In a year of creativity and innovative ways to make fun, Luxury Strike Bowling CEO Terence Jackson Jr. of Detroit ignited an unfamiliar bowling concept: a bowling alley on wheels, according to NPR. He calls it “the world’s first mobile bowling alley.”
Although traditional bowling alleys have now been given the green light to reopen, the mobile alley allows Michiganders an alternative to bowl in a secluded, comfortable area and stay entertained for a couple of hours.
The mobile bowling alley lives within a converted 53-foot semi-truck trailer and includes two 25-foot lanes, an automatic ball return, automatic pin-resetters, and a digital scorekeeper. What’s different? It’s not your traditional bowling ball or regulation lane size. The ‘bowling balls’ inside of the trailer are 3-4 pounds each and do not have any holes.
Jackson shared with NPR he used to build party busses, which is where the original idea stemmed from, along with inspiration from ‘convenience’ apps like Amazon, Uber, and Grubhub, which all bring products directly to the consumer. Although a bowling alley isn’t something one could take home or have delivered to their home, Jackson found an innovative way to make that happen. The concept originated two years ago but was eventually funded when Jackson sold his condo and many of his assets. In time, Luxury Strike Bowling was born.
He designed the trailer himself at the beginning of the pandemic in March, which cost him about $300,000. But when the truck launched in June (on Juneteenth) Jackson says the mobile alley was soon booked solid for months, making it well worth the investment, as it was bringing light to Detroiters in the midst of the pandemic.
Although there is a slight difference in lane size and bowling ball size, the traditional feel of a bowling alley is captured through the ambiance and scorekeeping. Bowlers who rent out the mobile alley will discover a ‘nightclub’ like atmosphere within as the walls are painted black and flashing neon lights line the lanes and the ceiling. NPR describes the back of the truck as a seating area made up of a black, pleated booth which is lined above with red glowing letters that read “Bet on Yourself.” Players can also control the sound system by linking their phones via Bluetooth and playing DJ for the night.
If you’re looking for some fun this winter but you’re not quite ready to get back into a real bowling alley, rentals start at $500 for two hours and cap off at five hours for $1,000 for 10 to 15 people. The bowling alley is booked 20 to 30 times a week, so make sure to make a reservation well in advance!
Luxury Strike Bowling alley is driven directly to a guest’s house or to a parking lot of their choice within a 30-mile radius of Southfield, where the company is based (though Jackson has allowed rentals as far as 75 miles away for an additional fee) when a reservation is made. The balls, the pins, the scoring are all included in the fee, and guests don’t need bowling shoes. Upon arrival, the truck will park in the most level & flat area to accommodate the party.
Plus, partygoers can connect their phones to the speaker system, select what they want to watch on the big-screen TV that’s inside the space, and even control the speed of the flashing neon lights. Food and smoking are not allowed in the trailer, but guests need to bring their own alcohol. Cups, ice, and napkins are provided.
As for staying safe amid the pandemic, the trailer is thoroughly sanitized before and after each event, there are hand sanitizers on-site. And the staff of two (drivers/lounge assistants) always wear a mask.
Book Luxury Strike Bowling by clicking here and keep this innovative adaptation to a bowling alley on your list of things that you can still do in Michigan to have fun. If you’re looking for an entertaining night ‘out’ or a night of family fun, this is the activity for you. If you’re worried about reservations booking up too quickly, Jackson is already working on a second mobile alley, in hopes to roll it out in 2021.
This story was sourced and adapted from NPR.