Green Valley Lanes recently updated its facility to include a new scoring system with 32-inch LCD monitors and cameras, resurfaced and newly buffed lanes, and Brunswick all-wood professional pins. The biggest innovation, however, was the installation of rooftop solar panels, which allow the alley to be completely powered by the sun. But while the renovations have given the facility a modern luster, the rules of the classic sport remain the same, as couples, families, and pros alike engage in 10-frame competitions to see who can pummel the most pins and who can deliver the most heartfelt apology afterwards. The familiar beeps emanating from the video arcade act as a siren call for thumbs eager to twiddle the joysticks of games such as Street Fighter and Tekken 3, and bowlers can rest their throwing arms while savoring a cocktail or beer at the Wet Spot bar and lounge or slices of pizza crafted with homemade dough at the Perky's Pizza snack bar.
At Bedroxx Bowling, stone columns and prehistoric cave-like structures carry the weight of the Flintstones-esque theme, while 30 state-of-the-art bowling lanes and a veritable maze of amusements balance the decor with modern entertainment amenities. Inside the 44,000-square-foot entertainment center?which won Tucson Weekly's Readers Pick award for Best Bowling Alley in 2010?2011?every corner teems with activity. Bowlers pummel pins and avoid bumpers like an elitist avoids the common cold during 10-frame competitions. Overhead screens flare up with music videos, video games flash and beep in the video arcade room. Winners at the Toy Box game center can redeem their hard-earned tickets for a host of prizes and then celebrate with nachos, hot dogs, and Bedroxx pizza at the snack shack.
Golden Pin Lanes hosts healthy competition atop 48 sparkling new composite lanes and features an advanced scoring system, which keeps track of points scored, player order, and the winner's fingerprints. Late at night, staffers flip on strobe lights and turn up dance tunes before heading back to the bar to pour happy-hour drinks and serve pizza and popcorn. Within the 50,000-square-foot entertainment citadel, a fleet of flat-screen TVs projects the latest sports games, and pool tables and video games give hands a break from all that heavy lifting.
Family-friendly and fully loaded, Vantage Bowling Centers boasts lane after lane of well-maintained surfaces, modern scoring, and bumpers primed and ready to boost any youngster's score and attitude. To amp up the alley-based excitement, various alleys also host Cyber/Cosmic Bowling, an intergalactic amalgamation of flashy lights, fog machines, fresh pop beats, and occasional flying saucer sightings, often identified as piping-hot pizza from the food counter. Beyond pizza, most locations provide a range of eats and thirst quenchers, including burgers, fries, sodas, and a variety of adult beverages such as draft beer and milkshakes made entirely of Wall Street Journal clippings. Select locations keep the action rolling as late as 1 a.m. on weekends. Call ahead to check for lane availability.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.39 value).