How to open a bowling alley in a small town


No matter how many people live in the village, they all want to relax and have fun. And a bowling alley is an ideal solution, since its target audience includes completely different ages and incomes. But in order to open a bowling alley in a small town and not be left “at a broken trough”, it is necessary to take into account dozens of vital factors.

An accurately calculated bowling club project is the key to the success of the entire enterprise. There are no minor parts in it, all the nuances are critically important. Small towns, as a rule, do not differ in high traffic and frequent changes of residents. This means that the first impression of the club will be the most important, directly influencing its future fate.

What you need to pay attention to, what are the nuances, how much it costs to launch tracks from scratch – the answers to all these questions are collected in this informational article from BowlExpert.

Seat selection

First of all, analyze the available areas for the presence of ready-made premises that would be suitable and the placement of a bowling center with all the accompanying rooms in them.

The construction of a separate institution can be considered if the city is actively developing and building up. That is, construction projects are already underway, the construction infrastructure has been established. It is worth considering an investment in the construction of a shopping complex, where a new bowling alley will be located in the future. In this case, the developer should be checked – how many commissioned or frozen objects are in his portfolio at the moment.

Often in small towns you can find closed cinemas or palaces of the Soviet era. With spacious halls and all communications, they are an excellent option for a bowling center. Here it is appropriate to hire a competent auditor who will conduct a full inspection of the building and objectively assess the necessary repairs.

When choosing a place for a bowling club, consider transport accessibility:

  • How easy will it be to get to the establishment during its opening hours?
  • Are there public transport stops nearby?
  • Is there a parking lot or other place where the visitor can leave their car?

Having dealt with this point, the format of the future bowling will become clearer, since it has a direct dependence on the area provided.

Club format

Bowling clubs come in many varieties. In world practice, the following classification is accepted:

  • Youth establishment: can be combined with bars and nightclubs. The main target audience is young people who take money from their parents or who have recently started earning money. Expensive repairs and high ceilings are not required; the loft style and long semi-basements are quite suitable. The emphasis is on glowing balls, dynamic pin lighting, loud modern music is welcome.
  • Family center: perfectly coexists with other leisure activities, such as billiards, darts, children’s machines, trampolines. Optimally located in the mall. Visitors – families or friendships, often with children, who also need their own entertainment corner. However, this can also include working people of all ages who are looking for a pleasant pastime after work or organizing corporate parties in a bowling alley. In such a business, it is important to provide additional entertainment options and a kitchen area.
  • Sports club: implies the availability of qualified coaches, provides professional training for athletes, serves as a training place. As a rule, such points are located near sports facilities and bases. Regular rechecking of all equipment and accessories is mandatory and must comply with strict regulations. All this imposes a number of serious restrictions and obligations on the owner of such a bowling alley. That is, this format for small towns is possible only if the fate of the settlement is closely related to sports, and the inhabitants are devoted fans of sports.
  • Closed club: mainly located on the territory of establishments with access by a club card or as a separate building in an elite area. The audience is wealthy people who want to spend time in their circle. Such objects always have access control or face control. Much attention must be paid to personnel training, design development and selection of materials – from interior decoration to disposable accessories. As a rule, in small towns there are not enough visitors of this level to keep the club in a decent condition. A possible way to launch such an institution is to be located near the “play area” where a stream of interested players gathers.

Summing up, we can conclude that the optimal format of a bowling club for opening in a small town is a youth or family center. The second option is the most preferable, since it allows the entire hall to be rented by a separate company for holding a closed game.

The cost of opening a club “from scratch”

The cost of putting a new bowling club into operation can differ tens of times, even if we consider a fixed number of lanes. Each of the stages of budgeting is very individual in each project:

  • Rent of land or premises. The price per square meter “floats” even within the same city.
  • Hall construction or renovation. Prices for building materials and consumables can fluctuate even from the season.
  • Services of specialized consultants. The importance of this point is the higher, the more limited the budget for opening a bowling center. It is competent advice that will allow you not to burn out and avoid unnecessary difficulties.
  • Purchase of equipment. The most profitable option is to purchase proven used equipment. All equipment offered on the website has been professionally tested and has a guarantee. For at least the next five years, it will not require large expenditures – during this time the club will have time to pay off more than once.
  • Recruitment and training of personnel. It is also more effective to entrust the specialists experienced in this matter. They have developed ready-made step-by-step programs that provide quality training and minimize the notorious “human factor”.
  • Advertising: sign and branded consumables, mailings, publications in the media, promoters and many other channels to attract attention. Even if a bowling alley has opened in the city center, it must be additionally announced, describing the main characteristics of the club and the delights of recreation in it.
  • Reserve funds: for consumables, payroll, taxes, repairs and purchases in case of force majeure, preparation for inspections and other numerous procedures that require money.

Thus, the cost of opening a club “from scratch”, according to the most conservative estimates and in the most prepared place, is from three million rubles. In order not to miscalculate and to be sure to take into account all the obligatory or probable expenses, order the preparation of a business plan from professionals. The saying “starting a business is already half the battle” is applicable here, since it is a competent verified project that guarantees a new bowling alley success and an early payback.

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