Bowling alleys see striking success since reopening post-COVID, growing demand in sport

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The sport of bowling is growing in popularity nationwide since bowling alleys have reopened.

Recently, national bowling alley chain, Bowlero debuted on Wall Street following a successful year financially. Bowlero also recently purchased the Professional Bowlers Association.

Here at home, locally owned bowling alleys like Pheasant Lanes in Bloomington are also seeing a business boom.

General Manager of Pheasant Lanes, David Bartlett, said league play and casual play have seen spikes within the last year.

“I think part of it is the fact they were all locked up and everything, [and] now they can come back out and be themselves again; get together with some groups, open it back up and just have a good time with friends and families,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said some of that is thanks in part to Bowlero’s success, but also in general to bowling’s ease of access. Almost anyone, at any age, can enjoy the family-friendly activity.

“We’ve had people that are in their 80s on oxygen bowling, just to come out with their families and everything in between there; the kids really like the bumpers, and now we have automatic bumper systems that go up and down so if they’re bowling with the adults, they can all do it on one lane, the bumpers go up and down on their own,” Bartlett said.

He said Pheasant Lanes has seen a high demand for parties this year, especially now that it’s the holiday season.

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