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N.B. university students revive retro bowling alley in Sackville

Click to play video: 'NB university students revive retro bowling alley as part of class project' NB university students revive retro bowling alley as part of class project
WATCH: A group of students at Mount Allison university trying to revive an old bowling alley in Sackville as part of the Entrepreneurship program. Shelley Steeves reports – Mar 4, 2020

A group of students at Mount Allison University are trying to revive an old bowling alley in Sackville, N.B., as part of the school’s entrepreneurship program.

Riley Barrett, a finance student involved in the project, says are taking a shot at reopening it to the public, hoping to turn a profit.

“The biggest thing I have learned so far is how important connections are in business,” said Barrett. “Because a lot of the stuff we have been able to get done, especially cheap, haven been though connects with family members through people in the class,” said Barrett

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Barrett says the students are leasing the bowling alley from its owner, which they have called “Strike Club.”

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He says there are not a lot of things to do in the small town other than going out for pizza or to a bar, and is hoping people will take up bowling in their spare time.

“It is less of bowling and more of a fun thing to do with your friends out on a night or out for a day. It is just the experience more than it is bowling,” he said.

But they have run into a few gutter balls along the way. Commerce student Savannah Forsey says renovating the alley, which closed about six years ago, was a lot of work.

“We had to sand and scrape down the gutters it took a really long time to get them prepared for painting and then we painted down all the walls and conditioned and refinished the lanes and the approaches as well,” she said.

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Forsey says the alley is ready to open, but the group has been unable to find an insurance company willing to insure the commercial property.

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“We have been running into a couple of bumps because we are students and kind of having a lack of experience is not a great component for insurance companies looking at us,” said Forsey.

She says that each student has invested $150 of their own money and borrowed another $7,000 from the university program to fund the project.

The ultimate plan is to rent out the lanes hourly, book parties and even open up a bar if they can get approved for a liquor license

“Then we will be able to start paying that off,” says Forsey.

The project has been a real eye-opener, she says, as to what it really takes to get a business off the ground.

The students are hoping to be open to the public as soon as they are able to secure insurance on the commercial building.

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