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Rock and Bowl to bring bowling, golf to Old Mammoth Road

June 10, 2011

The town on Wednesday got its first look at a proposed “bowling center” along Old Mammoth Road.
It was as if fireworks had gone off overhead.

“Full speed ahead,” exclaimed Planning Commissioner Sharon Clark when she and two other commissioners saw the presentation.

The project is called “Rock ‘N Bowl.” It is the brainchild of local real estate investor Dan O’Connell and Mammoth architect Bruce Woodward.

“It’s one of those things the town desperately needs,” Woodward said.

The commission took no action on the project, nor was it was asked to.

Rather, the presentation was characterized as a “sneak peek” to familiarize the commission on what surely is on the way.

“I can’t wait to get started,” O’Connell said. “There’s nothing to do here except eat and drink, and if these last two weeks haven’t punctuated that, nothing will.”

The proposed bowling center is not merely about bowling. It features 12 lanes on the ground floor, but the facility also would feature an upstairs restaurant and bar, along with three simulated golf bays.

The proposed golf bays are electronic. Golfers use real golf balls and real clubs, and blast them into an electronic screen.

Computers within the screen calculate distance and trajectory and display the result on the screen.

Golfers would be able to dial in any number of world-famous courses, such as Pebble Beach or St. Andrews. Hence on any February evening, say, golfers can gather a foursome and go out for a round.
It also would facilitate golf lessons from local pros.

The restaurant would be a fine-dining area – O’Connell envisions a tapas-style menu – with panoramic views of the Sherwin range. Downstairs, near the lanes, the food would be more bistro style, delivered from the upstairs kitchen by a dumbwaiter.

He said all garbage would be contained within the building (until collection days), so there would be no dumpsters in sight on the outside.

“This is enormously exciting for me,” O’Connell said.

The bowling center would be situated on Chateau Road, between the Cast Off building and the Southern California Edison building. That parcel currently is used for snow storage, but nothing more.

O’Connell and Woodward said they based some of their ideas on the (so-far) successful bowling center in Park City, Utah.

Bowling centers also have been built in peer-resort towns such as Vail, Steamboat Springs and two in Tahoe.

“We’re riding the crest of the trend in ski resort towns,” O’Connell said.

The building would have 18,750 square feet. The new bar and restaurant would seat up to 192 people, with the ability to accommodate another 120 on two outdoor decks.

The cost of the construction for O’Connell and other investors would be about $1million, O’Connell said. But he also said he foresees some real problems ahead in meeting Development Impact Fees (DIF) and other associated costs.

He said those fees would be almost as much as the cost of the construction.

“Obviously that doesn’t pencil out,” he said.

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