TWIN FALLS • Imagine a bowling alley where colorfully lighted lanes guide your ball right into the pocket.
Where the pins have a fluorescent glow during midnight play.
And where children never again toss a gutter ball.
It will all happen when Magic Bowl at 340 Second Ave. E. in Twin Falls finishes its renovation, scheduled for completion Sunday.
“We’re going to give southern Idaho a bowling experience they have never seen before,” said Mike Weems, co-owner of the alley with his wife, Ruthie.
A Mack Lane Service crew from Green Bay, Wis., was hard at work building new lanes Monday afternoon. Weems calls them North America’s No. 1 bowling lane installation company because of their precision — lane height must not vary more than a hair from one side to the other.
Weems said bowlers will notice truer roll on the new surface. Some of the other renovations are just plain fun, such as lighted pins, music and glowing lanes for midnight Monte Carlo play. The lanes will feature a series of blue lights down the center with red lights on each edge.
“It looks like you’re coming in for a landing on an airstrip,” Weems said.
For children’s enjoyment, bumpers will automatically cover gutters when youngsters bowl so each toss results in pins being knocked down.
New high-tech pin spotters are being added, too, replacing less accurate equipment installed in 1958. Weems said having the pins placed in exactly the right spot will increase bowlers’ efficiency just as the better lanes will.
New 42-inch scoring screens are being installed, and Weems believes they’ll be the largest
There will still be a snack bar, but Magic Bowl will add a full-service restaurant and a catering service.
“Twin Falls is a real bowling town,” Weems said. “Southern Idaho needs a bowling center like this because this is one of the best bowling towns I’ve ever seen.”
The Weemses also own the Mountain View alley in Shoshone and had the Mountain Sun Lanes in Bellevue until they closed the latter last week due to 62-year-old Mike’s failing health.
He said he fell in love with bowling as a 7-year-old boy and began hanging around the alley in his hometown of Lancaster, Calif., taking a job as pin chaser and pin cleaner when he was 9. He’s been in the business ever since.
Weems declined to say how much the renovation costs, but said it’s well worth the money.
“It will be a real experience for people of all ages,” he said, “and we want to help revitalize the downtown area.”