By this time next year, Turlockers could potentially be welcoming a new entertainment center to town.
The Turlock Planning Commission voted to move forward with the Ten Pin Fun Center Thursday after granting a conditional use permit to developer Rod Scott, who said he hopes to open the entertainment center by October of next year.
“This is the second time seeing this through and I think the location is just perfect so I’m really happy,” said Commissioner Soraya Fregosi. “I think it’s really great for people coming on the freeway from all the surrounding communities, so I hope they will support this.”
One Turlocker in attendance during Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting was lifelong bowler Gary Hass, who came to the meeting to voice his utmost approval of the project and show off his many bowling awards, including two 300 Game rings, which he earned in 2009 and 2011, and an 800 Series ring from 2015.
“This is tremendous,” said Hass. “I go to Modesto now and I hate the drive there. Driving half hour to go bowling is terrible. Now, it’s 10 minutes and we’ll be there at the bowling alley.”
The 52,000 square foot family entertainment center, which will be located at 3700 Countryside Drive across from Lowe’s, is slated to include 34 bowling lanes, a 4,000 square foot laser tag room with attached staging and vesting rooms, an arcade with 75 games and a prize redemption center, a separate bar for bowlers and a sports bar and restaurant that will include billiards, shuffleboard, three outdoor bocce ball courts and an outdoor dining patio. The facility will also have seven banquet rooms that can host small birthday parties or large events.
The facility will operate seven days per week. The entertainment center will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. At peak times, the facility could attract up to 400 to 475 customers plus approximately 30 employees.
“We do have the money to build the project, so there is no question that it is going to be built,” said Scott. “We are there and we are ready to start as soon as we possibly can.”
Deputy Director Debbie Whitmore said that one concern the City initially had with the project was the number of parking spaces.
“We did quite a bit of research on these types of bowling alley-entertainment center combinations and found that typically they generate the need for about .6 parking spaces per 100 square feet of floor area,” Whitmore told Commissioners Thursday. “That would’ve put their parking demand around 312 parking spaces, so at 324 spaces we now believe they have adequately addressed the parking need for the project.”
Whitmore also said that because of new storm water regulations, the project is going to be the one of the first in the City to utilize area that is typically used for parking lot shade trees for retaining storm water on site instead.
“It is one of these projects where you can really kind of get a sense of how landscapes are becoming working landscapes,” said Whitmore.
Planning for the entertainment center begins just two years after dreams of a bowling alley across the street from Stanislaus State were crushed following a lack of financial backing for the similar project, which also included plans for a laser tag arena, arcade and sports bar. The last time Turlock was home to a bowling alley was in 1997 when The Gardens closed, and such entertainment in the area has been missed ever since.
“I think sometimes things happen for a reason,” said Commissioner Nick Hackler. “We have a great project and it’s just going to make our community better.”