The newly renovated AMF College Park Lanes has reopened as Bowlero College Park, a more upscale bowling alley brand owned by the same parent company, Bowlero Corporation.
On Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Bowlero College Park held a grand opening party that featured appearances from Testudo as well as University of Maryland alumnus and NFL player Torrey Smith. Those who attended the event also received a free game of bowling and a five-dollar gift card to the arcade.
"We wanted to upgrade it and give people more of a reason to come out," said Bowlero Corporation senior public relations specialist Jillian Laufer.
At the renovated bowling alley, there are 40 lanes of black light bowling, lounge seating, an expanded menu and an upgraded arcade, bar and kitchen. Each lane has a video wall at its end that plays movies, music videos and sports games.
Most of the prices are remaining consistent, Laufer said.
AMF College Park Lanes was upgraded into Bowlero College Park because of past success at the location, Laufer said. She said the proximity to the university and its large student population have made it popular, and the company wanted to continue the momentum it had.
"We want to make sure our fans of the previous center still love the new rebranded center," Laufer said.
Erich Meissner, a senior electrical engineering major, said he and his friends bowled at the old location often and came for that reason, rather than to meet Smith.
"We're just here for the free bowling and arcades," Meissner said.
Michael Du, a senior finance major, said he is not a big fan of bowling but went with friends to the event anyway.
"I'm just a fan of the community," Du said. "And I like free stuff too."
Bowlero Corporation — which owns Brunswick Zone and Bowlmor Lanes in addition to AMF Bowling Company and Bowlero — is the largest owner and operator of bowling entertainment venues in the world, according to its website.
Bowlero College Park is now the state's second Bowlero location. The first opened in Timonium a few weeks ago, a press release from the company said. Bowlero locations are the mid-tier offering of its parent company, with Bowlmor Lanes being the highest level offering of the chain.
"We saw a lot of potential in the property," Laufer said. "We really saw a lot of growth and opportunity in the area."
The bowling alley is located at 9021 Baltimore Ave., next to the Sakura Seafood Buffet and CDepot. It opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, the press release said, and closes between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
At the event, Smith said he was excited to be back in College Park and to see so many families at the bowling alley.
"Thank you Bowlero for bringing some life back in College Park," Smith said.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Erich Meissner was a senior electrical engineer. He is a senior electrical engineering major. This story has been updated.