Eight Lanes of Fun

High Roller

Finally, high altitude bowling hits Aspen.

By Amanda Rae July 1, 2013 Published in the Midsummer/Fall 2013 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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After its July opening, Slopeside Lanes (239-289-6555; weekdays 5 p.m. to late night; weekends 11 a.m. to late night) becomes the highest-altitude bowling alley west of the Continental Divide. (At 10,152 feet, Leadville’s lanes hold the unofficial global title.) It’s been a long time coming. Owner Mark Reece has been eyeing the rectangular entertainment space—at times home to a ballroom, cinema, and stage theater—on Daly Lane across from the Snowmass Mountain Chalet for nearly four years.

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Image: Tim Kurnos

“I can get eight full-sized lanes in here,” says Reece, who ran a recreational league of forty-two teams while at Penn State and counts three top scores of 299. “That was important: real, regulation bowling lanes.” In fact, Reece reclaimed maple and oak foundation materials and old-school A2 pinsetters from a shuttered alley in Detroit, the post-World War II bowling capital of the world. New synthetic glow-in-the-dark surfaces, four projector televisions, settee-area couches, and a full bar serving pizza and snacks tally to a loungey, family-basement vibe.
Advance lane reservations, shoulder-season tournaments, and late-night locals’ specials may draw alley cats from near and far, but Reece has a fellow enthusiast and Alpine Bank VP to thank for financing the project and zeroing in on his dream.

“He goes to El Jebowl,” he says. “They have their office parties there.” But perhaps not anymore.

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