The Private Lounge - Courtesy of Lucky Strike Lanes

The Private Lounge - Courtesy of Lucky Strike Lanes

A 12-lane bowling alley is coming to Downtown Phoenix in 2010 in what would seem to be an unlikely spot.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported on Friday that RED Development, the developer for CityScape has struck a deal with the Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, a Hollywood-based entertainment concept, to bring a high-energy operation to the high-rise project. Inspired by the iconic Hollywood Star Lanes, the Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge operation has grown from its initial Hollywood location to 21 locations in 13 states.


  • Steve

    Bowling alleys are typically placed in downturn neighborhoods. They also require a lot of empty space. Neither would be considered a plus if you looked objectively at the Cityscape project’s future. By the time the project is completed Lucky Strike Lanes will be as popular as Planet Hollywood.

    Is there no one in this city with any memory for what works and doesn’t?

  • Steve, If you took the time to check out the Lucky Strike Lanes website, you would see that it is a very cool, modern, upscale concept that seems to be working as they are in some major metro areas in 13 states. You seem to have forever pigeon holed the sport of bowling.

    Since you know what works, why not share that with us and with RED Development.

    • Steve

      The lanes will by themselves, according to rough calculations from the measurements of standard bowling lanes, take up close to 4000 sq. feet. I’m not sure if the “V.I.P. lanes” are part of the 12 lanes mentioned. That’s a whole lot of empty space, which is why we can look at this location as being so unprofitable that they can put in 4000 square feet of empty space. Not a model of density.

      I’ve lived through periods of time of empty lots that had super-slides, bungie-jumping platforms, Goony Golf, video game parlors, Lazer Tag and paintball. Bowling is a fine sport, but trying to describe this as a downtown plus with any sustainable benefit or potential legs beyond a fad is ludicrous.

      Cool, urbane and retro are nice to look at but it’s lipstick on a pig when it lacks authenticity.

      What will work is cheap good food that students and office workers can afford, rental housing that allows the very workers who commute to actually live close to work and a city owned park that is 24 hours/7 days a week maintained, programmed and open to the community. What is coming is a glut of commercial office space, high-end restaurants that still cater more to the game crowd than the people who live around it and a bowling alley that will never be full of the “celebrities” they tout as being drawn to it unless they in fact are paid to make appearances.

      What is beginning to work is Roosevelt Row and 7th Avenue between Indian School and Camelback and slowly, in pockets, Grand Avenue. If Phoenix could learn one thing, it’s that you can’t throw money at something and call it cool, it actually has to BE authentically cool.

  • Debra

    I thought it was a “cool” idea. You may be right though, Steve. Ever since I moved here (1988), they’ve been trying so hard on making a cool downtown. It’s been nothing but a waist of money. Might as well knock out as much as they can and put a Casino in the middle with everything else around it.

  • Steve

    I’d also like to note the “cool” locations…in California, NOT San Francisco…in Washington NOT Seattle, in Canada, NOT Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, in Texas NOT Austin…these are the towns I’d prefer to emulate, not Bellevue or Vaughn , Ontario!

  • Steve, but we’re not Seattle. We’re not San Francisco, either. Pretending we’re a densely populated urban city wouldn’t help things either.

    DC has one of these, in the middle of a mall. Loved it.

    • Steve

      Absolutely. Glad you liked it, as expensive a night as the Yelp reports for other locations suggest. And this thing would have been perfect at Chandler Mall or maybe Metrocenter. The whole intent of the Cityscape as I understood was to generate tax dollars through density, of course once the tax credits and deferments ran out.

      A bowling alley is the anti-thesis of density. So either the leasees are paying top dollar for a large swath of prime real estate or they have been given a huge break by the developers to get the place filled up. I vote the second, and will be surprised if it is an actual renter by the time Cityscape is finished. Please note I loved Goony Golf too.

  • jane

    Steve are you against CityScape? Do you miss the vacant parking lot that used to be there? Vacant parking lots, the last time I checked, are exactly models of dense urban utopia’s.

  • Steve

    There are still empty parking lots because the speculation went south based on an economic model, supported by tax breaks, that weren’t sustainable. The project is now 1/3 of what was promised, as a result there are still empty parking lots. Will tax incentives be reduced based on how the project is incomplete?

    And, to paraphrase the Wendy’s ad lady,”Where’s the Park?”

  • jane

    The model was based on development projections during the boom. Give me a break.

  • Laura

    I don’t agree with everything Steve said but I will say that we momentarily got excited about bowling a few rounds last night and were amped that might be an alley nearby. how hilarious is that, a downtown bowling alley. I was game… Until we called and they wanted $50/game!? Star-swirly-asterisk that! Needless to say that does not, as Steve suggested reflect the needs of downtown Phx residents. It might appeal to the game crowd. No idea as I have no intention of ever going now.