For years, Turlockers have hoped for a bowling alley to roll back into the city. After endless rumors and failed attempts at building an entertainment center for residents, plans have finally been put into motion to bring not only bowling, but other activities as well, into Turlock.
The new family entertainment center will be located at 3700 Countryside Drive across from Lowe’s and is being developed by Rod Scott, who applied for city permits to construct the center on July 5.
The 52,000 square foot family entertainment center 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, shuffle board, 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.
“There really is nothing like this in the area,” said Scott, pointing out facilities in Oakland and Beaverton as the closest locations with similar features.
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 the new facility is going to fill a void for an entertainment venue,” said Director of Development Services Mike Pitcock. “It will give children and adults something fun to do.”
The family entertainment center is still going through the city planning process, which will include a public hearing before the Planning Commission where community members can voice their opinions on the location of the proposed project – something that Deputy Director of Development Services Debbie Whitmore doesn’t see causing a problem.
“In our evaluation of the location, it is a very good spot,” said Whitmore. “It’s going to compliment Monte Vista Crossings very well.”
The allotted 5.2 acres that the center will be built on is far away from any residential structures, meaning that traffic and noise should not be an issue for Turlock residents.
The public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6, and soon after that Scott expects to break ground on the new development with a tentative completion date set for July 2017. Although plans for such a center have fallen through before, Mayor Gary Soiseth has faith that Scott will bring the city’s dreams to life.
“It's an exciting thought to have a bowling alley back in Turlock after nearly two decades," said Soiseth. "The proposal is well thought out and the investors have done a lot of homework to make sure it's a success.
"Staff and I met with Rod Scott at the beginning of the year to discuss his plans, and he seems to be making progress toward breaking ground. As with all new development in Turlock, our City Hall staff will do everything possible to make Mr. Scott's vision a reality."