BOWL ON: The Bowlin’ Alley sets opening date

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2023

The Bowlin’ Alley, formerly Valley Bowl, will officially open with a new arcade game room on July 6. 

The bowling alley was recently purchased by Carmen and Jason Turnham, owners of the Skatin’ Rink in Valley. Brothers Harry and James Caldwell had owned the bowling alley for the last 18 years.

“That was one of our goals with the Skatin’ Rink is to get the kids back together, like we used to be when we were growing up,” Carmen Turnham said. “So this is an area for people of all ages. Anybody can bowl. Not everybody can skate, but everybody can bowl.” 

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In the short term, the couple plans to continue working on installing new digital scorekeepers for each lane. For now, Carmen said there is an app available that guests can use to help with manual scorekeeping.

“I think it’s gonna give the kids in the area a good playing place to come and have fun,” Harry Caldwell said. 

The new owners will also be creating a small museum in the front of the building to display old newspapers and antique items from the bowling alley’s history, including a leather ball holder that was made in the 1910-1920s.

Another new feature that the new owners plan to introduce is two rentable birthday party rooms. 

However, Carmen said she can assure the community that the snack bar with the famous cheeseburger will not be going anywhere. 

Last week, the owners launched an Adopt-A-Lane program, in which companies can sponsor a lane for $400 and receive a year of advertising in the bowling alley. 

“Once we reach 24 sponsors, then the money’s going to go towards a bowling ramp for children,” Carmen Turnham said.

Those who wish to contribute as a sponsor can reach out to thebowlinalley@gmail.com.

“That’s a great opportunity for the local community businesses to contribute to the restoration and get a whole year of advertisement,” Carmen said. 

One new rule for The Bowlin’ Alley is that guests ages 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a guardian. 

The new owners are natives of Valley who remember going to Valley Bowl as teenagers. They hope to create a safe, fun environment for the next generation to enjoy. 

“The majority of the Valley has moments like this,” Carmen said. “For me personally it’s keeping those memories alive and I hope to create more memories for children and their parents.”

Carmen and Jason said they are grateful for the help that Harry and James Caldwell have given throughout the process of the purchase and renovation. 

“We still have a long way to go but they’ve been huge to us,” Carmen said. “Jason and I are both very thankful for that.”

Likewise, the brothers are happy to see what the future holds for The Bowlin’ Alley as it transitions into new ownership.

“I feel good about it. We feel confident that they’re going to run a nice family business here. That’s what we want to do, keep the tradition going,” James Caldwell said.