Based on the success of the Crush Ultra Lounge and its six luxury bowling lanes at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, California, a developer has announced plans to build a series of “boutique” bowling centers adjacent to Napa Valley’s famous Highway 29.
Although traditional bowling centers have been closing over an extended number of years because of ever-increasing land values and long-term land leases expiring, a new type of bowling-based business known as a “bowling boutique” has seen substantial growth in the past decade.
“These smaller centers, which place as much emphasis on high-quality food and beverage service as on bowling, have been very successful across the country,” said a spokesperson for the development company. “They are protected from rising land prices, to a large degree, because they are able to charge higher prices than traditional bowling centers.”
Since the city of Napa already has so-called “luxury lanes” at the Meritage Resort, Napa will not initially be included in the chain of new bowling boutiques. Running from south to north, the boutiques will be built on the outskirts of Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga.
According to plans announced by the developer, each bowling boutique will include eight lanes, featuring the latest high-tech equipment; a full-service restaurant, each with a unique menu; and a wine list consisting exclusively of bottlings from Napa Valley, with an emphasis on even more specific sub-appellations that match the respective boutique locations.
“For instance, at our bowling boutique in Rutherford, we plan to stock as many Rutherford District wines as we can,” the development company spokesperson said. “To add to the atmosphere, just like some barbecue restaurants spread sawdust across their floors, we plan to spread Rutherford dust on the floor of the restaurant area.”
A heavy-duty air filtration system will keep the dust from finding its way onto the approaches of the bowling lanes.
The spokesperson added that only a limited number of grapevines would need to be uprooted to make room for each bowling boutique, and noted that those vines would be used for decorations to help maintain the wine county ambience inside the centers.
Vine removal is expected to begin in early May, and construction of the five bowling boutiques is slated to commence in early June. Grand openings are planned to coincide with the Napa Valley harvest season, each center hosting a grape stomp with participants using bowling rental shoes.