The Corner Alley provides state of the art bowling experience


Andrew Hodowanec/Observer

The new Corner Alley sign entices visitors to the highly anticipated venue.

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

The brand new Corner Alley will be a great hangout for all students on campus, though the more competitive of your friends will notice the exceptional bowling experience at the new location.

The newly opened Corner Alley at Uptown boasts the latest and greatest in bowling technology from Brunswick Bowling Company to provide customers the advantage of more play. The bowling alley includes 17 lanes with 11 on the ground floor. This layout breaks down the lanes into three different sections. The Uptown Lanes encompasses all of the 11 lanes on the lower level while the lanes upstairs are broken into the Uptown Lounge and the Euclid Lounge, with four and two lanes each.

A visit to the Corner Alley will begin with a stop at the hostess stand to set up a lane rental and to grab your shoes. Groups can either choose to stay on the ground floor or head upstairs. The staff is extremely helpful and will bring food and drinks to the lanes if you so choose, and will help with any issues that may arise. The sleek yet comfortable couches that surround each pair of lanes provide plenty of seating and convenient cubbies to place your shoes while you bowl.

All 17 lanes employ Brunswick’s state of the art GSX Pinsetter machines. This series of machines has gone through 14 updates over its history with each model making major updates.

The new machines are capable of setting 3,000 games without a stop compared to the 800 on older machines. This gives bowlers less of a chance of seeing issues and provides them with a better bowling experience.

The older machines used a v-belt much like a car motor, and the wear and tear on these belts caused the most common breakdowns of pinsetter machines. The new belts are able to be melted back together when they break. “This makes an hour or two long repair take 15 minutes,” said Terry Yenco, the Corner Alley’s lane technician manager.

To further help with minimizing frustrating stops in play, the GSX pinsetter can is able to call the mechanic even before the player realizes there is an issue. “The machine is really smart,” said Yenco. “The machine basically texts us on a PDA and gives up the symptom. It then leads you to the problem, cutting back on time spent being alerted and treating the issue.”

In addition to the pin collection and frame resetting mechanism, the pins are counted and restacked using the best technology on the market, the A2 camera. With a computerized sensor and camera combination, the machine is able capture the differences in the pins and has greater accuracy in capturing score, which makes for less confusing resets of the score. The score is displayed on touchscreens on the ball return making for a more personal group experience, rather than squinting at old television screens hanging from the ceiling.

The new pinsetters at the Corner Alley also incorporate more plastics, making for quieter collisions. This adds to the life of the machines. This also gives a much smoother ball return; a noticeable improvement for the player. The traditional bowling experience is maintained with the new machines, but the smooth lanes, accurate pin clearing and counting and quick repairs allow for more fun and less grief unless, of course, you are bowling a bad game.

The upper level of lanes includes a window which allows for the casual bowling fanatic to watch one of these top of the line machines function, creating a fun experience to watch all the moving parts behind the scenes.

The improvements were noticeable and made for a great and a uniform bowling experience on all three sets of lanes. The next step is merely to get a group of friends together and play. The current price will be $50 for an hour on one lane with shoe rental for six players. The upstairs lanes will cost a $60 fee on the weekends but management has already starting planning student-minded priced events and will hopefully start those in full next semester.