Craftex Builders is the general contractor for what will be a 12,000 sq. ft. bowling alley called Lloyd Lanes, to be located at 6402-56 Street in the Hill Industrial Park. The project is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Jody MacDonald who will manage the facility. She and her husband Rob will lease the building from a local developer. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
Bowling is right up her alley.
Lloydminster entrepreneur and avid bowler Jody MacDonald has got the ball rolling on the construction of Lloyd Lanes, thanks to personal and community demand.
“Honestly, I think it’s because our family was huge into bowling and we know how important it is for the whole community,” she said.
Bowling used to be one of the major fundraisers for charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters Lloydminster, and Special Olympics.
“It’s going to be really good for that, for the fundraising; it’s for all ages,” said MacDonald.
In the meantime, Craftex the general contractor, is completing site work for what will be a 12,000 sq. facility located at 6402-56 St. in the Hill Industrial Park.
Lloyd Lanes will feature convertible five and 10 pin bowling with two party rooms in an upper mezzanine and a kitchen with a grill/deep fryer, a menu, and an alcohol license.
“We’ve have had a few delays with permits and now with rain, but we’e hoping to open early in the new year,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald will leave her job as an educational assistant in time to manage the facility, while her husband Rob will continue to work in the oilfield.
The couple is the sole investor in Lloyd Lanes, with the building being leased from a local builder.
“It’s well over $2 million to build a building, and then you have the investment of the actual business,” explained MacDonald.
She said they were looking at a few existing buildings in Lloydminster, but just couldn’t find the right match.
“It’s really tricky to find one with posts in the wrong place when you have lanes to put in,” she said.
MacDonald said to do an overhaul of an old building was the same cost, if not more money than just building new.
She said the site they picked is within the city limits and will have lots of parking and easy access for seniors.
The construction of Lloyd Lanes comes just over two years since Border Bowl closed in May 2015.
“My son was a former employee and he bowled for eight or nine years there, and my other two children have bowled YBC (Youth Bowling Canada) leagues there and me and my husband bowled there as well,” said MacDonald about her passion.
“It’s a fun thing to do; you don’t have to be good at it; that’s the beauty of it,” she said rating herself as not a good bowler.
“Maybe 10 pin is my calling, five pin sure wasn’t.”
She added she almost cried when Border Bowl closed because her kids loved to bowl, and her son Austin had a job there.
“It was tough, so we ended up moving our kids to bowl in Vermilion where they’ve been YBC bowling ever since.”
She said Austin would have loved to work at Lloyd Lanes, but he’s gone off to college.
MacDonald said she will also be looking at hiring staff once the facility is closer to completion.
She is already thinking of starting a 2018 spring league and YBC leagues that fall.
She also wants to run the five pin leagues that were offered at Border Bowl for adults, seniors, Special Olympics, YBC, ladies and tots from two to five year-olds, as well as new 10 pin leagues.
The lanes can be converted from five to 10 pin at the flick of a switch, making it the only bowling alley in the region to offer 10 pin.
She said she’s had an email from a fellow who grew up on 10 pin and is so excited that he can take his ball out of storage and go bowling again.
MacDonald said there will also be glow bowl with special effects on weekends.