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Gator Lanes Gearing Up for 40th Anniversary in 2018

Nov 03, 2017 11:55AM ● Published by Kevin

Photo courtesy of Gator Lanes on Facebook.

Gator Lanes, a long-standing community staple on Crystal Drive in Fort Myers, is gearing up for its 40th year in business after the New Year. The bowling alley opened in April 1978, and now serves the community as a place for family fun and good times, which includes a sports bar and much more.

Kevin Walsh and his wife are the current owners, and they have solely owned the business for five years, after having partial ownership of the business since 1983. They have been involved since its inception.

The business most recently finished its fourth inside remodel. With developments over the years, Gator Lanes now offers many family friendly activities, such as trampolines, games, bowling, darts and pool. The recent remodel has also allowed the business to introduce corporate and nonprofit events. There are also leagues available to join for frequent bowlers.

Gator Lanes hosts kids' birthday parties. Parents are encouraged to just bring the kids, cake and candles, and the team Gator Lanes handles the rest. There are various packages available at different price points. They also play host to social events, with various packages, including one that combines the party at the bowling alley with its sister venue, Ter-Tini's, which is right next door.

Ter-Tini's, an upscale rental facility, was added three years ago. The venue plays host to holiday parties, seminars, networking groups, weddings, Sweet 16's, tribute bands, comedy shows and more. Walsh said they just finished installing a new patio, with 15-foot ceilings and a hibachi table outside. The area will be used for events and happy hours.

According to its website, Ter-Tini's has done 200 events since being built in 2014, including a HBO show being shot at the location, band showings and recording, Allen James (Roy Orbison Fame) and Casey Weston recording a new video in July 2017.

Gator Lanes and Ter-Tini's were not impacted heavily by Hurricane Irma's wrath. In fact, they opened the next day. The only casualty was a lost sign and a few downed trees, Walsh said. The business was even able to start feeding people immediately.

"You have to remember that most apartments don't allow grills, so food you have before being spoiled you can't cook. Really, you [,as a business,] become a necessity if you're able to open."

Apartments near Gator Lanes took about 7-10 days to regain power. As things slowly begin to calm down, both venues are gearing up for many events as 2017 comes to a close.

Fabulous Fridays begin Nov. 10, with happy hours featuring a $25-per-person special, featuring all-you-can-drink on certain calls, crafts and house wine, as well as heavy appetizers.

Other weekly specials at the alley include "Lights Out Bowling," always available, except Mondays through Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m.; "Unlimited Thursdays," which entails unlimited bowling, pizza, soda, air hockey, basketball, and darts, as well as free bowling shoes, for $20, between 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.; "Friday Night Rock 'N' Bowl," with a live DJ and light show, $150 jackpots, glow bowl and colored pins, all-you-can-bowl from 11:20 p.m. to 1:45 a.m., all for $15 per person; and "Saturday Night Moonlight Bowling," with a live DJ, glow bowl with colored pins, $900 jackpot drawings, all for $15 per person.

For more information, or to book an event, visit gatorlanes.com.
Gulf & Main business sports Hurricane Irma bowling community profile