how much does it cost to build a bowling alley

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Bowling Alley?

Bowling is the go-to pastime for people of all ages, and with the right facility, you can tap into that market and make a pretty penny. How much does it cost to build a bowling alley from start to finish? Let’s take a close look.

Key Takeaways

  • If you build it from scratch and buy all new equipment (like bowling balls), your startup costs may range from $200,000 to $500,000.
  • If you rent a space or purchase an existing bowling alley, the costs may go down to $80,000–$100,000.

Factors to Consider: What Affects the Cost of a Bowling Alley

Before we give you the estimates to answer “How much does it cost to build a bowling alley?”, let’s consider a few factors.

The biggest one is what type of lanes you’re building – standard, candlepin, or duckpin bowling lanes. Other things affecting the cost of building a bowling center are:

  • The materials used to construct the bowling alley – for example, high-quality wood will likely be more expensive than cheaper materials like presswood.
  • Location – the cost of labor and land in your area can affect the overall cost to construct a bowling alley.
  • The size of the bowling alley in square feet and whether it includes other amenities, like a bar or arcade game room.
  • Number of lanes – the more lanes you have, the more expensive it will be.
Factors to Consider: What Affects the Cost of a Bowling Alley

Editor’s Note

If you’re interested in the average cost per lane, it’s $45,000, or up to $100,000 if you’re building a brand-new bowling center. If you want to go all out and offer something unique, then custom lanes will require more investment – up to $125,000 each. You’ll have a competitive edge, though, and that counts for something!

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Bowling Alley? Average Cost

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how much it costs to construct a bowling alley. Cost estimates are given as a range for each factor but will vary depending on where you live, the quality of materials and other factors we’ve outlined above.

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Building Materials Costs – $70,000–$150,000

So, how much does it cost to build a bowling alley? The type of materials you choose will vary depending on whether you have an existing building to renovate or if you’re building a new bowling alley from scratch.

For example, if you purchase used equipment from another facility, the cost would be much lower than if you purchased all-new equipment. The minimum cost for construction using clad wood frames and wall panels, for example, is about $70,000. It can cost as much as $150,000 or more to build a bowling alley using high-end materials like brick and stone.

Land Costs – $10–$20 Per Square Foot

The land costs will depend on your location and whether it’s residential or commercial property. The cost of land is $12,000 per acre on average, so the land for a 30,000-square-foot bowling alley would cost around $8,000–$9,000.

Other Expenses – $130,000–$200,000

There will be other expenses to consider as well. If you’re building a commercial bowling alley from scratch or adding on to an existing facility, that would include making sure the building has the right electrical and ventilation systems in place. Signage, insurance, permits, and renovation costs can add up to high numbers.

How much does it cost to build a bowling alley, in general? Between $200,000 and $500,000 seems to be a realistic estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Owning a Bowling Alley Profitable?

If you want to open a bowling alley, finding the right spot is key. In affluent neighborhoods, families are likely to visit on weekends. In a rural area, you’ll need more creative strategies, like additional mini-golf and go-karts to attract travelers. You’ll also have to stay ahead of any competing alleys in the area!

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How Much Revenue Does a Bowling Alley Generate?

According to, the yearly revenue of a bowling center that averages 11,000 lines per year is about $36,000–$37,000. For every dollar of bowling revenue, you can expect to make 67 cents for other services. So make sure there’s more than bowling going on in your alley to maximize income.

How Do I Start a Bowling Alley Business?

First, decide on a business structure – do you want it to be a sole proprietorship, corporation or limited liability company (LLC)? You’ll also need to secure financing. Prepare a well-crafted business plan that outlines your goals, financial forecasts, and strategies. On top of that, you may need to obtain a business license, health permit, and liquor license.

How Do You Run a Successful Bowling Alley?

Think about the atmosphere. Is it for getting competitive or is there room to have some fun? Also consider what pricing works best with discounts during certain times of day – this will entice customers and keep them coming back! Invest in quality equipment along with tasty treats so everyone has an enjoyable experience. And don’t forget that advertising goes a long way – create a website, use social media platforms, send postcards… whatever works best to get the word out on great offers at your place!

Is the Bowling Industry Growing?

Yes. Bowling has transcended time, and the appeal only continues to grow! Nowadays, more people are recognizing its numerous perks – from ramping up physical activity to cultivating social connections.

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