By Ed Townsend
HONESDALE, PA February 25, 2005 After an almost 15-year absence of bowling lanes in Honesdale, Pa. the community is once again enjoying the sport in the new Gravity Alley, which is located at 106 6th Street in the borough.
The last bowling center in Honesdale was the Fairlane Bowladrome on Fair Avenue. It closed down in the 1980s.
Martin and Jenny Young are the owners of Gravity Alley and they will be celebrating their first anniversary as bowling proprietors on March 16.
Martin Young was born in England, raised in Canada and owned and operated a computer company just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Jenny was selling computer software to Martins company. They quickly became friends and later were married.
Jenny tells the story that she had been bowling in a small bowling establishment near Detroit that had once housed a supermarket and that this is where the idea originated for a bowling center in Honesdale.
Jenny has a family background in the Honesdale area and used to come to Honesdale to spend holidays with Mrs. Youngs (Martins mother) family. Jennys grandmother lived on a property where the Youngs currently reside in Oregon Township.
During a holiday visit several years ago, the Youngs saw that the building housing the former Miracle Market was for sale. The building also houses an ice cream store.
Soon thereafter, Martin and Jenny made the decision that they wanted to leave the corporate world and do something a little different with their lives.
Renovation of the former super market property started in January 2003 with the filling in of the basement and the construction of a new floor.
Then it was time to start looking for automatic pin setters and the former computer executives turned to the Internet and e-Bay, where they found pin setters for sale from a VFW hospital in North Carolina. Following the purchase and transportation of the machines to their new Honesdale location, all of the machines were torn down.
A Brunswick professional helped show them how to return one of the pin setters back to operating condition. The Youngs put the rest of the machines back together and they now also do their own machine maintenance.
Gravity Alley presently has a mixed league on Tuesdays, a mens league on Thursdays and a Wednesday night mixed league during the fall months.
Jenny said they wanted to make their bowling establishment more homey with an open bowling approach.
We do what the bowlers want, she said.
The Youngs said bowlers had requested 10-week league seasons and that they are giving the bowlers what they want.
We want to give families the option for a fun family night out and a chance for teens to have fun without having to travel too far, Jenny explained. Birthday parties are popular on the weekends.
A major part of the new bowling establishment is the ice cream shop which offers all kinds of ice cream treats, soda, hot dogs and hamburgers.
Gravity Alley is closed on Mondays, but open the other six days of the week. The bowling center is open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Bowling rates are $3 per person per game. A special rate of $2.50 per person is in effect until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Bowling shoe rental is $2 per person.
The l0-lane house offers state-of- the-art computerized scoring. The lanes are DBA synthetic and automated bumpers are installed. The lanes and scoring machines were installed by All American Bowling with the equipment supplied by Qubica. The computerized lighting was supplied by Springtree.net and the sound control software is from MOAEC.
Gravity Alley does not sell beer, wine or mixed drinks and smoking is not allowed.
The facility is handicap accessible.
For more information about the Gravity Alley, please call the Youngs at 570-253-0445 or log onto their Web site at www.gravityalley.com