The popularity of bowling seemed to reach its zenith during the golden age of television, when bowling was featured regularly on television. Whether it was Ralph Kramden of the Hurricanes or Laverne and Shirley of the Hot Shotz, bowling was an important part of Americans’ social scene. In the ‘60’s, televised professional bowling was a staple of Saturday afternoons; but by the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, while bowling remained popular throughout the world, sports, like basketball and football, stole the attention of Americans. People bowling in leagues decreased. Today, a Phoenix bowling alley is trying to recapture the attention of families and communities.
Stacy Anderson, an Indianapolis native, grew up bowling with his family and bowled competitively, though, as an ASU finance major graduate, he spent most of his formative years working for Proctor & Gamble. He used what he had learned about business strategy in P&G in his later career as a consultant.
“I loved being a consultant, helping people develop their businesses,” he said. When one of his clients gave him an opportunity to acquire his bowling alley at 8925 N 12th Street in Phoenix, Anderson took it.
Anderson met Jason Bressler, when Bressler came to talk to him about joining the North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. A friendship was born. When Bressler left his position as Executive Director of NPCC, he became Director of Community Outreach for Let it Roll Bowl & Entertainment.
Anderson and Bressler have a unique and exciting vision: for Let It Roll to be the neighborhood gathering spot. The facility has 32 lanes, a bar and restaurant, like most alleys. But there are daily, family-friendly specials; kids and adult party packages; digital dining ordering; displays of local artwork; and a karaoke stage. In an era of over-scheduled, extracurricular school activities, and addictive video games, there are few opportunities for family or friends to relax together in a safe, fun environment.
Bressler is also aggressively promoting community activities. In Phoenix, there is a need for convenient, inexpensive venues for non-profits and community groups to convene. Let it Roll provides packages for corporates and groups, and a conference room for meetings.
No, the modern bowling facility does not resemble the alley frequented by the Flintstones’ Water Buffalo Lodge Bowling Team. Maybe Phoenicians should check out their Granddad’s new and improved community gathering site: Let It Roll entertainment center.