
        • Keegan Gardiner

          I am also interested in the financial standpoint of starting a bowling alley.

          Reply
      • Richelle

        Hi there,

        Can you also send me information on start up costs for up to 8 lanes.

        Thank you

        Reply
    • Hofmann

      Können Sie mir Angebote für eine Modernisierung eines 12 Bahnen Bowlingcenters zukommen lassen? Danke und LG

      Reply
  3. Misty Hill

    I am interested in starting a bowling alley business in a rual community can you send some information on contractors to install equipment and renovate building and where to purchase lanes, balls, and shoes.

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      Thanks for the comment Misty! One of our bowling experts will be in touch with you to share more info.

      Reply
    • DARYL Oliver

      I’m interested as well, could you send me some info. Thanks

      Reply
      • Funk Bowling

        No problem Daryl. We will shoot you an email.

        Reply
    • Georgene Frances Dixon

      How much to start a bowling alley from scratch with 10 lanes?

      Reply
  4. TARA

    SO LATELY OUR TOWN HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT ON FORUMS ABOUT WHAT WE NEED IN OUR TOWN. ONE MAJOR THING IS EVERYONE SAYING A BOWLING ALLEY WHICH I THINK WOULD BE A GREAT IDEA. WE HAVE A VACANT GROCERY STORE WHICH WOULD BE THE PERFECT LOCATION. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK A START UP FROM SCRATCH WOULD BE FOR A 24-40 LANE FACILTY?

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      Good question Tara. Every project is different, but we will get in touch with you to share more info. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. Wade Gray

    I would like to know what it cost for a start up bowling alley minimum 30 lanes. I am in a town where there is already a bowling alley and they’re used to be a second one but it closedown. The one that’s here is so busy you can never get in there to bowl. Any information would be helpful thank you

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      Thanks for reaching out Wade. We’ll connect with you to learn more and offer some insight on this.

      Reply
  6. Keely

    I need info on start-up, please.

    Reply
    • Funk Bowling

      We’ll connect with you via email. Thanks for reaching out!

      Reply
  7. Tracy Baker jr

    I would like to some info about starting a bowling alley

    Reply
  8. Nephritia harvey

    Hey. I would also like to kno what would be the starting price of starting a bowling alley and entertainment center. Please email me with information as well

    Reply
  9. Karessa

    I would also like to know how much it will cost to start from scratch with about 6 lanes? I’m from the Caribbean and I would love to start one back home.

    Reply
  10. Artak

    Hey. I would like to have that information too, about costs of opening a bowling business.

    Reply
  11. Keely

    I need information to start up a bowling alley from scratch! 40 lanes! Also want to know about permits for the bar.

    Reply
  12. Jessica Anderson

    Could you send me some info on the start up cost. We live in a small town with nothing to do. Need some help

    Reply
  13. Funk Bowling

    If you have any questions about starting a bowling alley, please contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can view our contact info here: https://www.funkbowling.com/contact/

    Reply
  14. Leo ueda

    Can you email me info about bowling business to start from scratch

    Reply
    • Randy williams

      I would like information and pricing. Looking to start up a bowling alley, 12/14 lanes.

      Reply
  15. Joy

    Could you please send me an info of starting from the scratch and the cost. Thank you!

    Reply
  16. LT

    I am also interested in the start up cost.

    Reply
  17. Whitney Russell

    Hello,

    How much would the start up cost to open a 10 lane bowling alley.

    Reply
  18. Carl edwards

    Looking to open a bowling ally need to know what licenses are needed and what type of business structure is needed, along with equipment and cost

    Reply
    • Dorothy Little

      Looking to reopen a 40 lane bowling ally need to know what licenses are are needed along with equipment and cost

      Reply
  19. Cory campbell

    Hi, I would also to know how much a 10 lane alley would cost from scratch

    Reply
  20. Robert wilkinson

    As of others I would like to know too that I want to 50 lane in with many amenities would there be any suggestions for like investors.

    Reply
  21. Harneet

    Good day
    How are you
    Just curious what’s gona be the starting cost for 10-15 lanes, including a bar
    Please let me know

    Reply
  22. Mouna Lakis

    Good afternoon, as others, I will like to know starting cost for 10 -15 lanes along with with bar or food court.

    Reply
  23. John

    I am very curious for this information.

    Reply

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