Corvette Lanes, Murray’s Main Street bowling alley, is putting a brand new spin on bowling as renovations on the building began last week.
Edmiston Marketing, a corporation based in Paducah, Ky., bought the bowling alley and the property almost six weeks ago.
Rick Ellis, director of operations for Edmiston Marketing, said the renovations were not part of the original plan for the property.
“We were originally going to buy it for the land value, close it, doze it and sell it, but we decided the community needed an activities center,” Ellis said.
The activities center Ellis described includes not only a bowling alley with state-of-the-art scoring equipment and resurfaced lanes, but also an arcade, restaurant, bar and lounge.
The ground floor of the building will contain the full restaurant and dining area, arcade and bowling alley, as well as a room available to rent out for parties or meetings.
The 4,000-square-foot second story of the building is being transformed into a bar and lounge area, complete with a stage for occasional live music.
Ellis said the deeper he gets into the planning for the renovations, the more excited he is about the project.
“Everything will be new, and I think the city is excited about this happening,” he said.
The project is expected to be completed in two parts – the bowling alley finished around November, while the second floor could take until January.
Brandon Edmiston, president of Edmiston Marketing, said his intention with the bowling alley is to cater to all age groups.
Young children as well as teenagers can bowl or play in the arcade, adults will utilize the bar and lounge area and the bowling leagues will be maintained for all ages.
“It’s something the whole community can enjoy,” Edmiston said.
Edmiston said he essentially came up with all the plans for the renovations.
Everything in the building is being torn out so it can be rebuilt brand new.
Though that is neither the most cost effective nor the simplest way of achieving his goal with the building, Edmiston said it is the way he wanted things done.
“We could’ve torn the whole building down and started from scratch, and it probably would have been easier, but I wanted to keep the look and construction of this great old building,” he said.
The building that houses the bowling alley was constructed sometime in the 1950s as a Desota car dealership.
After Desota left the building, it housed a restaurant and skating rink before being transformed into a bowling alley.
Lloyd Todd, a Murray native, has worked at the bowling alley for 54 years.
He described himself as a “bowling machine mechanic,” and said he has been working maintenance on the lanes since they were put in more than half a century ago.
“The first six lanes are 53 years old, the other 12 are 54 and all 18 of them run constantly,” Todd said.
Todd can remember when Murray State held physical education classes at the bowling alley and when the second floor of the building was used for student housing.
Regarding the new renovations, Todd said he is excited about all of it.
Said Todd: “It’s all going to be new and different, and I can’t wait to see it.”
Story by Kate Russell, Staff Writer