Island Bowling Officially Open in Lahaina
After a half-century, a new bowling alley has opened its doors on Maui.
Bystanders were peeking through the windows and families were anxiously waiting outside for the grand opening of Island Bowling, which opened today at noon at the Outlets of Maui on Front Street.
Tia Trotter, a Maui-native from Makawao, said she came home after living in California for 10 years so she could raise her family on Maui. She says her 3-year-old son Zakai is the reason behind opening a bowling alley on Maui.
“I realized our keiki need a place to have fun, our young keiki, teen keiki, they all need somewhere fun and safe to hang out and to have a good time,” she said.
After news broke of the new bowling alley opening on Maui last week, Trotter said she was inundated with phone calls. “I woke up and was like ‘oh my gosh what is happening? This is bananas,'” she laughed. “We were just really excited and tried not to read the comments from people, but for the most part I think the feedback we’re getting locally is good. It’s been really exciting, I think, for the Lahaina community and Maui in general,” she said.
Island Bowling isn’t the typical state-of-the-art bowling alley. Bowlers don’t need bowling shoes, the lanes are portable, bowling attendants must reset the pins after each throw and there are small tablets on the side to keep score that mirrors to television monitors above.
There are three adult lanes and a keiki lane. The keiki lane features a wall-bumper, instead of a typical gutter, and the bowling balls for kids are around three pounds and has a bouncy-like material.
Since the lanes are portable, Trotter explains that people can have parties or fundraisers at Island Bowling or they can rent lanes out for parties. She notes that she has more portable lanes in production and that her family-owned and operated company, Mauiness, can bring the lanes to any location, as long as there’s a flat surface.
The new bowling alley has also teamed up with Pi Artisan Pizzeria, located a few stores down within Outlets of Maui, and will have a full snack bar with menu items from the pizzeria that include garlic bread, chicken wings, salads, hoagies and pizza.
“We can also take orders, if people want Lahaina Pizza Company, Bubba Gump, or Longhi’s, we can place the order for them and get it delivered in,” Trotter explained.
The new bowling alley is located on the corner of Front Street and Papalaua Street, unit B-7, where the former Hard Rock Cafe was located. There are plenty of seats and tables inside the bowling alley for people to sit down and enjoy their meals while looking out towards the ocean. “I’m hoping we can do something in April where we can have sunset dinners and people can order in and come and sit down, because when these windows are opened up and its sunset, it’s so beautiful,” she said.
She recalls coming to the old Hard Rock Cafe saying, “they would have music and you would come and hang out and have fun, that’s totally the vibe we want to bring back to this little corner.”
As her husband and family friends put the final touches to the new place before opening, a music stage is delivered and Trotter explains they will have live music at the bowling alley.
Trotter’s phone keeps ringing and she explains the new bowling alley is nearly sold out for opening weekend with more than 60 bookings. “I left empty spaces for walk-ins because I wanted to be able to accommodate everyone and try and get as many people as possible in on opening weekend,” she explained.
Admission into the bowling center is $5, each 10-frame game costs $15 for bowlers 12 years and older and $10 for ages 5 to 11 years old. Trotter explains that reservations are scheduled on the hour for an hour of play and that bowlers can book more than one hour if desired.
The new bowling alley also features video games including three consoles, PlayStation’s and an Xbox with three TV monitors. Trotter says she hopes to have video gaming tournaments by the end of March or in April.
For now, Island Bowling has a short-term lease with the Outlets of Maui that ends in June with a possible extension. She says she is hopeful for an extension or the possibility of a new space. “We’re in it for the long run and hopefully Maui is just as excited as we are about bringing more things to Maui and we have some really cool ideas and you’ll see them coming in the future,” Trotter said.
Bowlers are asked to email [email protected] to reserve lanes ahead of time, but walk-ins are also accepted. The bowling alley will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.