A new lane to spend your spare time


Griffin Tonsager, Copy Editor (He/him)

Open since 1962, Brookings’ bowling alley has a new name, a new management and a whole new look.

The Lanes, formally known as Prairie Lanes, is home to 26 new lanes and pinsetters installed over a period of eight weeks during renovations that began last summer. The Lanes is also home to a new bar and restaurant called Strikers.

South Dakota State University students think The Lanes looks a lot better since it was remodelled.

“It was kind of dingy, like if you think of an old bowling alley,” Kaylee Leppke, a sophomore early childhood education major said. “But I like the new renovations. It’s very modern and very clean, I like clean. It’s really nice now.” Leppke added that the bowling alley is a place in Brookings that she plans on spending more time in.

After the remodel, ten out of the 26 lanes incorporate a technology allowing players to bowl in virtual reality using various projectors and sensors positioned above the lane itself. The Lanes is one out of only ten bowling alleys in the United States with this new technology installed, provided by Brunswick Spark®.

These ten video bowling lanes, General Manager Tony Brallier thinks, will be a big community draw to The Lanes.

“We’re really excited about having that technology here,” Brallier said. “People can come in here and try something that they’ve never experienced.”

Renovations on what is now The Lanes started in May 2020 when Prairie Lanes was bought by M.G. Oil.

“May 2 they started tearing everything out of here,” Greg Witte, assistant manager said.

By July, there was nothing in the entire building except the concrete floors and brick walls. The renovations officially ended in November.

The Lanes officially opened under its new name and new owner Dec. 9, 2020, and nearly everything in the building was new.

“There’s nothing left in here except a freezer, a refrigerator and some lockers,” Brallier said, adding that it was very exciting and rewarding to be a part of the renovation and design process.

The new management is excited to be a place in Brookings for all the local college students and families to spend time in.

“It’s been good, especially since there’s not a lot of things to do in Brookings for the younger generations,” Witte said.

Community interaction is one thing that is important to the bowling alley; in fact, the name for their bar and restaurant, Strikers, came from the collective votes of their Facebook followers. Management hopes that this community outreach will continue and are interested in the possibility of hosting a college bowling league made up of SDSU students in the near future.

New management is pleasantly surprised by all the attention that The Lanes has received and are grateful for their success in this unique circumstance.

“It has been very rewarding to see the incredible response from Brookings and surrounding communities, along with being able to experience all of the energy and excitement from our customers, especially those who may have never bowled before,” Brallier said.

SDSU students and the Brookings community in general are excited about the new bowling alley in their community, as well.

“I love the layout, and I love how there are just so many people in here. It just has great vibes,” Jake Ayers, a sophomore graphic design major said. “I’ll absolutely be back.”