The on-campus bowling alley was forced to cut its hours of operation as a result of the dropping interest in bowling as a weekday activity.
The alley’s new hours took effect Monday. The lanes will now only be available for use on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m.
Joel Swedlund, manager of the McGlothlin Campus Center, said the bowling alley would still be available for bowling parties since many students, faculty and groups from the community often rent it for their events.
Seth Thomas, junior computer science major from Abilene and bowling alley attendant, said the alley typically averages two or three bowling parties a night.
“Sometimes I’d sit down here and never see a soul,” Thomas said.
He said most weekends are relatively busy as students try to find a fun and inexpensive activity. He also attributes some of the decreased use to an increase in personal video games and other activities.
“It’s mainly about popularity of video games and stuff like that because every kid’s got a console in their room,” Thomas said.
Swedlund said he thinks people who want to go bowling will continue to do so, despite having other options for fun activities.
“People like to come over and bowl because it’s a very affordable date or a very affordable thing to do with your friends,” Swedlund said. “It’s $2 a game if you’re a student and that includes shoe rental, so if you bring a group of friends you can kill an hour and it only costs you a couple of bucks.”
Swedlund said the facility will still be open for other activities aside from bowling during designated times Monday through Thursday. Since bowling and video games are the only activities that require an attendant, the ping pong, foosball and air hockey will still be available for use.
Reserving the bowling alley requires a $70 flat fee for the first hour and an additional $50 per hour for each additional hour. The alley can be reserved any day of the week. Campus groups who wish to reserve lanes typically receive a discount, Swedlund said.
“It’s a very affordable means of entertainment and we want to keep that out there for the students to enjoy,” Swedlund said.