A bowling alley in downtown Salina, scheduled to open this summer, will feature 28 bowling lanes, laser tag, virtual reality games, an arcade and a sports grill. The Alley is one of several businesses and organizations, including Old Chicago, Homewood Suites and a car museum, that are opening in downtown Salina as part of the district’s revitalization.
Cathy and Frank DeSocio, of Wichita, are part of groups that operate bowling alleys of the same name in Hutchinson and Wichita. They also are involved in the groups that will own and manage the new location in Salina, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in July.
The Alley will feature 20 traditional bowling lanes and eight lanes for casual boutique bowling, for a more fun and upbeat atmosphere.
The bowling alley will have a conference room, snack bar, laser tag and arcade. It will also feature a four-person virtual reality attraction called Hologate that allows people to play several games.
The business will include AJ’s Sports Grill, which will offer bar food. The Alley locations in Hutchinson and Wichita also have AJ’s Sports Grills.
Salinan Steve Owens will manage the Salina business, which will be located at 115 E. Ash, one block away from the post office. Dondlinger and Sons Construction is building the new facility.
Cathy and Frank DeSocio were part of a group that purchased the All Star Lanes bowling alley in Salina about 15 years ago. They felt the business should move to an area with a larger number of notable businesses. When the Salina 2020 group pitched the idea of moving the business downtown as part of Salina’s downtown revitalization, they jumped at the chance.
All Star Lanes will close and its staff will relocate when the new location opens. Cathy DeSocio said the business will likely hire additional employees as well.
DeSocio said almost $8 million in private funds are being invested in the project.
“We are in Salina to stay,” she said. “Business every day is a gamble. It’s always a risk. We are excited to put out a high-quality product for the people of Salina, and we hope they respond positively to it.”
The Alley received approval from Salina to finance part of the project using Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, also known as STAR bonds, that allow the business to pay off bonds using sales tax revenue generated by the project.
DeSocio said she is happy to partner with Salina in the projects through the STAR bonds.
“We want to be part of the community,” she said. “We are happy we had the opportunity to do this in Salina, because it’s a great town.”
Source: Salina Journal