50-year-old bowling alley getting new life, complete renovation

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A 50-year-old Fort Wayne bowling alley has been gutted and work has started to renovate the facility from the wood lanes, up. MVP Lanes is expected to open this summer in the building that was once known as Wayne Recreation and Kingpins.

Mark Johnston and Austin Brunner, a duo with bowling experience in Fort Wayne, began working on the project in the winter months. While Johnston worked to renovate Little Turtle Hillcrest into Thunderbowl, the new task hasn’t been a simple project.

“It’s a lot,” Brunner told WANE 15. “You’ve got to meet with contractors, line up all that stuff. Figure out what you’re going to do. Get a game plan together. League bowlers – reaching out for that. Figuring out how to get people into your facility. Promoting it the proper way. Connecting to the people to run your business. We’ve been working at it since December/January. It’s been a lot. We’ve run into the electrical being bad. The plumbing was bad. It was a whole demo out and start brand new, which is nice for us because we were able to put our own touch on it.”

Pins remain in re-setter machines in a building at Lake Ave. and Coliseum Blvd. that once housed Wayne Recreation and Kingpins. MVP Lanes is expected to open by the end of the summer.

MVP Lanes will not only feature bowling and a bar area, but it will include a special partnership with PBA bowler Wes Malott. According to Brunner, Malott has agreed to operate a pro shop at the bowling alley. It will also include a training academy featuring a coaching staff and specialized equipment.

“Everybody talks about what Wayne Rec and King Pins used to be and how excited they are to have this place back and to be able to come back here and live old memories,” Brunner added. “It’s super awesome to have that kind of support in the community already without having anything established. You can show them pictures and run them through what it’s going to look like. Ultimately it’s the trust factor of what we’re doing and our names that are going to provide something good for the community and the bowlers.”

Brunner told WANE 15 he hoped the building at Lake Avenue and Coliseum Blvd. would be ready to welcome guests by the end of the summer.

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