When Cal Eichinger learned that the building on Tennyson Street housing Elitch Lanes had been sold, he didn't waste any time. Right away, he started looking for a new location for the beloved neighborhood bowling alley -- and in May, right after the original Elitch Lanes closes, a new Elitch Lanes will open at 10000 Ralston Road in Arvada, in the former Western Bowl. Eichinger -- who has been in the bowling business for forty years and has spent well over a decade as Elitch Lanes' owner -- says his new place is going to look and feel just like the old spot.
"We're going to take a bunch of our equipment, paint the inside just like Elitch Lanes," says Eichinger. "We're going to make it feel as much like Elitch Lanes as we can and operate it with our philosophy -- which is F.U.N. We don't take it seriously."
Eichinger believes that good-time ethos kept his customers happy at the current location, and will work just as well during this new chapter in the historic bowling alley's life. "Most bowling centers still have some core business, based on traditional league bowlers that take bowling too seriously," says Eichinger. "They treat it like a 'win at all costs' game and it's like really? We're all amateurs. We like fun."
The new location is just six miles away from the Berkeley neighborhood address that Elitch Lanes has had for more than sixty years; Eichinger thinks devoted bowlers and regular customers will make the short trek for the atmosphere and service that his place provides. "We'll still be operating our pizza and beer leagues, which are very popular," he says. "On Mondays we have 22 teams; we have one on Tuesdays that is 24 teams and one on Thursday that is 10 teams. It's the best thing in the world -- it's exactly the road I want to go down. The bowlers are here for the right reasons."
To honor the good times at the old location, Elitch Lanes will be having a weekend blowout celebration prior to its May 18 opening in the new spot. "If you want to stay here and reminisce about Elitch Lanes for the whole night, we'll do that," says Eichinger. "This place has been around forever. It's bowling, but forget the bowling for a second -- it's social. It's meaningful. Friends meet friends here."
Elitch Lanes at 3825 Tennyson Street is open now through May 17. The closing celebration will be from Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17 with a special $40 per person rate for all-you-can-eat, drink and bowl from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 9 p.m. to midnight each day. The new Elitch Lanes at 10000 Ralston Road in Arvada will open for business on Monday, May 18. For more information, visit the Elitch Lanes website or Facebook page, or call 303-477-1633.
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