Driving past Turlock on Highway 99 it’s almost impossible to miss the massive monument to fun rising up from the valley floor.
Construction continues apace on the new Ten Pin Fun Center in the Monte Vista Crossings shopping center. Exterior work is about 90 percent done and the family entertainment center is slated to open in September. More than seven years in the making, the entertainment complex will feature 34 lanes of bowling, a two-story “Call of Duty”-like laser tag arena, arcade, virtual-reality roller coaster, outdoor beer garden, banquet rooms and full restaurant.
Developer Rod Scott has been involved with the project since its inception around 2010. Back then he had hopes of locating it across from California State University, Stanislaus, in a lot that has since become the student housing development The Vista. But now that his long-gestating dream is visibly becoming a reality, he said he couldn’t be happier with its high-profile location on Countryside Drive, off Monte Vista Avenue.
“This site is 10 times better than our original location,” Scott said. “It feels really good seeing this place develop. We’re getting people calling every day asking when we’re going to open.”
Construction began on the 62,000-square-foot project last September. Last week the last of the large metal art pieces that decorate the outside of the building were installed. Created by Turlock-based Steel Works, they feature oversized silhouettes of bowlers and bowling pins. Scott expects all of the exterior work to be done by next month.
Inside, most of the framing for the facility is up and work continues to complete the electrical and begin putting up the walls. The main entrance will open into the arcade. From there guests can head to the bowling alley, restaurant or laser tag arena. People have already signed up for its bowling leagues, which will run Monday through Thursday. Ten Pin Fun Center will feature Turlock’s first bowling alley since Divine Gardens closed in 1997.
Scott is particularly excited about the virtual-reality roller coaster, which will allow guests to create their own course and set the scenery for their ride.
Outside, fronting Countryside Drive, will be a large beer garden with two bocce ball courts. The restaurant will also have an outdoor entrance on the south side of the building and attached patio. The dining room will feature a 24-by-15 foot video wall and there will be a sky box on the second level. The casual dining menu will be similar to chains like Applebee’s and Chili’s through the week. Then on the weekend they plan to add more upscale specials like prime rib and osso buco. The center will have three full bars in total.
For private parties people can rent one of seven banquet rooms, ranging in size for 30 to around 100 people. The venue will also have a boutique bowling area with eight lanes that can be reserved for private events and corporate functions. The center’s amenities will be cashless; people will purchase credit on cards that can be swiped in the arcade or for the other attractions. The Ten Pin website is currently offering specials on gift cards.
Once completed, the facility will have capacity for about 1,300 people between its restaurant, banquet rooms, gaming areas, beer garden and the rest. To handle all this fun Scott plans to hire about 100 employees to staff the center. Hiring has begun for some positions and more jobs will be posted in coming weeks.
Scott said the combination of amenities in the center came from years of traveling across the country — from the western states to New York and Boston — visiting other family entertainment centers to see what works and what doesn’t. He said once completed the center should be a boon to the region, drawing from across the valley.
“I think we picked up on all the things that will make this such a wonderful addition to the city and community,” he said. “That’s what this is all for, it’s for families.”